Workforce Magazine Article 1/28/2015

Author: Garry Kranz

What Color Is Dick Bolles' Parachute?  Golden.


This was an Interview published by Workforce Magazine in January of this year. I am pictured, above, at home, in the midst of a terrarium that my wife Marci has created in our home.  Gregory Cowley took the photo on December 19, 2014.

I would make but three corrections to the article:  first of all, the question (and title) "what color is your parachute?" doesn't have an answer (neither gold, yellow, green nor anything).  It was a flippant response to some job-hunter saying "I'm sick of this job; I think I'm gonna have to bail out." Secondly,  it was not Crown but Ten Speed Press, who first approached me in 1972 about the publication commercially of my ('til then) self-published book. Crown Publishing only came into the picture four decades later when it bought Ten Speed.  Finally, the article says when I was an Episcopal minister in my earlier life,  I was famous for delivering my sermons verbatim.  The last word, there, is rather vague.  The correct word(s) would be "from memory."  (As mentioned in my bio,  I worked on writing out every single word of the sermon from 4 p.m. Saturdays to 5 a.m. Sundays, then went over to the church—sleepless— and practiced the sermon until I knew it from memory, for preaching at the 11 a.m. Service that morning.  The written sermon was then published later that week, in response to a demand for it.)

Now, here's an excerpt from that Workforce article: 

"Despite emerging in the post-Watergate twilight of the anti-Vietnam War era, career experts say “Parachute” remains as relevant as when it first appeared. “Maybe even more so, considering the structural changes in how work is organized today and the fact many people have a portfolio of multiple careers,” said Rich Feller, a professor of counseling and career development to master’s and Ph.D. graduate students at Colorado State University. Feller, a past president of the National Career Development Association, added the book has “nudged the field to stay current every year, not only on how to do a job search but also the notion that career development is a lifelong experience. Dick has provided the framework for us to help people transfer their skills to new possibilities.”

“Parachute” has won accolades for its impact on the world of work. The Library of Congress’s Center for the Book names it one of 25 books that have shaped readers’ lives, a list that includes such literary classics as Mark Twain’s “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Leo Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” and “The Diary of Anne Frank.” The U.S. Labor Department includes “Parachute” among books that shaped work in America since 1758, a collection that includes Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” Adam Smith’s “Wealth of Nations” and John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men.” Time magazine ranks “Parachute” 22nd on its list of the top 100 most influential nonfiction books.

The full article can be found here.   

Incidentally, it is one of two articles about Parachute that has been published by Workforce.  The other one, in 1998, was for HR people. It can be found here.