Sunday, December 12, 2010

Phony! How I faked my way through life

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Phony! is sort of a non-nonsense brief and factual account  (I say that cos it's very thin and the author mostly stuck to the "facts") of how Andrea Stanfield faked having a degree while working her way up the corporate escalator (she was a master manipulator with high EQ. She admitted that her self professed good looks helped her along the way.) The book made me feel that the author was not only phony, but a bit psychopathic as well. She went on and on about how she was developing a conscience as she began to hold more executive and middle management roles, until she started to feel physically sick. Yet she did not confess, resign or even take a degree, which would have solved her problem... In the end it was her boss' embezzlement resulting in a new immediate boss who did not 'appreciate' her input, that drove her to finally leave. I was like... huh?!

All in all, I thought it was pretty lame. While I did not understand why she made a big deal out of not having a degree, but I must say she had a lot of luck, opportunities and quite brilliant in her soft skills (e.g. ability to appreciate and leverage off other people's capabilities) to have been able to pull it off so successfully and for so long. What I find thought provoking was her view on being phony:

"People could choose either to conform and make the road a little easier for themselves or to portray on the outside who they really were on the inside and risk isolating themselves from other groups of people forever."

Which is probably reflective of why in this world, those who are brilliant at their jobs and intellectually superior continue to work their same old unchallenging jobs and climb very slowly, while those who dress well, speak well, and not work much, end up soaring above them.

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