One of my favorite career/business authors has done it again! Alexandra Levit , who I met over dinner in Chicago, is releasing her newest book today: Blind Spots: 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success
I got a chance to interview Alexandra… here are my questions and her responses:
What is the premise of Blind Spots?
The recent recession has toppled and transformed our ideas about just about everything. Massive change is afoot and many of us are still reeling from the work-force bloodletting that began three years ago and the downfall of companies we thought we all respected.
If we take the time to examine the world that’s rising out of the ashes, we see that a major paradigm shift is occurring. We have realized that money and manipulation will only go so far, and we’ve come 180 degrees from the backbiting and dirty politics that characterized the dog-eat-dog 1980s. Inside the business world, organizations and individuals are looking inward and seeking a return to traditional human values like honesty, trust, moderation, open communication, and one-on-one relationship building.
Those who wish to be gainfully employed for the foreseeable future must take this transformation seriously and adapt new ways of doing things. In this book, we explore the 10 biggest myths of business success that people believe to be true even though they don’t work for 98 percent of all truly successful people.
The time to debunk these myths is now because they are more dangerous and less viable than ever given this post-recessionary climate of ethical scrutiny and intense competition. If adhering to these myths didn’t get you places before, it really won’t today, when employers want to hire people with Puritan work ethics, people who want to do their jobs well without rocking the boat too much and who are strong representatives of the organization’s culture.
If you want to get ahead in this values-driven environment, putting on blinders is not an option and you can’t afford to waste time. You must throw away these myths, determine what will work in their place, and immediately put it to use.
What makes Blind Spots different from other career books?
I wrote Blind Spots because I was tired of reading silly theories and platitudes dispensed by business and career authors who sell their work by giving these myths credibility and by telling readers what they want to hear.
Here is one thing you can count on: I will tell it like it is. I will be honest with you about what will render you successful in today’s business world, not yesterday’s.
I refuse to give you overly provocative advice that hasn’t worked for anyone I know, like quitting your job tomorrow and starting your own business the next day, or marching into your boss’ office and announcing that he should appreciate your individuality. This advice is not trendy and it’s not hype – it’s what actually works.
What do you hope readers will take away from Blind Spots?
Each chapter includes academic research, expert commentary, anecdotes from contemporary culture, and inspirational stories from people like you who either fell prey to a myth or had to rethink their approach, or who recognized the myth for what it was and consequently came out on top.
Along the way, I’ll provide specific advice for course-correcting that readers can use immediately in their work lives. I hope that by the time they finish reading, they realize that a lot of what it takes to be successful is already a part of who they are, and that they absolutely have the power to cultivate the skills and attitude that will take them wherever they want to go.
What’s your favorite myth and why?
I have personally experienced most of the book’s myths myself, so they are all favorites in a way. But overnight success is the first myth I debunk in the book because it’s one of the most widely held beliefs. It’s also hugely misleading, and adopting this idea that you can easily become an overnight success could actually be quite damaging for your career and life.
The truth is simple. There are very few – if any – genuine cases of overnight success. The majority of successful people have dedicated themselves to a goal and persevered for a long time, experiencing several setbacks before reaching a high level of achievement that is finally noticed and talked about by others.
Sounds awesome, right? I love Alexandra’s writing style… and am anxious to see her new book 🙂