I just finished a book called The Success Effect by John Eckberg, and I really really enjoyed it. The book came from a series of tapes that Eckberg had compiled from previous interviews with all kinds of people. Each chapter consists of a brief introduction and a Q&A, along with some interesting information about the interviewee such as favorite books or CDs.
The single best thing about this book is short chapters. I love books that are broken up with chapters of 3-7 pages each because it makes them easy to read in small chunks of time and easy to skip parts that don't interest me. The second best thing about the book is that it focuses on success from the perspective of the person being interviewed. As I read through the chapters, I was sometimes surprised at the reasons people gave for their success – they were all over the map. The books does an excellent job of showing the different perspectives and motivations that people have. It also points out that there is no "one size fits all" way to become successful. The only thing that really comes out in the book as being common to all the interviewees is a passion for what they are doing, which is definitely an ingredient of success.
My favorite chapter was about Jeff Baxter, former Doobie Brothers guitarist turned Pentagon adviser. It was interesting to read about how he made that move. From the book:
…in the 80s, while his peers would drink beer and play video games on tour, Baxter buried himself in technical defense magazines…he wrote his own paper on missile defense and handed it to Congressman Dana Rohrbacher, who showed it to his associates.
The book is filled with plenty of interesting stories and is very well written. It covers a lot of ground so most everyone is sure to find something they like. This book is best suited to entrepreneurs, young professionals beginning their careers, and people that like general business stories. If you are looking for quick secrets to success, or "five easy steps…" well, this isn't your kind of book. Check out John's website for more information.