Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Book That's Shaking Corporate America

Corporate America doesn't like being exposed for what they are---a humorless, bureaucratic, backstabbing, micro-managing mess. Not only that, they're doing a lousy job of producing goods and services that are really "good enough" to make them a decent profit.

So they lose money. When they lose money, they blame the economy, as they lay off thousands of loyal "ex"-employees. And so it goes.

Employee morale? Forget about it. They hate their jobs.

Productivity? Well, with everyone running around hating their jobs, let's just say, productivity is "diminished".

What happened?

After (26) years of hands on research, as an active member of Corporate America (a top executive with Enterprise Rent-a-Car), I saw what can happen to an otherwise fine company when they get too big for their own good.

They lose its sense of humor. They discourage its employees from having any fun at all. Instead, they instill a culture of fear throughout its organizations, which leads to the aforementioned micro-managing and backstabbing. In other words, Corporate America has become a bastion of pompous stupidity, where any dissenting points of view are usually met with a swift boot out the door. Who's going to have the courage to disagree with the CEO?

In this environment, is it any wonder so many businesses have failed? Nobody wants to tell the head-honchos of Corporate America their strategies are flawed; their greed and hubris is misguided. So the culture of fear becomes an abysmal pit of failure.

What a mess.

Don't worry. I know how to fix it. In my book, Life Under the Corporate Microscope, I narrate a story which will entertain and enlighten you. It's a quick read which you won't want to put down. It's guaranteed to provide you with more LOLs than any other business book. But that's not saying much, eh?

No, it's guaranteed to make you LOL about as much as any book on the market. Well, I can't really guarantee that, but I do feel good about that statement. I'm 99.44% sure you'll love it. How's that?

If you don't like your job---whether or not you happen to work for Enterprise---you'll get a kick out of my irreverent perspective. If you do like your job; congratulations. You're either the boss or you don't work for a big corporation. You'll still love my book.

To order directly through Amazon:

To check out my Author's Webpage:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Recommended Reading

For anyone who has ever gone through the process of writing a book, most will agree, writing it was the easy part. Editing it is usually a grind, taking up to three times longer than the fun part---writing it.

Even after you finally get the thing in print, you then realize the real job has arrived---Marketing it. As a first time (self-published) author, I never realized I'd have to spend time actually trying to sell my book. I thought it would mysteriously sell itself. Lol.

For anyone who has ever written a book and had it available for sale on Amazon, they probably realize to pay very little attention to that crazy Amazon ranking system. It's all based on projections and extrapolations that really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things; especially in the early stages of the post-publication process. I recall a week or two after my press release came out about my book, it appeared I was destined to make the New York Times Best-Seller list. It peaked out at something like 8750, which had it in the top 100 in my category (Business General).

Then reality hit. After the initial wave of buyers, things started slowing down a bit. Then things started slowing down more than a bit. And so on and so forth. I was concerned, to say the least.

Then I stumbled across a book written by the President of Outskirts Press, our hero, Brent Sampson---"How to Sell Your Book on Amazon". Brent revealed some pretty good marketing secrets, one of which has become a full-time endeavor for me---doing reviews on Amazon. The logic behind this strategy is simple: The more reviews I do, the more exposure I get for (a) being an authority on my niche and (b) having my book attached to my Amazon reviewer name.  People read my stellar reviews then check out my book.

Finally, I can see the strategy's paying off a bit. I just polished off my 300th review and now my book's starting to sell at a torrid pace again. Lol.

Luckily, the books I chose to review were, for the most part, very good efforts; some were great. As a service to you, the blog reader, I thought I'd pass along my most recent favorites (posted on Twitter). The subject matter ranges from business tips to self-help advice, with a little thought provoking material thrown in for good measure.

Here are a dozen books I really enjoyed, and I bet you will, too:

The Power of Full Engagement (Jim Loehr)

The Power of Less (Leo Babauta)

On Writing Well (William Zinsser)

Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently (Gregory Berns

Primal Management (Paul Herr)

Economics in One Lesson (Henry Hazlitt)

Self-Promotion for Introverts (Nancy Ankowitz)

Have a Little Faith (Mitch Albom)

Endless Referrals & The Go-Giver (Bob Burg)

That Which is Seen & That Which is Not Seen & The Law (Frederic Bastiat)

Of course, I'd be remiss if I didn't plug my masterpiece. I hate being remiss.

Life Under the Corporate Microscope (Larry Underwood)

There you have it. After you read these books, why don't you head over to Amazon and write your very own reviews? It's almost as much fun as reading the books; I guarantee it.

The author can be probed further by going here:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Corporate America's Love Affair With Washington, DC

It doesn't matter if a liberal Democrat or a conservative Republican is in the White House; nor does it matter which party is controlling Congress.

