The Art of Gathering PDF Summary

The Art of Gathering PDF Summary

How We Meet and Why It Matters

Yeah, even the subtitle can be construed as some dating-call, but it’s a far cry from the actual truth. It outlines the unquenchable thirst for social interaction and correspondence among people in general.

Truthfully, it’s entirely ignorant to neglect this inner pull for going along with the flow of nature.

In this book summary, you’ll get a closer look at the art of gathering, and why it’s so essential in today’s society.

Let’s begin!

Who Should Read “The Art of Gathering”? And Why?

Well, while reading this book we really didn’t know what to expect due to our limited knowledge in this particular realm. But, as we were progressing through the book, we realized the absolute necessity of creating gatherings especially if your success depends on connecting with people.

In that regard, it’s safe to say that “The Art of Gathering” is well-suited for any person who wants to meld with different people.

As such, we find it immensely educational in terms of helping you arrange these sessions.

About Priya Parker

Priya Parker

Priya Parker can be regarded as a strategic advisor, an author, and the founder of Thrive Labs. She exerts herself to help various clients, officials, corporate executives and others to organize transformative gatherings.

So far, she’s been a valuable contributor in all sorts of fields such as arts, technology, business, fashion, politics, to name a few.

“The Art of Gathering PDF Summary”

Many people wonder – what’s the fuss behind the gatherings, the birthdays, the proms? There are plenty of different reasons that Priya believes are noteworthy such as solving problems we can’t solve on our own, to crack a bottle of wine to celebrate something, but the most important one of all is because we need each other.

As people in general, we make the same mistakes again and again by integrating category with purpose. There’s some tendency to lean on others when it comes to these gatherings which are taken out of the context of a joint endeavor.

We are bombarded with false narratives which indicate that the category of the event will dictate the planning and purpose. Sometimes, it’s done by default, but most of the times the structure of the gathering compels us to attach some end goal.

Even if you have your own perspective, it’s hard to bring about change that doesn’t fit into the predetermined template.

However, keep in mind that by following templates and realities created by others you deprive yourself of mapping out actionable plans that could work to your benefit. In other words, if you guide yourself by these socially-imposed formats, you’ll never get to the bottom of any problem.

In all honesty, many gatherings lack that real pull because they seem vague and often times too basic.  

The question is – how to overcome this stalemate? How to transform the gathering into something that could flare up the atmosphere? First and foremost, one must identify a meaningful purpose, which is a pivotal moment in this venture.

From there on, you ought to work on narrowing the purpose and making it more specified. Such a move could prevent the fire from extinguishing and keep it blazing.

The author even mentions an online platform named Meetup for creating offline gatherings. From the outset, it became clear that by specifying what’s the group all about, you’re increasing the chances of success.

Nowadays, Meetup abounds with examples of helping like-minded individuals to organize meetings.

The next ingredient that predicts success would be uniqueness. You have to understand that only originality depicts a life-altering gathering.

Sometimes, we bear witness to people who fail to determine or identify the purpose of the gathering. If you are keen on helping out, there are some things you can do to make that happen. First and foremost, you should instruct your friends or clients to transit from the what to the why.

With that said, here are a few strategies that could facilitate this transition:

  • Zoom out – This step merely explains one’s reasons for organizing the whole event
  • Drill, baby, drill – Keep drilling until you discover a treasure trove of beliefs which impelled you to undertake this noble procedure

In this book, Priya Parker often challenges the leaders of these gatherings to look beyond their interests and find out what problems are they addressing.

In other words, make strides to understand whether those issues are discernible, and how would the community benefit from a potential resolution.

It’s not always easy to separate your purpose from the group, but it’s something you must execute. If the whole outcome is at stake, and still there’s no clear incentive as to why people have gathered, then it’s up to you to backpedal and find the missing link.

Never forget that you are spending people’s most precious resource – time.  

They would expect some value in return for giving you their trust! So, it’s best if you double check the magnetism of the message you intend to dispatch.

If somehow, you cannot single out a purpose of your gathering, then you should really consider setting up a get-together meeting in the first place. If that’s not a desirable solution, then give people their time back by planning your next gathering and making it more lucrative.

Priya says the following – PURPOSE IS YOUR BOUNCER

The angle of perception you deem legit for this kind of analysis doesn’t deviate from the fact that understanding the purpose of your gathering is crucial. If we embrace a different mentality that marginalizes the effects of selecting the right goal, then we ought to abandon gathering altogether.

