Success Built to Last

Authors: Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery, and Mark Thompson
Price: £14.99
Publisher: Financial Times Prentice Hall
ISBN: 0273710435

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Every so often, a book comes along that looks great, but isn’t. This is one of those books.

I expected so much from it – the cover blurb is full of promise and the three authors have great credentials. Jerry Porras, a Stanford professor, wrote the global bestseller Built to Last about visionary companies. Stewart Emery has also written bestsellers and has a pedigree career in coaching people for success. And Forbes magazine listed Mark Thompson as one of America’s top venture investors.

However, the talents of these three individuals have not produced a useful book for the UK market. I found the writing style really irritating, with quotes in large fonts interspersed throughout the text.

It is also very commercial and American in tone, with statements such as: ‘Have my online course to change your life for the better forever’, and ‘Attend my seminars’. If you’ve been unlucky enough to get on a US mailing list and receive junk mail, then you’ll know what I’m talking about.

There is a long story about how various people found success, and lots of name-dropping, which is no good if you’re not familiar with the people mentioned. There is nothing to help put the information in context either, as nothing is included about what they have achieved, or the respect within which they are held. Had the writers provided a mini-biography of each person in a dedicated chapter and used them as role models, this might have made it all much clearer.

This book misses the target for a UK or European reader. There are many better books out there – you can safely give this one a miss.

Useful? Two out of five stars
Well-written? One out of five stars
Practical? One out of five stars
Inspirational? Two out of five stars
Value for money? Two out of five stars
Overall? Two out of five stars

Reviewed by Keith Lawson, HR consultant and lecturer

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