Not really a surprise to anyone who knows me, but this is why I'm so bad at small talk. I have to work at it. I want conversations to go somewhere. I've learned that for some people, small talk IS "somewhere," and so I have learned to participate.
But it ain't easy. Sometimes I drift.
Same goes for books.
I love to read. But I'm picky. Don't give me fluffy one-line solutions. Don't give me inapplicable (albeit deep) theory. And don't - DON'T - try to convince me to read what I'm reading. I'm already reading it. I was convinced by the back flap, or the people who recommended it, or something I saw when I did a random flip-through.
I bought a leadership book this week that promised all kinds of things. Was highly recommended by authors I trust. And most importantly, was along the lines of the "next thing" I was seeking.
Chapter 7 is where the value began.
Six chapters, my friends, devoted to why the topic matters, why I need their knowledge, why THEY know more than others selling books along the same lines, and why their scholarship is credible.
I was losing it.
Skimming faster and faster,
"So WHAT?? What ARE the five principles?
HOOWWWW do I put this into effect???!!!"
It was like one of those TV news shows that keeps offering teasers about the story you REALLY wanted to hear, the one about the heroic kid, but they keep putting it off to talk about the snow removal on Pine Street, and when they finally get to the heroic kid - an hour later - you realize you already know the story. There is no more story. The teasers had it all.
There WAS useable content after all. I might use this book with others. But if I ever hand un livre to you, and tell you to open it to Chapter 7 - you'll know why.