Thursday Thought-Self-Help: Orbiting the Giant Hairball

Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A Corporate Fool’s Guide to Surviving With Grace by Gordon MacKenzie is one of the easiest self-help books I’ve ever devoured. There’s no jargon, no quoted sources or case studies (or if there is, they are a minor mention at best).

MacKenzie writes about his time working for Hallmark and the frustrations of a creative thinker trying to be productive in a corporate one-size-fits-all structure. He shares his methods for coping. Most of his ideas wouldn’t work in the majority of businesses. These days, they wouldn’t even work in “creative” business, such as broadcasting. They’d be great for advertising and marketing.

One of the most important lessons I learned is from Chapter 19. “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.” (I once quoted this, then had to explain the meaning, which shocked me.) This may be the best advice I’ve ever read.

This is an older book (1998); technology has changed many things in our world. But the human brain, if properly treated, can triumph.