Book Recommendation: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

Daniel Pink (A Whole New Mind) was recently recommended to me by a friend and former classmate. He feels Pink hits on an emerging trend towards different kinds of work and skills emerging. Then I put it together. Pink had also written The Adventures of Johnny Bunko, a manga style graphic novel on career management that I had seen reviewed in a few places. I decided to pick it up.


It’s great.


Pink lays out an entertaining, sometimes funny and most importantly brief overview of some core career management concepts.


Pink uses Diana, a magical career coach/sprite, to deliver the key themes in a step by step process. While torturing Johnny as he bumbles through trying to advance his career, six key themes are revealed as summary lessons learned from each “chapter” of the book.


1.      There is no plan

2.      Think strengths, not weaknesses

3.      It’s not about you

4.      Persistence trumps talent

5.      Make excellent mistakes

6.      Leave an imprint


For those who have read some of my posts or know me you can probably guess why I appreciate this piece. The positive, engaging, “find yourself” message that Pink delivers while also encouraging activity and progress lines up with my world view.


I have given a copy to all of my students and they all have said it was a fun and quick read. I recommend it to those who have grown up reading comics or who groan at the thought of reading hundreds of pages to understand a few key principles.


4 Responses to Book Recommendation: The Adventures of Johnny Bunko

  1. Read “A Whole New Mind” thought it offered some very good advice, especially regarding looking at design in a new light (everything is designed, start noticing it). Also read “Man’s Search For Meaning” as a derivative.

    Have a spare copy lying around, let me know.

  2. Dan Pink says:

    Glad you liked Johnny Bunko, Phil. Great to hear. I’m working on a new book now that’s right up your alley. Hope to be in touch about that soon.
    Dan Pink

  3. Dan – Thanks for the note. My students really get a kick out of it. It hits on many themes I try to convey, but you do it far more cleverly. Matt Hunt (of Best Buy) is a good friend and recommended your work. I’ve actually used A Whole New Mind as a reading list book with a Freshman survey class on management that I teach.

    Regards. phil

  4. Dan Pink says:

    Cool. Glad you liked AWNM, gladder still you assigned it to your class!

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