Top 4 Reasons to Read Oy VeyWritten by Behrman House Staff, 06 of September, 2012
Review written by Mark S. Young, Program Coordinator of the Experiential Learning Initiative at the Jewish Theological Seminary and incoming Board Chair of the Advancing Jewish Professionals of New York City (AJP-NYC).
For those considering (or had yet to consider) whether to buy Deborah Grayson Riegel’s Oy Vey! Isn't a Strategy: 25 Solutions for Personal and Professional Success, do yourself a favor, buy it and read it, I promise you won’t regret it.
Oy Vey is not just another pious and impractical management or self-help book. It doesn’t pontificate, speak from theory alone, or provide strategies that don’t seem applicable in the real world, as I find most of these books to do. Oy Vey is quite the opposite. It is also a fast, easy, and enjoyable read. Ok, onto my Top 4 reasons.
1. Oy Vey is Great Storytelling
If you have ever seen Deborah present or facilitate a workshop, you would know that she is funny, direct, exciting and relatable. Amazingly, she is able to harness all her energy and relate-ability to words on a page. She does so with the art of great storytelling, providing anecdotes from her life to introduce each solution. Not only do you obtain these 25 key insights that will help you get to know yourself, work with others productively and get things done (the first three sections of the book), but you get to know Deborah, her family, her own challenges, hopes, dreams and past failures from which she’s learned from. Combining her personal narrative along with her coaching expertise, you are beaming at what the next chapter will bring; not only in a helpful strategy but eager to learn more about Deborah’s story.
2. Oy Vey is experiential education
Not everyone reading this review may know what experiential education is. In a sentence, experiential education is gaining key insights and understandings about the world and ourselves by examining our life-experiences, with the help of a facilitator who enables us to meaningfully reflect on these experiences so new learning can occur. One would not think that experiential education could occur simply by reading a book! Amazingly, Deborah achieves this with ease. Through the storytelling of her personal narrative to introduce successful solutions to personal and professional conundrums, she allows us to experience what this learning was for her. She then invites us in each chapter to complete a personal “action planner,” a series of questions and exercises Deborah has laid out for us, allowing us to reflect on our own experiences and to help us truly understand the strategy that Deborah presented in our own way and relating to our own lives. Oy Vey is much more than a reference book of ideas and best practices. Rather, it enables us to take a personal journey towards personal and professional excellence by way of Deborah’s gifted facilitation.
3. Oy Vey is well-researched.
While Deborah’s personal narrative is certainly the backdrop of introducing and explaining each solution, each chapter is full of leadership theory, tested management principles, Jewish text and tradition, and rich analysis to support each insight, idea and principle with grounding and support. Deborah is not making any of this up. She is able to weave her bubbly (I say bubbly as a compliment) personality into sharing serious ideas that allows us to receive a full scope of the solution at hand; both a theoretical understanding and how to implement into daily practice, by way of either Deborah’s narrative or reflecting on our own experiences. I was impressed with how many meaningful and insightful quotes, ideas and principles she was able to present and to share them seamlessly into her story rather then artificially implanted just for the heck of it. Oy Vey is indeed extremely well researched and edited.
4. Oy Vey is…right.
By the time you are done with this book, you neck will be sore from all the times you’ve been nodding. Every single solution is dead on! Whether it is deciphering the real meaning between a “can’t” vs. a “won’t” or realizing the true meaning of “trust,” it is hard to argue with any of what Deborah is sharing and inviting us consider. Part of this is because, as previously stated, her work is extremely researched and her extensive experience as an expert life and career coach gives her immense credibility. It is also due to Deborah unique talent to help us reveal what may really behind our problems, struggles, and frustrations. Her talent is rare, and we should all be grateful that she is sharing her story, talents, and ideas with us in an accessible and truly helpful book.
Again, do yourself a favor, buy Oy Vey, it will motivate you, challenge you, and inspire you in ways that you couldn’t have imagined before you read it.