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Book Review: "Advice is for Winners"

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This is a brilliantly written and well researched book addressing a topic which has long been neglected but is desperately needed especially by teens, but which has applications for business executives.

Filled with concrete examples, you can think of this as "The Art of War looks at the art and science of seeking and taking advice."

"Advice is for Winners: How to Get Advice for Better Decisions in Life and Work" begins by illustrating how failing to ask advice led one scholarship student to pick the totally wrong University.

The book was written by Raul Valdes-Perez, a computer scientist from Carnegie Mellon University who, among other things, co-founded Vivisimo, an enterprize search engine which ran the entire online presence of the federal government (.gov). (Vivisimo was recently purchased by IBM.)

A spin-off of Vivisimo using the new search tools they developed is clusty.com, a fine search engine which presented a new paradigm in searches, organizing results by categories.

Now operated by a new owner, clusty.com is still the premier way to search for a job and is one of the few search engines or Web sites of any description which stores absolutely no information about you or what you research (with the exception of those in countries which require minimal tracking.)

But back to the core of this review, a book, not of advice, but a book of advice about how, when, and from whom to get advice - a meta-advice book if you please.

This is a subject I don't believe I have ever seen addressed before in a book for the average reader.

The tone of the book is rather academic and I would dearly love to see it adopted as a text book for any college which educates teachers, social workers, or school counselors.

If you can get a teen to read it, they will benefit from it greatly, but I see it as a great teaching tool for parents to share with children as well as for business executives to use for themselves and as a professional development tool for use in company.

If you have one of those serious teens who at 15 or 16 knows that they want to become an engineer, doctor. scientists, or even a politician, then you need to get a copy of this book to them, they will benefit from it greatly.

Available on Amazon, the paperback version is $13 and there is a Kindle edition at $10.

"Advice" is a 182 page trade paperback packed with useful information.

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Author and co-founder of Vivisimo, Raul Valdes-Perez
Raul Valdes-Perez

Disclaimer: I know Raul. We discussed his book idea several times he was gracious enough credit me with contributing a small idea about the development of a critical reasoning portion of the brain in teens. But he did more than a year of research and, while he credits a lot of people with helping out, that is simply an indication that he takes his own advice - a rare enough thing these days of "experts" and yet another indication of the quality of information in this book.

How often do we see "experts" who ignore their own advice? Far too often!

But Raul went to many sources for advice while working on this book, an "expert" who takes his own advice is a gem.

This was Raul's project for years, one Dr. Valdez-Perez felt deeply about because he had seen so many people making serious mistakes simply because they did not know how to go about asking for advice or how to evaluate the advice they received.

Even more people don't even realize that they need to seek advice.

Book Website: heep://adviceisforwinners.com

John McCormick is a member of The National Press Club (Washington, DC), a reporter, /science/medical columnist and finance and social commentator, with 17,000+ bylined stories. Contact John through NewsBlaze. Read more stories by John McCormick.

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