I picked up the Kindle edition of this book for some light and entertaining reading over the holidays, and perhaps to learn some insights into the service industry that might help me in my travels.
However, it turns out there's a surprising amount of valuable information about dealing with people that all professionals could implement into their communications with directs, peers, managers, and customers.
In a nutshell, the author has been a personal assistant to celebrities and runs a professional concierge service. He's the guy that's learned how to make impossible things happen. His stories, while funny and entertaining, are all woven around some central themes: Be polite, be honest, ask for exactly what you want, build and maintain relationships because you might need them later, role power vs relationship power, sending thank you notes, etc.
Check out the following passage for a brief example:
"...The only way to do that is to motivate. Money can be the motivator, as with tipping. It can also be pride, or acknowledgement. But you won't get it by asserting power and you won't get it by patronizing phony friendships. The waiter isn't there to be your friend; he's there to serve you food. He's busy and doesn't need the small talk. It doesn't matter that his name is cute or is the same as your brother's -- he knows where you're going with that.
No matter what technique, remember that the mission isn't accomplished when they say yes. Once you get what you want, you have to let them know that you're glad they gave it to you. It's as simple as sending a note to let them know how great everything was. "Keep my contact information. I'd love the opportunity to return the favor if there's anything I can do for you."
So there's a quick anecdote about dealing with a service professional, yet there's nuggets of advice that's consistent with several MT podcasts. The mindset that the author used in working with and pleasing arrogant celebrities isn't terribly different then working with business leaders.
I expected this book to be a lot of funny and entertaining stories. Turns out there's a lot of good lessons. And, it's an enteraining, quick read. Highly recommend.