Dr. Shawn Greener bills himself, I assume he does so himself in the back of the book as a "nationally known motivational and inspirational public speaker and author." Not only did I not think this book of his was all that good, but I never have heard of him.
|Excellence Killed the Church did not seem to me to either contain excellence or in any way live up to its title. Milt Gross photo.|
Nor was I motivated or inspired by Excellence Killed the Church.
Maybe I'm just not tuned in to "nationally known" guys and gas enough.
A big problem I found with Excellence Killed the Church, How Mediocrity is Destroying America, is that the book seems to contain one of those lists of ideas to improve your business. I found the word "church" kind of tossed in here and there, so we the readers would understand it's about the church.
I think some of his statements, such as "Communication regarding the company's goals and how the company is performing must be frequent and timely," is okay, truthful, but not particularly original. He deals a fair amount with topics such as, "The Challenge of Mediocrity," "Back to the factory," "Back to the church," "Quality is as quality does," and "Back to the Church Staff," which are fine. (Except I'm not sure why "Church" and "Staff" are capitalized in the last example...not from any rule of grammar or even following the authors own pattern in such matters.) Mistakes or unexplained changes in style, such as I just mentioned, are what makes Greener to my teacher or writer's mind unprofessional or at least unedited.*
Also I found a few errors, which may be important if you're following Greener's reasoning seriously. He writes, "Essentially, this is the "land of opportunity", formed by our founding fathers and deeply-rooted Biblical principles." First problem: did anyone edit this? After "opportunity," the comma should be placed before the quotation mark. These are just the rules of grammar as taught to me by my fourth-grade teacher. When a book contains this kind of obvious error, I don't get too serious over what the book states.
Second problem: the last part of the sentence isn't clear. Was it our founding father's "deeply-rooted Biblical principles" or the U.S. Constitution's? Being curious, almost as much as Curious George, I read through the Constitution and found only one mention of anything religious, Article III of the Bill of Rights. I'm not sure that Article III is dealing with a "deeply-rooted Biblical principle." I'm fairly sure it's not. Basically it states that the government must stay out of religious questions.
I didn't find anything in the text to be related to "Excellence Killed the Church," or "How Mediocrity is Destroying America." Of course, Dolores says that sometimes I read too fast or that my eyes are lamely tripping along over a page. I may have missed the relationships to which I just referred.
The book is a reasonably good repetition of some principles of success and avoidance of failure whether in business or the church. Credit is due there.
To be brutally negative -- aren't we all at times -- I would not recommend Dr. Greener or this book he wrote.
The author reserved the book's copyright in 2012, and it was published by a self-publishing company, AuthorHouse, 1603 Liberty Drive, Bloomington IN 47403 -- www.authorhouse.com.
* A representative for a different self-publishing company told me that they have paid editors. If I recall the website, writer's have to pay extra for that editing. A rule of thumb for any writer is to alway...always have someone other than yourself edit what you write.
- On his website Dr. Shawn Greener is offering everyone an excerpt from his book so that they can judge its merits for themselves.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Milton M. Gross Copyright 2013
Editor's Note: This particular book was read and reviewed after receiving a free copy of the book from a publicist.
On commas: According to some internet souces, American and English grammar rules in relation to commas and quotation marks are different. The same source stated that Canadians (being at a total loss as to what to do) follow whichever rule suits them. The commentator stressed that whichever system one follows, they must be consistent.
As an Australian I personally follow the "she'll be right mate" rule.