cover image Flight of the Phoenix: Soaring to Success in the 21st Century

Flight of the Phoenix: Soaring to Success in the 21st Century

John Whiteside. Butterworth-Heinemann, $32.95 (224pp) ISBN 978-0-7506-9798-9

Whiteside (The Phoenix Agenda) and his coauthor, labor relations consultant Egli, promise readers of their collaboration ""tools and a new way of solving problems"" for 21st-century business situations. The volume, however relies heavily on rather generic vignettes and a disjointed collection of one-liner advice--neither of which is truly illuminating. In its attempt to project its notion of what business will be like (that is, more humane), Flight of the Phoenix resembles a book of meditations, emitting familiar bits of wisdom such as ""If you love your work, everyone will benefit,"" ""Insisting you are right is a good way to make enemies among co-workers and family"" and ""The future has not happened yet. Our most powerful tool for creating it is what we say."" The authors also ask a deadening number of rhetorical questions that aren't solid enough to be practical or subtle enough to be philosophical (""Do circumstances happen to us or do we happen to circumstances?""). The authors have opted to keep their explanations simple, friendly. Unfortunately, sometimes that means they are truncated. Whiteside and Egli touch upon helpful points, such as that a crucial step toward goal planning is having a best-case scenario in mind. They point out, ""Without the best and worst case scenarios, the pursuit of goals can spin out of control and become addictive."" For the anxious, this may offer some comfort, but for others it fails to deliver appreciable hard, cold fact. (Nov.)