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Recognizing Richard Rabbit

(August 4, 2008)  Peter Weddle just sent me a copy of his new book, Recognizing Richard Rabbit. While I read the tale, Peter was kind enough to explain his motivation in writing this book. I look forward to the read - Peter is very passionate about this project.

Why I Wrote a Book With a Title as Silly as Recognizing Richard Rabbit?

I've authored or edited a lot of books during my career. Over two dozen, I think.

But the latest book I've written is different from everything else I've done in every way imaginable. Called Recognizing Richard Rabbit, it's a fable for adults, young and, like me, not so young.

So, what makes it different?

Well, first of course, there is the title. It is what it is because the book began as a children's fable. I have a niece with a pet rabbit, and whenever her family went on a trip, I somehow ended up as the designated rabbit sitter. While I was initially a bit put off to have such an office mate, I admit that my opinion changed over time. This critter and I struck up a friendship of sorts. In fact, I became so friendly with this chubby, black rabbit that I decided to memorialize him and amuse his mistress with a fable whose hero was a rabbit. That little story was a big success, and it's a good thing I wrote it when I did. Not too long after I pulled my mini-opus out of the word processor, the rabbit escaped from his cage at home and hasn't been heard from since.

So much for furry friendships. But that children's tale got me interested in the power of stories whose protagonists are animals. Another fable, Who Moved My Cheese?, was enjoying huge success as a fable for adults, so I thought I would take a similar tact. I would rewrite my original story as a fable for adults, but target it to a large yet very specific segment of the workforce. It would be aimed at college students trying to figure out their major and mid career professionals trying to find more meaningful work, at Baby Boomers seeking second careers that reignite their passion in the workplace and at Gen Ys who think there should be more to what they're getting from their job. I would write a story that would speak to anyone and everyone who is determined to find the magic in their careers and especially to the recruiters who recruit them.

My fable, however, has a special twist. It's written for the ambidextrous thinker. You see, most of us favor one side of our brain or the other. Some are more comfortable on the right side of their brain and acquire knowledge most comfortably when it relies on their inherent creativity. Others are most at home on the left side of their brain and prefer to learn by logic and reasoning. Now, there's nothing wrong with either predisposition, except that they leave us forever tapping only half of our inherent capacity to learn.

Recognizing Richard Rabbit, in contrast, gently encourages you to use all of your brain.

"The fable unfolds on the right hand page of the book, where you can use the creativity of your right hemisphere to explore the message of the book.

"A parallel self interview appears on each left hand page and taps into the reasoning and logical thinking capability of your left hemisphere.

Together, they provide a unique and intensely personal pathway to what this little book is all about?

What does that have to do with the world of work or with recruiting? Simply this: despite our infatuation with technology and its role in our profession, in the end, successful recruiting comes down to one person connecting with another person in an honest, candid, meaningful way. And it's impossible to do that-you can't engage with others-if you aren't being true to yourself.

And there's the rub. Most of us have invested more time in watching reality television shows than we have in quietly, earnestly probing the reality of our own persona. Whether we're a Millennial or a Boomer, whether we have fifteen years of recruiting experience or fifteen minutes, most of us have yet to meet "the You of our dreams." In fact, many of us don't even know how to accomplish such a discovery. And that's the carrot of my book. That's the gift of Richard Rabbit. I hope you get it, and I hope you enjoy it.

Peter Weddle
Stamford, CT

Colleen Gildea
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