By Ann Hiatt
Rating: 3 Stars
Goodreads Rating: 4.19
Genre: Business Self Help
Publication Date: October 12th 2021
Format Read: Libby Audiobook
Goodreads Summary: Take charge of your career and create a life full of learning, adventure, joy, and success utilizing these never-before-shared leadership principles Ann Hiatt learned working alongside the world’s top tech CEOs—Google’s Eric Schmidt, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, and Yahoo!s Marissa Mayer.
Whether you’re stuck in your current job, starting your first job and wondering how you can use it as a steppingstone towards your dream career, or mid-career and wanting to finally be recognized for promotion or a leadership role, this book is for you.
For the first time, Ann Hiatt shares both the daily habits and long-game strategies she learned working side-by-side for decades with the giants of technology at Amazon and Google.
Through clear guidance and incredible stories, Bet on Yourself will teach you:
How to define your abilities and speak up so that you can be recognized for the work that you do and the unique capabilities you bring to the table.
How to create opportunities for yourself when options appear limited and build a purposeful career regardless of your seniority or industry.
What it takes to build the confidence you need to build your dream career.
How to exchange your frustration over not getting the recognition you deserve for an empowered, actionable plan for taking control of your professional identity and get promoted.
These tried-and-true methods to take ordinary opportunities and create something extraordinary, and the leadership principles that guide the work of these celebrity CEOs, are directly applicable to your goals.
With a few consistent, daily habits you can build a future that exceeds your wildest expectations. No matter the opportunities available to you in your particular community or career stage, there is a path for you.
Bet on Yourself is a book I checked out because I wanted to feel inspired. I didn’t know anything about Ann Hiatt before I started reading, but the blurb said that she’d worked for all of these insanely powerful tech companies and CEOs, so I decided that maybe I could learn something. My lack of knowledge of Hiatt definitely affected what I thought I would get out of this book versus what I actually did, and probably contributed to my lower rating.
I wanted to hear about Hiatt’s career trajectory in a way that would be beneficial to my own life. Unfortunately, it seemed like most of her success was a result of both luck, and being one of the most hard working assistants out there. She was already in the room where powerful decisions were being made, so it was more easy for her to impress people and get noticed. If I try to impress the most senior person I have ever been allowed to talk to at my company, I would still be at least 5 steps away from speaking to an actual CEO. I’m not saying that it couldn’t still work out for me, but the pathway is a lot less clear than Hiatt makes it seem. Because her only experience was working for people in positions of high power, I don’t think she seemed to comprehend that difference when she was giving advice.
One thing I did really enjoy about this book was getting to hear all of the different lessons that Hiatt took away from her time working for Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, and Melissa Mayer. From that perspective it was an interesting glimpse into the way some of the most powerful people in the world think, and what they look for in an employee.
It was pretty insane to listen to how hard Hiatt worked for her entire life to get where she is today. I know that anyone who is going to be successful is putting in long hours, but it’s one thing to think of “long hours” in an abstract way. It’s another to hear her say (because I listened to the audiobook) that many of the people she worked with wouldn’t even own an apartment, preferring to just sleep in the office because of how many hours they worked. In one of her “tips” for how to succeed, Hiatt recommended taking on extra work to do on the weekends because you’d be doing your other required work for 70 hours during the week.
I think hearing from a high powered woman in tech is very cool, and for that reason I still enjoyed listening to the book. However, from an advice perspective, it really just boiled down to Work Hard Get Lucky, which I didn’t find particularly inspiring. Her story itself has a lot of value, and I found myself respecting both her and the CEOs she worked for more by the end of the book. However, I didn’t take away any new skills from my reading. I know I need to work hard to be successful. I was hoping for something a little bit more than that.
Anyways, let me know what you think! Have you read Bet On Yourself? Do you plan to? What business-y self help career books would you recommend?