Filling the Glass: The Skeptic’s Guide to Positive Thinking in Business by Barry Maher (Dearborn Trade Publishing, $19.95)

Rating: $$$$$

Barry Maher’s new book, Filling the Glass: The Skeptic’s Guide to Positive Thinking is a business self-help book with an edge: Chicken Soup for the Skeptical Soul. It’s a book for the rest of us—for those who understand the benefits of a positive attitude but deep down inside don’t really believe that chanting affirmations will make our dreams come true. It’s a book for those who suspect that when the boss enthuses, “Jack has a positive attitude,” he really means, “Jack kisses all the right posteriors and doesn't gripe about my stupidity.”

Though author Barry Maher is himself a popular keynote speaker and business consultant, he maintains a healthy skepticism towards self-help books and business gurus. And when he holds them up to question, he holds himself up as well. Readers who loved Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun, Maher writes, will find that Maher is “every bit as much an expert on seat-of-the-pants psychology as Attila was on rape, pillage and--I guess--twentieth century management technique.”

To Maher (, whether you call the glass half empty or half full, it’s still only four ounces of water. The problem isn’t whether it’s half full or half empty, the problem is figuring out how to fill it up. Reality counts. To grow or change or improve a business, to motivate people for the long haul, you have to begin by dealing with that reality—rather than what you, the company, the CEO or the stockholders might wish were true. All the innovative--and even counter-intuitive--strategies, tactics and tips that Maher offers for improving businesses, business lives, and careers spring from that deceptively simple premise.

Filling the Glass: The Skeptic’s Guide to Positive Thinking in Business is a strong $$$$$: our highest recommendation.

# # #

Books for Business Ratings

$$$$$ A Must-Read, Invaluable

$$$$ Well Worth the Investment

$$$ Some Worthwhile Content

$$ Invest Your Money Elsewhere

$ Demand a Refund

Author's Bio: 

Books for Business reviewer Philip Abelard can be reached at