Really quite unique and funny

You’ve Got Front Row Seats at the 9 to 5 Circus


Author: JD Guse


Reviewed by Fran Lewis


Animals have their own personalities, some are territorial and others you would not want to meet walking down the street or anywhere else. They are all different, some big, small and others just plain scary. So, why do we go to the zoo to see them? Why do kids jump up and down with excitement when they go to the circus? Animals are interesting and some just might remind you of someone you might know or wish you did not. Some are outgoing and others quite docile. So, how does all of this translate to us humans? You are about to find out. Did you have work for a boss that was downright mean? Did you every work for someone that no matter what you think or say would not listen? Did you ever hand in a proposal to a boss and wait forever for that person to sign off on your ideas? Author JD Guse gives the reader his own inside views, perspective with a touch of sarcasm and humor into the inside world of bosses as he shares his viewpoints, stories and creative way of comparing your everyday animals to guess what Us Humans in this hysterical book that you can read while in the John, on the train just to get you going in the morning or when you just need a good laugh.


All too often higher leadership appoints someone they think would make a create manager to lord over the staff, provide them with feedback and hopefully make their company run on the straight and narrow. We all have bosses. Some are great and others might remind you of the ones in this book. The author relates stories about fifty animals. I am going to focus on just some of them.


Monkey Manager: What can that mean? You have gone to your boss and presented a proposal that needs to meet a certain deadline. Now, you need this person to signoff on what you have written. The person or you creates the proposal, does not really fine tune it or edit it and presents it to your supervisor to look it over. You so coyly explain that it is just rough draft and would appreciate some feedback if this person would look it over. In essence you are getting that person to do your work. How clever you are! As the author states his boss would read the document, correct the errors and you have created what they call role reversal. The boss asks you again for the document and you remind that person you gave it to them to review. You are now holding the boss accountable for meeting that deadline. So, the author explains at the end of this chapter how his uncle taught someone who tried this a good lesson. Monkey Managers do not like the work coming back to them in its original format and not being reviewed. Read how it does this and the lesson his uncle taught someone on page four. Next, he moves to Seagull Management. But, before I continue let me add that in every chapter and with every story the author includes some background information about the animal, his lifestyle, habitat and physical description helping the reader really understand how someone fits the description of this particular animal. Now what is Seagull Management? When you have a new policy put in place and no leadership. The story he relates is about a school district that goes bankrupt. New leadership is put in place right before the year is about to begin. Rules are place, new management and practices implemented and what often happens is that all of these rules are followed, everyone starts to feel comfortable and the leadership leaves and another person comes in and nothing stays the same. These managers are referred to as leadership advisors and executive coaches who are paid good money to come into your corporate life, blank all over the place and then leave. The rest you need to read for yourself, how else are you going to learn.


Tiger Management is quite interesting. Just like committee work, focus groups or interest groups, a group is formed to look into a specific policy or procedure that needs to be changed in your company. Sounds good on paper or even out loud. But in essence these terms often identify some procedure that needs to be fixed but will it? The team is formed and they are totally pumped and often too impressed with themselves for being included on this team, so the work begins. The team has the verbal agreement of leadership after presenting their ideas but nothing tangible on paper. The changes they are making are totally futile and useless. How, like on many committees there is one person that actually takes it seriously and does the work. Some members of your team might think they are really great and as kids say “ All that.” Others might not do anything and leave it to one poor person who does the brunt of the work and never really gets the accolades he/or she deserves. These team members are often very competitive and should be highly focused and work driven but most are not. The end result is that poor person does it all, the rest watch and observe and then take the credit. You can figure out the rest.


The author relates fifty stories relating how fifty different animal personalities translate to that of humans. From the Flamingo, the Wolf, and even the Penguin her relates tons of humorous stories that everyone can relate to and much more. Just think about doing this, as I did while reading this book. List on one side of the page all of the fifty animals in order in one long line or row. Create several columns next to each one and decide characteristics relate to your boss, you if you are a manager and which remind you of someone a friend told you about. The next time you are in a group with some friends who have read this book you might want to bring out this list and have a real good laugh.


