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Congratulations Lisa! Winner of No More Mr. Nice Guy by James E. Alston

constest winner lisa fikes

How did she win? She was one of the first ten people to comment on “5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… James E. Alston”. (Click the picture above.) Lisa’s name was randomly drawn for the book giveaway hosted by JoeyPinkney.com’s Joey Pinkney and JayAlstonBooks.com’s James E. Alston.

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5 Minutes, 5 Questions With… James E. Alston, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy

JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
James E. Alston, author of No More Mr. Nice Guy

james alston no more mr nice guy book review on joeypinkneydotcom

(Three of the first ten people to comment will win a copy of James E. Alston’s No More Mr. Nice Guy.)

Congratulations to Joyce, Lisa Fikes and Asia for winning the free copies of No More Mr. Nice Guys.

This professional chronology deals with the psychosocial dynamics in a workplace environment and how those dynamics impact minorities, women and the general public. Through his interactions with subordinates, fellow managers and executives throughout this text, the author teaches invaluable lessons on how to handle undue pressure and inappropriate expectations with tenacity. This book also shows how everyone—no matter their color or creed—has a breaking point.

Pushing all the right buttons, this true story is filled with empathy and powerful directives on how to choose battles in order to win the war. Fearless and without irony, this sociological analysis of an African American who climbs the corporate ladder and hits the glass ceiling. This is a painful reminder of how little has changed in the past century. No More Mr. Nice Guy serves as a history lesson, filled with the backlash of sexism and corporate color games. Ultimately, a lesson on grace and survival, minorities and non-minorities are given a rare in-depth look into just how unfair the corporate workplace can be.

Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write No More Mr. Nice Guy?

James Alston: It is a book that inspires us to think, see and work differently every day. I expanded my story into a book because of its social relevance. Federal job discrimination complaints filed by workers against private employers shot up 9 percent last year, the biggest annual increase since the early 1990s.

During 2007, 72,442 private sector discrimination complaints were resolved. Plus, the commission recovered approximately $345 million in compensation for those who had filed discrimination charges. This number does not include worker complaints settled before a complaint is filed or other types of quiet back room settlements.

I was inspired to write No More Mr. Nice Guy from my many experiences in Corporate America. My idea was to compel corporate executives to examine their own corporate culture and employees to be empowered. The message is: “You have the Power, Discrimination is Expensive.”

JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to No More Mr. Nice Guy getting out to the public?

JA: I started with a detailed two year business plan. I use Guerilla Marketing strategies, i.e.; talking up my book to family and friends and networking. I also joined “The Black Caucus of the American Library Association,” the “Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility” and the NAACP.

I set up a web page before the book release, sent my manuscript to four people for their review and book blurbs and gave a copy of my newly released book to the people that I mentioned on my acknowledgement page along with a request for their support.

I sent out post cards and a professional press release to targeted markets. I met personally with the local librarians or their coordinators and set up reading and book signing engagements. I also personally visited local book stores, leaving books to display and my business card and participated in Street Fairs, Book Festivals, Independent Bookstore appearances, Book Club appearances and NAACP events.

I recently approached the Marketing Department at a local college and asked about hiring a student to assist with my book promotion. I was pleasantly surprised that the college embraced the idea and said a student could actually earn “credit hours” through an internship program if it was set up properly. Along with the college credits earned, real world experience is a resume builder for the student in this tough job market, and I hope that we both can benefit from the project. I am in the process of interviewing suitable candidates.

JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish No More Mr. Nice Guy?

JA: It took me approximately four years to write and release No More Mr. Nice Guy. My writing process is somewhat unconventional. There are days that I will write for several hours almost non-stop. The next day I might not write at all but instead read a book that I enjoy.

I consider myself a slow writer. After I write fifty pages, I go back and read what I have written when it is cold and I haven’t looked at it for awhile. I do not write by a set of strict rules. I do not write with the pressure of a dead line. Once I have completed my manuscript, I will ask a friend (or two) who is pretty tough on me to read and tell me what they think.

I do work with an outline to develop the characters. Using fully developed character helps to move my story in a more seamless fashion. I find that if I put undeveloped characters on paper and they come together with the other characters and situations, they might not interact well. That leaves the reader to feel frustrated.

Undeveloped characters also slow down the rhythm of the story. If I try to work with undeveloped characters, I usually develop writers block. When a character is doing something unlikely and unreal from their personality, this could leave a reader saying, “There is no way that could ever happen,” versus the reader saying, “No he didn’t …”

JP: How did you feel writing No More Mr. Nice Guy knowing that your colleagues would know exactly who you were talking about?

