Book Review: Mojo – a Good Read for PMs

“Mojo plays a vital role in our pursuit of happiness and meaning because it is about two simple goals: loving what you do and showing it.”

“Mojo is that positive spirit toward what we are doing now that starts from the inside and radiates to the outside.”

– Marshall Goldsmith
Mojo: How To Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back When You Lose It

Buy this book. Read it. Work the Mojo Toolkit.

For those of you in a hurry, that’s the essence of this review. If you have more time, I can tell you why I think this book is so valuable.

I love books that open up a new insight and perspective on an aspect of the world that you think you already understand. They give you a free epiphany without the hard work or the pain that normally accompanies paradigm changes.

Mojo: How to Get it, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back When You Lose It, gives you insight on what Mojo is, then hands you a toolkit to manage your Mojo.

Over the Top

When I pick up a book, my decision to read it is partially based on what the title promises. Sometimes you pick up a real winner and other times you feel that the title didn’t live up to its promise.  Those are the books I have to struggle not to throw across the room.

The title seemed over the top. I didn’t believe that it was going to deliver as promised.  When I read through the second section of the book: The Building Blocks of Mojo, I realized that he had done just that.  Skimmers beware: the book drops insights that will make you slow down to think through what he’s saying.  As an example, even his overview of what Mojo is only leads to more questions:

  1. Who do you think you are? (Your identity)
  2. Achievement – What have you done lately?  What do you bring to the task and what does it give to you?
  3. Reputation – what do other people think you’ve done lately?
  4. Acceptance – what can you change and what is beyond your control?

Each of these aspects of Mojo are fleshed out with examples in the second section of the book. As I read I could see how Mojo, or the lack of it, has impacted me throughout my career.

Getting Practical

It was really Section Three: Your Mojo Toolkit, that sold me on the book. I love practical.  This section gives you tools to measure and improve your Mojo.  It’s frustrating to read books that give you an insight that they’ve used to help others, but don’t explain how you can use that insight in your life.  Mojo goes into the category of books that provide so much value that I need to go back and reread it every year just to keep the ideas fresh in my mind.

Want to recommend any other good books to read?  Leave a comment, send me a tweet, my id is jgodfrey.


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