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Gung Ho! by Kenneth Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles

The full title of this book by Kenneth Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles is

Gung Ho!: How To Motivate People In Any Organization

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book Three Stars. This means Worthwhile.

Here is my book review.

American Indian based fable on how to get employees working better but it lacks substance

This book promises to teach you how to motivate people in any organisation so you can increase productivity, profits and your own prosperity.

It tells the story of how Peggy Sinclair and Andy Longclaw (an American Indian), that is a new plant manager and the manager of one department regarded as troublesome saved the plant from threatened closure by making the work force Gung Ho!

It is written as a true story but I have my doubts and there is a sentimentality in the book that I found hard to take. It starts with the deathbed scene as Peggy promises to share the secrets with the world after Andy dies.

The book presents the three secrets to turning a business Gung Ho and while it is a short book, it still seemed padded out to me and could have been told more precisely.

The three secrets can be found in nature – hence the American Indian in the story:

1 – The Spirit of the Squirrel – basically the idea that people work best when they know they are doing worthwhile work.
2 – The Way of the Beaver – give your employees control over how they achieve the goals
3 – The Gift of the Goose – cheer each other on as work improves and the business becomes more successful.

As normal with the Ken Blanchard / One Minute Manager books, it is easy to read (once you can stomach the sentimentality) and while the main messages are not brought out in the text so you can quickly scan for them, there is a two page summary of each way to Gung Ho at the end of the book.

I am a Ken Blanchard fan of the “common-sense lessons” told in a simple story form but I was disappointed by this book. The basic ideas of are sound and the link to nature has interest to me but I found myself thinking “is that it?” when I’d finished.


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