How to judge a book by its cover

“Employees are looking for meaning. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could refer to a “meaning index” like we do the Dow Jones stock index?”     – Chip Conley.

I chanced upon Chip Conley’s book at the library (I am a card-carrying library member) & the cover just leaped out at me.

Normally, here’s how I decide if I want to read a book or not.

  1. Title’s got to be written clearly. Meaningful subtitles, please.
  2. I open the book at a random page to have a feel of the typography, font size & the white space. I hate small fonts. I don’t carry a magnifying glass with me. Neither do I intend to.
  3. I check the Table of Contents. I glance through it to get an idea of the flow of contents.
  4. I move to the introduction. I like a writer who cares enough to suggest who their book is for, why they wrote it & how their book is organized. It shows that the writer is someone who values my time even though he or she doesn’t know me.
  5. I flick a few pages open to look for tables & pictures. Those help make better sense of the typed words.

Chip’s book was a positive for all 5 points. The more I read it, the more useful I find it to be. What I like most about this book is it’s helping me see how I can apply Maslow’s hierarchy in my job. If you’re a manager like me, you might find it useful too.

How do YOU know if a book you see is the book you’ll want to read?


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