One might think that with Perry’s 40-year career as a workplace advocate, the book would focus on HR practices. Although there are plenty of HR and professional strategies sprinkled throughout the work, it also includes a variety of life lessons that are presented in a thoughtful, straightforward manner. Each chapter stands on its own, offering advice that can be easily accessed after readers finish the book.
Perry’s easy-to-follow strategies provoke new thinking and inspire conversations that change the way people see the workplace and home. Often, they are told as simple, yet pithy, steps. Sometimes, they are questions people should ask themselves to reassess their values as they move through life. Indeed, one chapter is solely devoted to questions for which Perry doesn’t offer any real answers, inspiring readers to come up with their own solutions. In another chapter called “Dogs Rule,” Perry reveals lessons he learned from his faithful dog, Peyton, and how they apply well in a workplace setting.
Perry often eschews the traditional measures of business success, challenging readers and business leaders to focus on people rather than the balance sheet — and how such practices ultimately lead to business success. He even offers examples of how the strategy has worked in his leadership role at ERC, the organization which founded NorthCoast 99, an awards program that annually recognizes the best workplaces across Northeast Ohio. From its beginning, ERC has focused on the growth of its people — rather than its bottom-
line growth — and its success has been phenomenal.
But Perry is not an advocate of totally abandoning those traditional practices that made America strong. He derides organizations, business leaders and even employees who have come to use electronic gizmos as a communications crutch. During a time when many organizations are starting to treat employees more like robots than human beings, companies,corporations and business leaders need to treat employees better. Perry also criticizes many modern companies for preselecting candidates based on keyword searches rather than traditional face-to-face interviews, which causes many companies to overlook the most promising candidates.
Always emphasizing an employee’s need for respect, security, a clean workplace, recognition and fair compensation, Perry’s book is a must-read for all business leaders, as well as anyone who might have employees in their charge. It also offers great advice for those hoping to climb the career ladder. It just may open the eyes of professionals on what they should expect and seek from the modern workplace.