What matters for the vast majority of fat cat CEOs in Corporate America is being able to manipulate those politicians running this country; to follow their specific agendas, which may or may not be so good for "we, the people", or the overall economy.

Although most big corporations prefer to have a Republican administration running the country (only because manipulating them is easier), they'll act like good Democrats if necessary; they're very good chameleons.

What makes them good chameleons is money.

Money is used to control legislation, and it's all very legal. The conveniently legal way to pay off politicians is through lobbyists, who are paid by the CEOs to pay off the politicians.

Say hello to Corporate America and Washington DC's little friend: The Political Action Committee, aka "PAC" (man).

Personally, I think the politicians should receive no extra compensation for doing their jobs. Instead, they're taking money from the fat cats in exchange for favorable legislation to keep the fat cats fat.

This is nothing new. It's been going on for ages. It'll keep going on for ages. Money has power and Washington DC's power brokers call the shots---to a certain extent. There's a beautiful balance of corruption there, however. The power brokers need the fat cats' money, so the nefarious relationship will always endure. And "we the people" are screwed.

Sure, "we" can vote the corrupt politicians out of office, but there's a two to four year lag time of corruption taking place. Besides, since the corruption---the payola---is across the board, there's really no difference between the power brokers. They're really all the same; and they can never, ever be trusted. Never, ever.

As millions of Americans are increasingly frustrated with the current adminstration's handling of every issue imaginable; remember this---Corporate America (along with the liberal media) is engaged in a (slobbering?) love affair with Barrack Hussein Obama---The Master of Economic Trauma.

How else do you explain all the bailouts? In a true free-market economy, bailouts would be a preposterous notion. However, this isn't a true free-market economy.

The Federal Government is controlling the economy, and doing a lousy job of it. We're becoming a socialistic bailout nation, with little regard for the financial implications. Why? Politicians don't care about the long-term effects of their poor economic policy. They care about one thing, and one thing only: MONEY.

And Corporate America will keep doling it out, to keep this vicious cycle of corruption going.

Ironically, MONEY does make the world go 'round. The people who have it, often don't deserve it. Welcome to Obama Nation.

Larry Underwood is the Author of  Life Under the Corporate Microscope---A Maverick's Irreverent Perspective http://www/

Friday, October 16, 2009

Wading Through the Jungle of Amazon

I wrote a book, Life Under the Corporate Microscope, chronicling my 26 year career with the car rental giant, Enterprise.  It's been selling at a pretty good pace on Amazon, although not what I envisioned when I first published it early this year.

I figured every living ex-employee and every living current employee (redundant, eh?) would want a copy (or 2...or 3) to call their very own.  Then reality set it.  Sure, it's getting read by a lot of people, but it's been surprisingly "shared" by a fairly large circle of cronies.  Book sharing?  I suppose in this economy, saving a few bucks is important...

Just when I was on the verge of abandoning my marketing efforts, I've noticed a sharp spike in sales.  I suppose "word of mouth" is helping out, or maybe it's all those reviews I've done on Amazon over the past several months.  I read a lot; and I review a lot. 

According to the head of Outskirts Press, my self-publisher (the cost effective way to go)---a guy by the name of Brent Sampson---it you really want your book to be a best-seller on Amazon, you'd better get busy doing those reviews...lots of 'em.  Currently, I'm closing in on the 300 review plateau...

When people log on to Amazon to check out the latest bestseller, they'll more than likely see a review from me, Uncle Larry.  If they like what I've written in the review section, they might be even tempted to actually buy one of my masterpieces.  It really is good; I just polished off another reading session last night, and I think I'm appreciating its brilliance more with time (why, I don't know).

Of course, another marketing ploy is becoming a credible authority in the world of the internet.  I've been hooked on Twitter for six months now and I've got a base of  "followers" over 4000 now.  By engaging in real time conversation with these folks, I'm building credibility...and some of those fellow Twitter-ers...have been checking out this book.  Very clever, indeed...

Now, I've got to accomplish two missions if I'm going to keep the sales momentum going...

NUMBER 1:  I need the public to head over to Amazon buy my book; and very importantly post a 5 star review for my wonderful book. For your safety and convenience, here's the direct link to get you over there:

NUMBER 2:  I need the public to head over to Amazon and read my stellar reviews as well.  At the conclusion of my enlightening and engaging review, when asked if my review was YES!  I guarantee that review was helpful; take my word for it---more help from me to you.

Thanks for visiting.  I'll return again when I have something relevent to post...

Now go buy a (another) copy of my book...Everybody needs at least 5 or 6...They make great stocking stuffers and whatnot...

Still not convinced?  Go to my Author's Web-Page