To get the best out of anything, it’s crucial to spice it up. If you intend to lay the laws then, you have to deal with the ramifications of such endeavor.

It stands to reason why rules-based gatherings are formed along the lines of modern life perspectives. Monocultures can find its place in these closed circles, but it’s up to you how this categorization will take place. In that regard, one can note that pop-up rules are better suited to modern-day agenda.

The etiquette approach which is similar to the monocultural one is domineering to some extent. The somewhat arrogant outlook on the situation exhibits no tolerance with regards to how other cultures operate and run things.

It’s a set of rules that apply to a certain group which wishes to be perceived as refined.

So far, we covered why having a purpose is critical in arranging these sessions and talks. We also explained how different decisions affect different groups, and why exploring these patterns can be of use to you.

In this book, you’ll also stumble upon well-defined guides that point out how to choose a venue and guests for your gathering. It’s not tolerable to have guests whose views are totally out of keeping with the purpose of your get-together session.

When the day comes, you ought to be equipped with the right mindset to put all these things into motion.

So, what should be the next step?

If you excel at negotiation and you reckon that possessing that kind of qualities could help you in your pregame, you are not far from the truth. However, bear in mind that priming can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways, such as soliciting gifts or agreement of some sort.

The author maintains this non-breakable mindset that priming matters due to the fact that gathering is more of a social contract.

To leverage this situation, you have to be cognizant of the notion that the pregame frame is where the agreements are set in place.

Whatever way you look at it, it all comes down to the idea that every gathering has an end.

Some of the guests are sleepier, while others can go on for ages but that doesn’t change the fact that every ceremony has its limits.

You can scratch your head all day long on how to close the gathering, but that’s not going to solve anything.

It’s hard to cater to everybody’s whim, but it’s not rocket science to understand that people love to be respected. Therefore, closing the event in high fashion matters to the attendees and the host as well.

Accepting the impermanence of a gathering is part of the art.

In all honesty, openings and endings mirror one another and to some extent evaluate its effectiveness.

Key Lessons from “The Art of Gathering”

1.      Get the word out
2.      Keep it real
3.      Look inwardly and make a connection

Get the word out

To organize these gatherings, you have to nurture strong relationships with purpose-driven communities which share similar values.

Then, it would be far easier to attract an audience that resonates with the message promoted by the speakers. On the negative side, you have to be acutely aware when defying the purpose of the gathering.

Keep it real

People love to rely on ethics in all further correspondence with other like-minded individuals. So, to build that genuine bond, you have to examine all aspects that are one way or the other linked to the session that you wish to push forward.

Remember that every event begins not when the venue is sold-out, but when they first hear about it. Keep that human connection flowing – that’s the recipe for success.

Look inwardly and make a connection

It comes as no surprise to anyone that eventually it all depends on how we make the most out of everything. It surely helps you to establish a positive connection with the people present and generate some inner value as a result of pure intentions.

It doesn’t matter whether the gathering promotes or creates room for meaning-making, because the guests will eventually try to do that on their own.

The gatherer should eventually usher them to some collective goal-undertaking procedure.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Art of Gathering Quotes”

Your opening needs to be a kind of pleasant shock therapy. It should grab people. And in grabbing them, it should both awe the guests and honor them. It must plant in them the paradoxical feeling of being totally welcomed and deeply… Click To Tweet Gatherings that are willing to be alienating—which is different from being alienating—have a better chance to dazzle. Click To Tweet In a group, if everybody thinks about the other person’s needs, everyone’s needs are actually fulfilled in the end. But if you only think about yourself, you are breaking that contract. Click To Tweet I reminded them that it’s hard to build a movement if you don’t know who’s in it. Click To Tweet Looking back, though, is just one aspect of turning inward. Another is connecting the tribe one last time. To have an affirming moment of recalling not what we did here but who we were here. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Well, in order to make this work, all people involved in the process must pull together and keep plugging away until everything is done.

It’s needless to say that not one single book out there resembles this one, and that’s the main thrust of Priya’s message.

In addition, we believe that the book is amazing and insightful.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Managing Oneself PDF Summary

Managing Oneself PDF Summary

Even the title as it is, holds a specific meaning that you might get it wrong. If you want to start your day on the right foot, you ought to question your inclinations and habits.