JA: I thought long and hard about writing No More Mr. Nice Guy. I had to work through my personal feeling of how people would or might feel about the book. I learned from other authors that when it comes to a book, everyone wants to be viewed in a good light. It is unrealistic that everyone is going to always do the right thing for themselves and others. I felt a moral responsibility to dedicate my story to employees and their families who were unable to get some fairness in the workplace.

After the book was released some of my colleagues were upset and angered, to put it mildly. Most of my colleagues were delighted that some light was shed on the subject of injustice in the company. No More Mr. Nice Guy places a face on a number of people that I witnessed who never had a chance to defend themselves. Corporate America has many cemeteries with graves of employees who should not have been fired by the hands of unjust actions.

JP: What’s next for James Alston?

JA: I am working on a second book about customer service, attentively titled A Lost Art: Why Are We So Thankful When We Find It.In this book, I disclose a unique perspective on how service affects everyday lifestyles. Service, or lack of great customer service, definitely has an impact on us mentally, physically and on our everyday decision making.


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Book Review: No More Mr. Nice Guy by James Alston

No More Mr. Nice Guy
by James E. Alston
(Book Surge)
4 out of 5 Stars

james alston no more mr nice guy on amazondotcom

In No More Mr. Nice Guy, James Alston holds absolutely nothing back in this chilling tale of self-sacrifice to a company whose executives either participated in or enabled racial misconduct and sexual harassment towards its employees and customers. A true company man, Alston always looked out for the the company’s well-being, even if it meant holding the company legally accountable for 27 years of abuse by the company’s “good old boys” network.

When are “a son of a sharecropper”, you are a sharecropper. That is a family-level event. From that early childhood experience, Alston’s desire to rise above adversity by proving his ability to perform regardless of his color was instilled in him by his elders. Alston says, “I was never a stranger to hard work, and I worked hard to achieve results.” Alston carried that mindset with him through various low-paying odd jobs and brought that to Handly’s Food Corporation. (This is a fictitious name used to satisfy the terms of his lawsuit.)

No More Mr. Nice Guy gives the reader a historical account of James Alston’s experience with Handly’s Food Corporation. After making his way into Handly’s upper management, Alston never ceased to work hard and surpass the company’s performance goals. In addition to the praise and recognition, Alston also got his fair share of discrimination. From being the brunt of racial jokes to suffering the mental anguish that comes with given tasks with unrealistic expectations, No More Mr. Nice Guy unveils the male dominated racism present in multi-million dollar corporations scattered across the U.S.

This is the story of metal-on-metal struggle. Handly’s Food Corporation’s “good old boy” network systematically profited from Alston undying work ethic while constantly putting him in precarious situations in terms of job performance and job security. Alston consistently met each attempt at his derailment with the company’s core values: meeting the problem head on, make moves with the company’s profit in mind and retain the best human assets. While most of his superiors placed him in certain conditions with the intention of causing his failure, Alston shook his feelings of inadequacy by bringing his company profits and his customers and employees the best possible experience.

Not only does Alston fight the racism he faces, he also brings discrimination and sexual harassment issues experienced by employees and customers to the highest ranking executives in Handly’s Food Corporation. Each time, Alston’s requests for investigations were pushed to the side while misconduct was given little attention. This company culture not only affected his mental and physical well-being, Alston’s financial prowess was also hindered. His buying powers was artificially limited by phony performance reviews, low raises and the shifting of his most profitable stores and store managers to peers who were simply unscrupulous moves used to hold him back. He was making $15,000 to $20,000 less per year than his peers.

Alston’s situation is akin to a marriage gone bad. Alston was fully committed to Handly’s Food Corporation. He faced the challenges of this relationship with dignity and hard work only to find out the executives only wanted what they could get from him with no intentions being respectable. Eventually, Alston begins to itemize his contributions to the company. He looks at his contributions in respect to what Handly’s Food Corporation offered him during the course of a stellar 27 year career of profits and customer satisfaction.

Alston begin to realize the utter disregard that the executives of Handly’s Food Corporation had for him. This brings forth the decades of anger, mental anguish, depression, embarrassment and other negative feelings and emotions. Instead of apologizing and making the situation right, Handly’s Food Corporation offers to sweep it under the rug and give him a little money for his troubles. The legal manuverings of Handly’s Food Corporation and James Alston’s pit bull determination clash for a final time. But are there any true victors?
Drawbacks: Although I understand that the book cover reflects that Alston was not looked at as a real person and therefore a commodity, the book cover’s illustration should have been better drawn/sketched. There were run-on sentences and misuse of punctuation marks that should have been picked up by the editor. There were a paragraph where 3 or 4 sentences didn’t begin with a capital letter.

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