Invisibles

Invisibles

The Power of Anonymous Work in An Age of Relentless Self-promotion

Book - 2014
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What do fact-checkers, anesthesiologists, U.N. interpreters, and structural engineers have in common?

When they do their jobs poorly, the consequences can be catastrophic for their organizations.

But when they do their jobs perfectly . . . they're invisible.

For most of us, the better we perform the more attention we receive. Yet for many 'Invisibles' - skilled professionals whose role is critical to whatever enterprise they're a part of - it's the opposite- the better they do their jobs the more they disappear. In fact, often it's only when something goes wrong that they are noticed at all.

Millions of these Invisibles are hidden in every industry. You may be one yourself. And despite our culture's increasing celebration of fame in our era of superstar CEOs and assorted varieties of 'genius' - they're fine with remaining anonymous.

David Zweig takes us into the behind-the-scenes worlds that Invisibles inhabit. He interviews top experts in unusual fields to reveal the quiet workers behind public successes. Combining in-depth profiles with insights from psychology, sociology, and business, Zweig uncovers how these hidden professionals reap deep fulfilment by relishing the challenges their work presents.

Zweig bypasses diplomats and joins and elite interpreter in a closed-door meeting at the U.N., where the media and public are never allowed. He ascends China's tallest skyscraper while it's still under construction, without the architect, guided instead by the project's lead structural engineer. He even brings us on stage during a Radiohead concert, escorted not by a member of the band, but by their chief guitar technician.

Along the way, Zweig reveals that Invisibles have a lot to teach the rest of society about satisfaction and achievement. What has been lost amid the noise of self-promotion today is that not everyone can, or should, or even wants to be in the spotlight. This inspiring and illuminating book shows that recognition isn't all it's cracked up to be, and invisibility can be viewed as a mark of honor and a source of a truly rich life.

'A fascinating tour of the hidden landscapes on which human society actually operates. This will change the way you see the world and, hopefully, your place within it.' Douglas Rushkoff bestselling author of Present Shock

' Invisibles is a one-book cultural revolution, fighting the current cultural tide toward narcissistic self-promotion with the truth that real satisfaction is often silent.' Jean Twenge bestselling co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic

' Invisibles explains why some of the world's most talented, accomplished people choose to fly under the radar . . . It's a clarion call for work as a craft- for generously sharing knowledge without hogging credit and prizing meaningful work above public recognition. An excellent book.' Adam Grant Wharton professor and bestselling author of Give and Take

'The genius at the top doesn't make their team look good. It's a great team that makes the guy at the top look like a genius . . . and Invisibles proves it.' Simon Sinek optimist and bestselling author of Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last

Publisher: New York : Portfolio/Penguin, c2014.
ISBN: 9781591846345
159184634X
Branch Call Number: 158.1 ZWE
Characteristics: 248 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.

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TheresaAJ
Mar 09, 2015

Zweig explores the characteristics of what he calls the "invisibles" -- the behind the scenes people who support the public leader. By exploring varied careers such as U.N. interpreter, guitar tech for Radiohead, piano "whisperer" for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and others, Zweig isolates some personality characteristics. These include a passion for the work itself as well as an "always learning" mentality. A interesting exploration of what's really involved in getting work done in an individualistic culture.

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