Who Moved My Cheese?
by Dr. Spencer Johnson, 1998
A short silly parable to teach you to change and adapt with new circumstances. Don’t be like Hem, the little person who can’t get over the fact that his prosperity seemed to dissipate overnight when his Cheese disappeared. Instead, adapt to good and bad circumstances to make yourself flexible and resilient. Find new Cheese.
When I joined Booz Allen Hamilton in 2011, I went to a multi-day orientation. On the first day, we were asked what adjective best described each of us as we started our new job. There were 8ish options, including proficient, responsive, and conscientious. I chose “adaptable”, because, frankly, I didn’t know what I was supposed to do in my job and I just had a lot of general intelligence-based skills. I was 24. The older new employees scoffed at my stupid answer. Being adaptable served me well, though, as I learned a ton of new skills, led projects in areas in which I was previously ignorant, and responded well to setbacks. Point is: this book wasn’t really written for me, I already knew its message. I don’t want to give it a bad review for that reason, but I didn’t get a whole lot out of it. I listened to it on CD on the same trip I listened to Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan.