cover image Work Like a Spy

Work Like a Spy

J.C. Carleson. Penguin/Portfolio, $25.95 (194p) ISBN 978-1-59184-353-5

In this clever twist on the career self-help genre, former CIA agent Carleson takes the principles that she learned in clandestine service and applies them to today's business world. "CIA officers may not face the same legal, logistical or financial constraints that business professionals do. They do, however, have goals, objectives and aspirations, just like their counterparts in the corporate world," she notes. Without revealing sensitive CIA information or advocating corporate espionage, the author explores a wide range of topics%E2%80%94among them, basic principles of intelligence, developing one's "operational instincts," employee recruitment, crisis management, and fending off competitors. Honesty%E2%80%94which one might expect to be in short supply in the cloak-and-dagger world%E2%80%94is strongly recommended, as is behaving ethically even in the face of great temptation. Carleson also offers advice on problem solving and managing one's personal life so it reflects positively in a business sense. Crisis management issues%E2%80%94and eight strategies for dealing with them%E2%80%94are explained in detail, with lessons learned from how the CIA reformed itself after 9/11. This quick and enjoyable read offers plentiful nuggets of information, which can be put to good use by any career-minded reader. (Feb.)