The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, by Daniel Pink

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Dan Pink’s book Drive was good, so I also picked up this book from the library, subtitled “The last career guide you’ll ever need”. It’s written in the style of manga (Japanese comics), and can be read in half an hour, but offers solid advice on career management.

Here are the bullet points it hits:

  1. There is no plan – don’t assume that if you do what everybody tells you to do that it’ll work out. Nobody’s responsible for your career but you.
  2. Think strengths, not weaknesses – trying to fix weaknesses is a never-ending process, so focus on building strengths into world-class abilities instead (the book specifically calls out Marcus Buckingham of “Now, Discover your Strengths”, and Mihály Csíkszentmihályi of “Flow”).
  3. It’s not about you – help the people around you, both managers and coworkers, achieve their goals.
  4. Persistence trumps talent – given my recent posts, I don’t think I need to add anything there.
  5. Make excellent mistakes – avoiding mistakes means you aren’t stretching yourself – have high aspirations and make big mistakes, and then learn from the mistakes. It’s the deep practice concept in another form.
  6. Leave an imprint – do something that matters (another way of asking “What’s your sentence?”).

I thought it was a cute idea that took some standard career advice mantras and made them seem fresh by presenting them in the new form of a graphic novel. Not a ton of depth, but I enjoyed the quick read.

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