Corporate confidential by Cynthia Shapiro.

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Corporate confidential by Cynthia Shapiro.

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Sun May 23, 2010 1:32 am



I have recently read “Corporate confidential by Cynthia Shapiro” it has received rave reviews. I find the book useful for some thing but not others.

The former human resources executive turned business and career consultant, Cynthia Shapiro has 18 years experience in human resource, personnel, labor relations, employee and executive coaching, recruiting, and hiring.

Active member of the Society for Human Resource Management, The National Human Resource Association, and The National WorkRights Institute (The American Civil Liberties Union's arm of employee right).

These groups seem very contradictory in terms, but like many deep thinkers she is contradictory. The one thing that is certain and that is; MS Shapiro is extremely passionate about the H.R profession, however being true contradictions she advices employees to never launch a complaint to the Dept. Her book touches on H.R dept and functions, even in union environments, the department is often misunderstood so this also helpful.

I would definitely recommend the book to a new college graduates that have secured or beginning to secure a position in lower management position, with aspirations of eventually moving into upper management and executive positions.

The book is extremely useful in debunking Internet myths, such as bogus claims from the likes of cbg on LaborLawTalk.com, large boasts by charlatans such as cbg can easily be misconstrued as fact. When challenged by cbg types on the Internet references to Cynthia website http://www.cynthiashapiro.com/theauthor/AboutBusiness.php4 and book provides a powerful weapon in debunking these charlatans, that are long on talk and short on facts. Sham site moderators such as cbg often draw their so-called –experience –in-H.R, as a way of shutting down dialog, Cynthia’s book is very useful in challenging these lames, and and once challenged their credentials can be exposed as fraudulent (which they are). In fact it so useful do not be surprised that your posts are removed,and you are banned from these sham sites when citing the book.

Cynthia writes in simple easy to understand terms on things such as the difference between a companies public appearance that it presents, and the actual agenda that if misread could cost you your job. All this of course is useful to anyone that works.

For those of that are hourly wage earners a lot of the stories are timely such as: E-mail etiquette, the danger of gossip, knowing your company and its product, and generally don’t act like a shit head to your boss, and if you do-don’t be surprised if you are sent down the road. Cynthia uses some real life story’s of those (more than likely salaried employees) that forgot these simple things and suffered for it.

A lot of the advice is common sense, but the theme of the book seems to echo, and reecho the same dismal themes, with no real discussion on the solutions. Other than: grin down and bear it, don’t make social contacts at work, don’t report injuries unless it absolutely necessary, and never make a sexual harassment complaint, and don’t have an overactive family life.

Sadly in chapter 22 titled "You sue, you loose" the corporate spin Cynthia warns the reader about, she has swallowed hook-line-and sinker for example, she is very sympathetic for company’s actions in these matters because of what she sees as a society that has become to litigious. And since society has become so litigious we should not at all be surprised at the corporate responses or outsourcing our jobs abroad. "We have bought this upon ourselves" she rants by "vindictive litigious suites" [by employees] "that have put company’s out of business. This rhetoric should be completely ignored, for a whole host of reasons, and she does not substantiate any of it with footnotes.

For hourly workers, and craft people “skilled workers” a lot of what she writes about is foreign, for example she writes, that “skills” are basically meaningless, when coming across such passages, remember the books caters to those that aspire to management or executive levels for the most part.
She is not talking about “hands on” type skills, but the type of skills that make good mangers and executives which are very different skills sets.

Those of us who actually “do the work”; skill’s will make or break your career, with or without a union, because our work results are easily measured and are therefore crucial. If you aspire to be a plumber or mechanic, and you follow the advice of Cynthia’s books, it will it do you absolutely no good, unless you can perform the amount of work without re-work your boss demands, and meets the standards of your craft. Most mangers in these types of positions have come through the ranks themselves and can not be buffaloed by some of the techniques for success that Cynthia offers.

In general I liked the book it is well worth the $15.00 for the reasons I listed, it offers workers a window in to corporate settings that they don’t get to see. She writes a chapter on how to dress in the work place that I agree with for the most part. The only exception I had was skirt lengths, where she recommends never going more than 2” above the knees. Ladies- let- your- tailor make that call, a woman 5”5” that may not be good advice, like wise a tall women (and there are more and more of them graduating) the hem line could fall mid calf, and two inch hem line above the knee would look like a mini skirt. A good tailor that is aware that the suite you buy for work should compliment your features, and not emphasis them.

For a look inside click here http://www.amazon.com/Corporate-Confidential-Secrets-Company-Know/dp/0312337361

The book is available at most retail booksellers. Cynthia Shapiro's website can be found here:
http://www.cynthiashapiro.com/theauthor/AboutBusiness.php4
JoeC (McGruff)
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Re: Corporate confidential by Cynthia Shapiro.

Post  rdm4416 on Sun May 23, 2010 12:22 pm

Hey Joe!

Just purchased the book from Amazon and will post a review after I read it. Actually, another SHRM member recommended it too, so it must be worth the read. Thanks!

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Re: Corporate confidential by Cynthia Shapiro.

Post  JoeC (McGruff) on Sun May 23, 2010 10:47 pm

Cool-since you work in H.R you can offer a professional prospective. If you are a fast reader you can finish the book in a few hours, it's only 189 pages. Looking forward to your critique Becky.
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