It’s a simple process that has to begin anew in order to understand better what your priorities are in life.

The magnitude of the problem should be met with its own force, and that’s what we are trying to explain through this summary.

Who Should Read “Managing Oneself”? And Why?

How you manage your life is strictly your business, but that mustn’t be an excuse not to look for better solutions.

With regards to professional improvement, and personal enlightenment a person needs to understand the real deal about managing itself.

In “Managing Oneself” Peter Drucker explains the process you need to go through in order to come out as a winner. As such, we find it highly inspirational for everyone willing to dive deep into its patterns.

Nurturing a positive mindset should also be among the first things on the priority list!

About Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. Drucker

Peter F. Drucker (1909 – 2005) was an Austrian-born American educator, who revolutionized the learning process which embodies management, leadership, etc.

His fundamental principles revolved around:

  • The creation of a knowledgeable worker
  • Decentralization and simplification
  • A customer-oriented companies
  • Do what you do best and outsource the rest

He is the author of The Effective Executive, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, The Daily Drucker…

“Managing Oneself PDF Summary”

History greatest have always been under close observation and gazed at with an eagle eye to prove their worthiness. When the time and the circumstances were right, they would call upon their mental toughness and held themselves as a beacon of hope in a dead-end world.

In the past, people had a minimal choice, and they were impelled to follow in the footsteps of their parents or community.

Nowadays, we have the means to discover our strengths and define our goals.

With that said, society fails in identifying a standard which could help us in the process. According to Peter Drucker, we need to lean on feedback analysis, above all else.

If practiced consistently, feedback analysis yields excellent fruits in the shortest time-frame possible. It’s even estimated that in the first three years, you’ll get a good understanding of what your strongest attributes are, and how to make headway in the process.

What should you expect from it?

  • It will show you how to identify your strengths and concentrate on them
  • Second, you’ll get the idea on how to improve yourself and enhance your skills
  • Third, it will help you to understand what your weakest links are and how to overcome that ignorance

Indeed, not all “sports” are for the faint of heart, and rectifying a troublesome situation hinges on effectiveness and world-class display. The bad habits are just icing on the cake for those who can’t seem to move an inch from their original position.

In addition, Peter implies that lack of manners is also a problem that ensues within a dysfunctional organization. The turmoil or the friction between two conflicting forces is well defined and applies to both humans and objects.

A greasy substrate is what it takes to proceed.

Another mistake that people tend to do is comparing or putting their expectations and results under the same limelight. It’s not an efficient metric, and what’s worse it doesn’t add up to the solution. In doing so, you’ll remain stuck in the mediocre circle without any surge of adrenaline to propel you forward.

A skilled person should, by all means, resist the temptation to spend resources on areas of low competence. Instead, he/she must make strides towards excellence, and simply refrain from enrolling in a numbers game.  

And yet, the system allocates resources in creating these mediocre figures, despite the lack of logic in doing so.

Your only concern should be in the realm of spearheading an internal campaign for becoming a star-performer.

How Should I Perform? And What’s my Status?

It is shocking to realize that there’s a very small percentage of people who know how they get their things done. If you think about, you’ll come to the conclusion that people behave and think differently and as a result, that will generate performance discrepancy.

From a managerial perspective, that is a disastrous scenario with regards to the nonlinear display of expertise. It is also in conflict with the person’s abilities to get something efficiently done.

You can rephrase it in a way that you deem appropriate, like – What are my strengths?

Some would claim that personality traits are merely a genetic reflection while others believe that the character is built and nurtured. As a matter of fact, society tends to program humans to act in a given manner since the early age, which manifests in the workplace years later.

Whether that’s a good thing or not, you be the judge.

Also, Peter Drucker addresses one particularly sensitive question: Are you a reader or a listener? – You can fall into one or both categories, but the truth is – the individuals who understand their position can be counted on one’s fingers.

The ignorance on this matter is over the roof, and the bar must be raised to accommodate for this lack of perspective.

Likewise, your performance will always be linked or in correlation with your learning-ability and methods. Case in point, Winston Churchill – whose school performance was below average as he struggled to compete with its peers.

Persons who prefer writing as a way of self-expression and continuous improvement are castigated for not following the system.  

Some even, refer to school-learning as torture, due to their preference in absorbing knowledge differently.

