Review: Works Well with Others: An Outsider’s Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You

Works Well with Others: An Outsider's Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You
Works Well with Others: An Outsider’s Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business That No One Ever Teaches You by Ross McCammon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book starts out well enough, with its focus on business, short chapters, and lighthearted tone. McCammon talks about overcoming impostor syndrome (that feeling that somehow you don’t deserve your success, aren’t up to the tasks at hand, and will be found out), and reminds readers that everyone is weird and nervous; use that energy to serve your ambition.

McCammon’s style is not for me. He uses too many words and is exhaustingly chatty. There’s humor here, and it’s intended to be a humorous book, but I found it more annoying and time waste-y than amusing.

The first several chapters are really about him, supposedly illustrative of the principles to be explored later in the book (be on time, look people in the eye, be authentic, smile). Overall, it fells to this reader like these are just-better-than-lame filler articles for what otherwise would have been empty column inches in Esquire (Did these appear in Esquire?) There are kernels of good advice but the writing style gets in its own way.

In the bits where McCammon did not try so hard to be funny, he was enjoyable. For example, the piece in which he talks about preparing for and interviewing Rhianna was interesting and almost charming.

To be fair, I am not the target audience for this book. If you are young man entering the business world in a major metropolitan area and you tend to love Vince Vaughn movies, you will probably like this book.

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