Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets
“Good Self, Bad Self provides a wealth of insight and productive suggestions for conducting a successful personal and professional life.”
Judy Smith began her career as a lawyer at the Office of the Independent Counsel working on the Iran-Contra prosecution of Oliver North. Later she became a prosecutor and Special Assistant at the U.S. Attorney’s office in D.C. prosecuting such high profile cases as Washington D.C.’s infamous crack-smoking mayor Marion Barry.
Currently running Smith & Co., Ms. Smith manages scandals and crises ranging from pandemics to misbehaving people and just about everything in between. These include clients such as the infamous blue-dress–wearing, scarlet-lettered Monica Lewinsky, and the tragic murder of political intern Chandra Levy.
Ms. Smith’s work has become so renowned that TV superstar Shonda Rhimes (creator of “Grey’s Anatomy”) built a television series based on her work.
With obvious credentials and experience to pen such a book, Judy Smith has entered the world of self-help, providing easy-to-follow advice and guidance in layperson’s terms.
In her book, Ms. Smith has identified seven primary traits serving as catalysts for potential problems: ego, denial, fear, ambition, accommodation, patience, and indulgence. Then she counters with a positive way to spin these qualities to work for, rather than against you.
Breaking down the seven traits by chapter, Ms. Smith does a great job keeping the information interesting and engaging by using high profile, familiar examples to illustrate the problem and demonstrate the solution.
Using a mnemonic device (P.O.W.E.R.: Pinpoint, Own it, Work it through, Explore it, Rein it in), Ms. Smith lays out a plan to help keep the seven potential problems above in balance in an effort to prevent a crisis before it happens. She also discusses the warning signs that your life may be spinning out of control. More importantly, she indicates what to do (and not to do) in the event you find yourself in the middle of a bad situation.
There may be slight concern that what comes as second nature to the author may not translate. Those who have issues with one or more of the seven traits—especially denial and ego—may not be able to see their self-destructive habit, therefore making it impossible to rectify without outside intervention and direction.
Nonetheless, each chapter reflects the author’s meticulous, thorough effort to delve into each topic by including numerous scenarios and real-life circumstances and suggesting several solid resolution strategies.
Further useful information can be found in the appendix in which she outlines the elements of crafting an apology and a checklist for navigating a crisis.
Good Self, Bad Self provides a wealth of insight and productive suggestions for conducting a successful personal and professional life. To err is human, and Judy Smith is aware of that and does not moralize. Good Self, Bad Self offers the author’s specialized knowledge for identifying potentially destructive behaviors, providing practical tools to improve upon them—indeed, to improve upon our own humanity.