Evidently, people like Churchill, who prefer writing over listening should be put on an equal footing. They prefer to make remarks and take notes to facilitate the studying process. Beethoven is yet another example of sketch-artist who did all these drawings, sketches to understand the big picture.

According to Peter Drucker, not all people act upon the knowledge they receive. The number of individuals who understand what’s their best method of learning is high, but when it comes to taking action, the numbers are comparatively low.

With this in mind, why do people refuse to act when an opportunity presents itself?

There are a handful of factors which can impede the process of implementation such as environment, mental status, intellect, etc.

Also, not all people are at their best when they are assigned to groups — some, best rise to the occasion when they are left alone to “drown” in their creativity.

Anyways, you should be flexible to understand that competence is not on the same wavelength as mentorship or even performance. There are Individuals who crack under pressure, but that doesn’t indicate that they are lousy learners and vice versa.  

Ask yourself – Do I need a predictable environment or flexible one to live up to the expectations?

More often than not, you’ll lay eyes upon people who can’t seem to operate in large organizations. And those who feel the same when left on their own.

So, the synergy and analogy can differ from case to case, so you can’t outline an absolute truth in any form whatsoever.

The goal would be to keep calm and try to assess the situation.

How to keep up with the world?

If you are keen to get to the next step, you have to know where you belong. Only a small percentage of the population has a clear unshakable understanding on that matter.

If that seems like something that you can’t do, then perhaps you should identify the mindset which seems distant to you. In other words, you should outline where you don’t belong.

Like we mentioned earlier, some people don’t seem to fit in a rigid and complex organization, while others feel the same way when isolated. Decision-making should be based on many things, but above all else, it should safeguard your interests.

When you take all factors into consideration, you get to a point where you realize that lucrative and successful career paths are not planned but prepared. Individuals whose values are in line with their strengths can outperform their peers, colleagues or competition.

Getting out of the shadow of mediocrity is a tough business, but it is something that could turn you into an outstanding performer.

Key Lessons from “Managing Oneself”

1.      Get the big picture
2.      Keep learning all the time
3.      Fill the cup with discipline

Get the big picture

Yeah yeah… We do get the big picture, it’s all about success, all about social acceptance, right? Well, not quite, since most people these days feel anxiety even though their social status is way above the average line.

The key to managing yourself is to find what reality is made of. Find out whether you conform to imposed regulations and principles, or do you prefer your own path!

From a realistic vantage point, not many understand the whole game.

Keep learning all the time

We hate to say it, but you are not the smartest person in the universe. Nor you should be, and that’s an incentive enough for you to keep enhancing your knowledge.

It’s not something you should stop practicing; it’s an inevitable part of all-around success.

Follow your special method of learning, and rely on it.

Fill the cup with discipline

In this book, the author doesn’t explicitly cover “discipline,” but examines it subtly. If you can take responsibility for your actions by identifying your strengths, you most definitely fall into this category.

Every aspect of decision-making is also contained into this logic.

So, keep your feet on the ground, and never stop questioning your methods and the world.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Managing Oneself Quotes”

Like so many brilliant people, he believes that ideas move mountains. But bulldozers move mountains; ideas show where the bulldozers should go to work. Click To Tweet Schools everywhere are organized on the assumption that there is only one right way to learn and that it is the same way for everybody. Click To Tweet It is a law of nature that two moving bodies in contact with each other create friction. This is as true for human beings as it is for inanimate objects. Click To Tweet Successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values. Click To Tweet This failure to ask reflects human stupidity less than it reflects human history. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Well, who can criticize Peter Drucker based on merit? – It’s tough to pinpoint aspects which seem ridiculous to follow.

After all, Peter Drucker laid the foundations for a corporate revolution which put the customer’s needs at the center of all operations. That’s just one tiny portion of the entire mindset that he endeavored to bring into the business community.

With that said, we believe you liked this summary!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Messy Middle PDF Summary

The Messy Middle PDF SummaryFinding Your Way Through the Hardest and Most Crucial Part of Any Bold Venture

They say that the beginning is always the hardest.

Scott Belsky begs to differ: true, starting things may be difficult, finishing them full of twists and turns; but the real problems come once you get to the middle.

The Messy Middle.

Who Should Read “The Messy Middle”? And Why?

OK, so you’ve started a project or a company, and everything was going fine for a while.

