The Janitor, by Todd Hopkins and Ray Hilbert
We used to have a janitor in our office named Ed who always had a smile on his face. No matter how bad your day was going, if you bumped into Ed walking down the hall he always had something cheerful to say. I never got to know Ed that well before he (apparently) left for a new job, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that he was the inspiration behind The Janitor, by Todd Hopkins and Ray Hilbert.
This book presents six important life and business guidelines in the form of a fable. As I read it I couldn't help thinking of some of the various Patrick Lencioni books I've read, which are also written as fables. This format makes for an enjoyable read, especially as you start relating to the characters that develop throughout the story. It also helps make the lessons that much more memorable as the character images in my head will last much longer than the narrative of a dry business book. The model works quite well for this book as I unfortunately found myself relating to the lead character, Roger Kimbrough, and his various issues way too often.
I won't spoil the story and reveal all of the six key teachings, but I will say that I put a summary of each of them into a memo file on my Blackberry so that I can refer to them from time to time. In fact, as I spent some time with my wife and youngest daughter last night I kept thinking about one in particular; it has to do with family as a responsibility vs. a blessing and it really rang true for me this week!
Do yourself a big favor and read this book. There's a good reason why it's already sold over 400K copies worldwide. And unlike that awful misguided book The Secret, there are several very meaningful, sound principles presented in this one.
joe, thanks for the tutorial the other night. i couldn't sleep after you downloaded your vast knowledge into beth and my little brains. any way, i just wondered if you'd met ray. he's a personal friend and lives here in fishers. he told me about the korean sales. pretty interesting publishing story it seems. and knowing ray a very useful little read.
Posted by: dave | August 22, 2007 at 02:38 PM
Sounds similar to Sandbox Wisdom, real-life business lessons related by an old mechanic to a CEO.
Thanks for the tip! Will take a look at this one too.
Posted by: Milan Negovan | August 22, 2007 at 04:07 PM
Hi Dave. My pleasure. I've never met Ray but I've seen him speak at least once at Bridgeway. It was my pleasure to tell you what I know about the blogosphere -- happy blogging!
Milan, I'll definitely check out that "Sandbox Wisdom" title. Thanks for mentioning it.
Posted by: Joe Wikert | August 22, 2007 at 08:20 PM
welcome to facebook joe. pretty soon you'll be on myspace. haha.
Posted by: dave | August 23, 2007 at 01:36 PM