Your Success is Your Own Damn Fault: Review of Larry Winget’s It’s called Work for a Reason!

February 23rd, 2010

Are you reading this review at your office instead of working?  Well, according to Larry Winget, you’re a thief.  You’re stealing from the company.  Now, get your butt back to work.

That’s the central message in It’s Called Work for a Reason: Your Success is Your Own Damned Fault”.

A friend of mine recommended this book, and Larry’s straight-forward, no-holds-barred style means you are about to get a dose of harsh reality. And he pretty much takes on everyone in this book: smart-ass employees, gossips, know-it-all managers, hotel clerks, and more.

Sometimes the truth hurts and this book delivers the pain.

The Good

The best part about this book was how Larry managed to be pretty balanced between employees and business.  As someone who’s been an employee, ran a business, and handled employees, I felt Larry hit the nail on the head.

If you’re an employee: Stop whining and do your damn job.

I don’t know how many times I had to tell people that.  Instead, I was expected to be someone’s therapist.

But Larry didn’t leave me off the hook.  No, siree. He says if employees are acting that way, it’s because you’re a bad manager. Ouch!

And that’s the core of the book: your success is your own fault.  You make it.

I love the message of personal responsibility, which is lacking in some corners.  In some personal development corners, I get treated to people ranting about being “wage slaves” and “working for the man”.

And Larry has some advice for them.  Shut up and do your job.  If you don’t like it, leave.

No manifesting intensions or other malarkey.   Straight advice that’s easy to understand.  Simple, not complex.

I loved that about this book.

Some advice Larry gives that I love:

  • There are no secrets: you already know what to do.
  • Always be on time.
  • Teamwork is nonsense.
  • Don’t hire “team players”. Hire people who want credit for their work and get out of their way.
  • Focus on results.

The Bad

First of all, this book is not for the motivated or those who are content on the job. This book is definitely pep-talk material.  Not motivational, but irritational, as Larry says. So, it’s good if you’re in a rut or need a little jolt.  For the others, it may not have the intended effect.

Secondly, Winget oversimplifies things.

There are many types of gurus, but you’ve got two extremes. You’ve got the “align your vibrations I’m spiritual” kind of guru, and then there’s the “you’re a failure cause you’re an idiot” guru.  Larry is definitely more of the second type.  The”you’re an idiot’ guru puts 100% of your problems squarely on you.

In debt? Your  fault.

Kids are rotten? You’re fault.

Personal responsibility is one of my core messages as well.  But when I think it through, I ask myself: when someone hits your parked car, it’s not your own damned fault.  It’s theirs.

So, how does one distinguish between something being their fault or someone else’s?  Winget does not provide an answer.

And that’s because the “you’re an idiot” guru tends to oversimplify everything.  They are very black and white.  And, sorry Larry,  your success or failure is not 100% your own damn fault.  That’s not being irresponsible.  That’s called reality. Poop happens.  And success depends on making the most out of what you CAN control, and not wasting a bunch of time and energy on things you can’t change.  Larry might even agree–he thinks idiots don’t change.

But the one point where Wignet and I totally agree on and where I too happen to be black and white on is this:   You DO control your ethics and standards. There is no excuse for being a slimeball.  Your integrity IS your own damn fault.   And the reason I liked this book is for this message: being a bad employee is bad for YOU.  Because losing your integrity is the worst thing that can happen to you.

The Verdict

Heck, you read my blog. How could I NOT recommend this book?  You know I’m kind of partial to this kind of guru despite what I said.  Sometimes we all need someone to shake us up.  And I haven’t seen many books that I could recommend to both employers and employees.  But this is one of them.

And love him or hate him, Winget‘s style is easy to follow and makes for a pleasant read.

Yeah, that’s right. I referred to a Larry Winget book as “pleasant”.

Now, read the book It’s Called Work for a Reason!: Your Success Is Your Own Damn Fault and find out why that just might be controversial.

As an aside, why is it that all the “you’re an idiot” gurus seem to have Southern accents?  I’m originally from Texas and my deep-seeded southern accent came creeping through while reading this book.   I think I’m gonna do me a little podcastin’ with my accent before it wears off…


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