It's been over ten years since Spencer Johnson's bestseller, Who Moved My Cheese? was published. At the time, it swept the business and government worlds. I know I went to presentations while working for one city government and one county government, where that book was the featured topic, since we all seemed to be dealing with change. Now, Johnson's latest book, Peaks and Valleys: Making Good And Bad Times Work For You-At Work And In Life, is timed perfectly, hitting when people are coping with terrible times at work and home.
Once again, Johnson uses a parable to get his point across. The narrator is a woman, telling the story to a man facing problems at work and home. She relates the story of a young man who lives in a valley, where it's comfortable, and everything is the same day after day. Most people are content to remain in the valley, but the young man is restless, and wants to see the view from the nearby peak. After a difficult climb, he finds a wise man at the top, who guides him through lessons about life, and encourages him to find his own path. However, it's not easy to spend more time at the peak, when life in the valley, or on a plateau, can be lazy and easy.
Johnson's latest book will probably be a bestseller, with the pithy messages that will be seen as answers to problems within the workplace. One message is, "The path out of the valley appears when you choose to see things differently." It's definitely a timely book with a hook. However, it probably will not make it as big as Who Moved My Cheese? That book came out in a time of high employment, when workers were only facing change in the workplace. This book, with a message that you need to learn how to look at the good and the bad, may not be quite as well received when people are losing their jobs and their homes. Or, if they themselves are not out of work, they are the employees left behind as others leave or retire. It will be interesting to see if Peaks and Valleys takes off.
The website for this book is www.PeaksAndValleysTheBook.com
Peaks and Valleys: Making Good And Bad Times Work For You--At Work And In Life by Spencer Johnson. Atria Books, ©2009. ISBN 9781439103258 (hardcover), 112p.