Foreword Reviews

Walking in the Gray

How to Succeed When the Rules Are Not Black and White

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Walking in the Gray is a sensible guide to navigating the gray areas in business and in life.

Rickey L. Jasper’s career guide Walking in the Gray is about navigating spaces where binary rules either don’t exist or don’t apply.

Declaring that most of life is lived “in the gray,” the book uses straightforward language to identify the tools, steps, and actions that will make the gray zone an ally rather than a hindrance to success. Its perspective is Christian; it features many quotes from the Bible, as well as historical and literary luminaries, and includes potent personal examples of achieving success as “a black man in a white man’s world.” Insightful and compelling, the text affirms that awareness of unwritten rules will make success not only possible, but likely.

Conversational and filled with hard-won wisdom, the book’s tone is firm but encouraging, setting parameters for navigating areas characterized by uncertainty, limited knowledge, and the need to expect the unexpected. It specifies what must be done and gives clear, logical guidance on how to do it. From ways to discover an organization’s culture and unwritten rules; to getting to know who’s who, what they do, and where the real power lies; to tips on how to stand out and get noticed without being obnoxious, the book shares little-known insider secrets that can lead to a promotion.

The book’s emphasis on the importance of a good, solid network is notable. Walking in the Gray discusses lesser-known benefits of networking, including how it provides unwritten information on the corporate culture, how others are successfully navigating an organization’s gray areas, and what is being said about one’s performance and standing in the hierarchy. Emphasizing the importance of other people in an individual’s rise to professional success, the book suggests ways of interacting with and supporting others that make colleagues much more likely to provide help when needed.

The text is detailed and supports its arguments with multiple examples, reinforcing its lessons and broadening its appeal. However, the many examples also lead to a lengthy narrative that becomes repetitive. The occasional use of bullet points and indentations adds variety to the text, and the table of contents is user-friendly. Helpfully, the text defines unfamiliar terms at their point of use and employs footnotes with references.

Walking in the Gray is a sensible guide to navigating the gray areas in business and in life.

Reviewed by Kristine Morris

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the author will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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