Wingtips with Spurs, Lessons from the Ranch


pmwj19-feb2014-Martincevic-IMAGE BOOKBook Title:  Wingtips with Spurs, Lessons from the Ranch
Author:  Michael L. Gooch, SPHR
Publisher:  Multi-Media Publications
List Price:   US$24.95
Format:  softcover; 280 pages
Publication Date:   2008     ISBN: 9781897326886
Reviewer:      Luke Martincevic, PMP
Review Date:              November 2013

Introduction to the Book 

Michael Gooch is a Director of Human Resources, but also a rancher. This brings the timeless small town, rancher wisdom to the workplace in an easy read. Running a ranch as a business has may parallels to the corporate workplace, but emphasizes many undeniable truths I a down-to-home format, that simply makes sense. De-politicizing the corporate workplace with small business perspective is probably what the corporate environment needs. The book is fun to read, easy to apply, with memorable lessons in a package of great imagery.

Overview of Book’s Structure

Broken out into chapters alphabetically by name, the author makes no pretense by attempting to prioritize content. All chapters are relevant in the workplace, and he’s wisely left it to the reader to decide on their order of precedence. In this approach, it is probably more reference-able as the reader can dive directly into whichever topic is of particular interest at that time. However, the price paid for this, is that is lacks continuity as it doesn’t lead the reader from one topic to the next. Also, it lacks the interconnectivity of many of the topics. Nonetheless, an entertaining and enlightening read.

Highlights: What’s New in this Book

Based on home-town truths, the content is basically nothing new.  Or at least, should be nothing new to any reader. The perspective though is totally new and refreshing. Michael brings the topics to life with real examples with which it is easy to relate. Also, Michael uses simple phrases to highlight important points for the most part, as these are simple and easy to relate to, they are also easy to remember. This is important, as it changes the character of the book from being a dry basis of reference, to topics that the reader will easily remember and apply in his or her day-to-day business.

The author has, I believe intentionally, not focused on any particular discipline, profession, corporate structure or philosophy, except for home-grown common sense. By using examples and perspectives from a ranch or farm, he’s effectively divorced the content from most business readers, but kept is close enough to experiences to which we all might relate.

Highlights: What I liked!

The author’s frankness with real-life situations brings the book to life. His directness in his approach makes this no –nonsense and leaves the reader questioning why they’re not viewing their corporate lives with the same eyes as they would use in any business. Without specifically stating as much, the author intimates that we are all so caught up in our big-business perspectives, that we allow these perspectives to cloud our judgment, and obscure our goals. 


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Editor’s note:  This book review was the result of cooperation between the publisher, PM World and the Dallas Chapter of the Project Management Institute (PMI Dallas Chapter – www.pmidallas.org). Publishers provide the books to PM World; books are delivered to the PMI Dallas Chapter, where they are offered free to PMI members to review; book reviews are published in the PM World Journal and PM World Library.  PMI members can receive PDUs for PMP recertification by reviewing PM books.  PMI Dallas Chapter members are generally mid-career professionals, the audience for most project management books.  If you are an author or publisher of a project management-related book, and would like the book reviewed through this program, please contact [email protected].