There are many unique styles of managements described. I imagine you can find yourself among them. Now, let’s continue with Wolf Pack Management which is really interesting.


Wolves are unique. Wolf packs have in case you did not know it both and alpha male and female that lead the way for the others in their pack. The male leads the hunt and the female handles the pups or kids. Females assign takes; they are very organized, very independent and can handle their own jobs. So, at work you get one guy that runs the group but does not make the grade. When a wolf does not meet the needs of the others and does not make the grade, he is reprimanded by the alpha male in a company or corporation this inept person is often placed in another group, retrained and like a kid who makes too many mistakes forgiven and then finally fired.


Hummingbird Managers really hit home. These people remind you of a wound up spring that gets nowhere and does nothing in any real time. They zip in and out of places like a burning inferno they make their mark but nothing is really done while there. They often forget what needs to be done and cannot remember where they have been. They run around all day, flit and get nothing done and then wind up staying the night to complete their work. They are territorial, have a definite touch of OCD and have to know what is going on everywhere but not completing anything. However, if you ever misplace anything this type of person will hunt it down for you. You do not want this person as a friend or manager.


There are fifty animals as I have said before and it would take too long and this review would go on forever if I tell you about all of them. You need to read each story, laugh, crack up and decide which ones you want to tell at a party and which ones just make you laugh.



The final two that I thought I would share with you and help entice you to read this book and possibly buy some copies for your friends and maybe for manager you work for that might have a good sense of humor, are Dog and Cat Management. Dogs are really cool. Dog Managers really do not focus on the job or the project at hand. They are too concerned with gossip and office news. People talk to their dogs and what is really scary, since I have witnessed it first hand, they actually expect an answer and some think they get one. Dog managers need to know everything that happens at work. They love gossip, rumors and often create some of their own. These people are a wealth of information and cannot stop short of becoming a rumormonger. So, how do you stop this person? Promote the person to another position where their wealth of sources of information will diminish. You know that gossip can be dangerous and often inaccurate and hurtful. Hearsay is just as dangerous and eventually this spreads like a wildfire and can cause catastrophic damage. Like a dog that is old and ill: You know what happens to them. You can figure out the rest.


Finally, Cats Managers do not really care about anything. They could care less. Like a social butterfly they flit around all day, get nothing done, and eventually find themselves backed up like a huge traffic jam going nowhere. They wind up working all night to get the job done. Sleep: not really in their job description.


Everyone experiences a boss that is downright mean so I will end this review with everyone’s nightmare boss. A moose is a huge animal and quite stubborn. You might say when this animal decides to stay in one place it does not move no matter what. No one wants to work with a stubborn moose. This person is downright awful and mean. The rest you can read for yourself.


The author definitely did research on each animal that he shares with the reader so that you get to understand the mindset of the animal from that animal’s viewpoint or at least the one the author relates about his animal to the reader. Read these stories and decide which ones relate to people you know. But, I know I said only two more but my favorite was Anaconda Management. I love this style and I everyone knows someone like this. The top person or leader feels happy and comfortable in his/her position. They are organized and how dare you move them somewhere else. If that happens they make sure they are sent back where they feel they belong. What happens to these people: You pray they retire real soon. They are dull, bland and have no real spark. Imagine a manager like this. This manager does not like change and will make your life miserable if you try to change the way he/she does things. This is one person’s deadly snakebite you need to watch out for. Added to the book is a glossary of terms to help you understand each type of management and their definition. So, sit back, get your ticket out and read this great book since you have a nonreturnable and nonrefundable seat to one of the funniest circuses in town.


Well-written, filled with true stories that will make you laugh from dogs, to cats, elephants, penguins, giraffes, buffaloes, and frogs there is an animal that is you or some else.


Fran Lewis: reviewer