Tuesday, June 17, 2008

book review: Navigating for Success by Moss A. Jackson

Title: Navigating for Success: Passion,Goals & Action
Author: Moss A. Jackson, Ph.D.
Publisher: Corporate Initiatives, 2007, paperback, 145 pages
Genre: Psychology, Business
ISBN-13: 978-0615180458

Are you a Victim, Survivor or Navigator? Does your Gorilla, Alligator or Computer sail your ship? On the map of communication from War to Partnership, at what destination do you usually find yourself? Moss A. Jackson’s book Navigating For Success: Passion, Goals & Actions will help you answer these questions and many more.

This 145-page, 21-chapter success textbook-cum-workbook is divided into seven sections with titles that continue the navigational theme introduced by the title (e.g. "Steering Your Course," "Riding Your Inner Wave," etc.). They deal with subjects like the three main ways people approach their lives, how to establish goals and make plans to reach them, the part emotions play in success, managing conflict, and team building, anong others. The overriding theme of the book is that each person can choose success, then plan and act to make it happen.

The teaching part of each chapter is followed by Compass Points, a section which provides practical ways –- in a variety of formats from lists to self-quizzes -– to help the reader apply newly learned principles to his real-life situations.

Jackson’s training as a clinical and organizational psychologist along with his 30 years’ experience as a psychologist and business consultant gives the book authority. The way he illustrates his points with stories from his practice makes the book interesting.

Jackson’s brisk writing style is enhanced by the book’s organization - subheadings in bold font followed by block paragraphs separated with plenty of white space. It’s a shame the editing wasn’t consistent (in the 2007 version of the book reviewed), with some typos, inconsistent capitalization, and several places where the voice changed from first person plural to second person mid-paragraph (e.g., “When we’re unhappy with a situation, we often find ourselves complaining…. Likewise, when those around you are discontented, they often grumble and gripe.”).

Jackson’s tone goes from matter-of-fact as he describes the sorry status quo of clients and companies, to encouraging, motivational, even inspirational as he poses his success-targeted solutions. His use of metaphors to describe types of people and behaviors is notable, sometimes amusing and makes his ideas easy to remember. The quizzes, lists and self-tests pull the reader in from being a bystander to a participant.

There’s something in this book for every business type from the go-fer on the sales floor to the CEO. Though it speaks mainly to business situations, the principles are transferable to personal life as well. From the wise sayings of famous people that follow the title of each chapter to the practical advice offered cover-to-cover by Jackson, there’s lots of valuable take-away for everyone. If you want to learn how to steer the course of your life as opposed to letting the waves of circumstance, past experience, and emotion determine your destination, Moss A. Jackson’s Navigating For Success is for you.


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