And then the first problem came; you successfully managed to tackle it, but you barely found the time to take a deep breath when another setback struck.

If the paragraph above sounds familiar, then The Messy Middle is the book for you.

And you can be sure that the three-phase process Belsky advocates in it (endure-optimize-finish and repeat) works every time!

Not only because it has helped Belsky become a millionaire, but also because The Messy Middle is based on insightful interviews with many of today’s leading entrepreneurs.

So, if you are trying to implement a big idea and you need a fresh insight – or simply motivation to get through the challenges of implementation – read this book and follow Belsky’s no-nonsense advice.

Suddenly, the unpredictable will look much less random.

As Seth Godin says: “The Messy Middle will help you see that you have more control than you dare to admit, and the ability to make a difference if you care enough.”

About Scott Belsky

Scott BelskyScott Belsky is an American entrepreneur, early-stage investor, and bestselling author.

After graduating from Cornell University and receiving an MBA from Harvard Business School, Belsky got a job at Goldman Sachs.

However, after a while he quit his job at the investment bank and left Wall Street altogether, using the $18.000 he had managed to save to start his own company.

The company would grow to become the largest online portfolio platform, Behance. In 2012, seven years after he had cofounded it, Belsky sold Behance to Adobe, where he was offered a job as a VP of Products, Mobile and Community.

Four years later, Belsky left Adobe and joined Benchmark Capital, where he is still a Venture Partner. He is also a Board Member at Cheddar Inc.

Belsky is also an early investor and advisor at successful companies such as Uber, Pinterest, sweetgreen, and Periscope.

The Messy Middle is his second book; we also have the summary of his first one, Making Ideas Happen.

“The Messy Middle PDF Summary”

“It’s not about the start and the finish,” writes Scott Belsky, “it’s about the journey in between.”

Well, consider The Messy Middle your roadmap: as you know full well, you can only get to your final destination if you have one.

Now, we don’t need to tell you that roadmaps are pretty detailed, and filled with many names and labels, icons and numbers.

So is The Messy Middle.

Nominally broken into three large sections (Endure, Optimize, and The Final Mile) the book lists hundreds and hundreds of lessons.

We’ve tried to list some of them in the Key Lessons section.

However, for the purposes of our summary – due to the space limitations – we opted to select the best ones in each section and analyzed each of them in detail.

The Inevitability of the Messy Middle

In retrospect, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook were always going to succeed, right?

You can’t even imagine people like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates going to investors and being turned down by them with the ideas they had.

And you certainly think that if you had known Mark Zuckerberg or Evan Williams when they started their companies, you would have been a millionaire by now; because, well, why wouldn’t you invest in social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook?

And yet – at one point during their development, all of these projects seemed all but doomed to fail.

Don’t believe us?

Have you ever watched the HBO series Silicon Valley?

Well, Bill Gates says that that series is your best chance at understanding how the Silicon Valley works. In other words, no matter how good your idea is, you’ll encounter quite a few problems before you stop working for it, and it starts working for you.

Or read, for example, Nick Bilton’s Hatching Twitter.

Its short summary: one of the most successful social networking services in history was born accidentally, managed poorly and became successful by mistake.

And that’s rarely the story.

Usually, the second part looks a bit differently: many companies fail because they are incapable of swimming out of the inevitable Messy Middle.

When in it, everything is so tumultuous that it basically looks like hell – or a telenovela!

Either way, we’re not meant to experience so many ups and downs in life, so nobody would blame you for calling it quits after two or three of the latter.

Did we say nobody?

Well, Scott Belsky would.

Because that’s the first lesson he wants to share with you.

To paraphrase him using the words of a Nobel Prize winner: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”

Endure: Short-Circuit Your Reward System

Scott Belsky founded Behance at the end of 2005, and for many years the company was struggling to make sense even to its own employees.

During this period – Behance’s Messy Middle – Belsky lost all appetite: he could only maintain it by taking anti-nausea pills.

And yet – he needed to endure.

One of the first things he did?

He hacked the company’s reward system.

You see, the main problem with big projects – whether writing a novel or building a profitable company – is that the real result comes only after years of effort.

And we are not biologically built to wait for rewards for such long periods of time.


Because up until recently – as late as the XVII century – the average life expectancy was about 25 years of age.

“For early humanity,” notes Belsky, “the prospect of spending five or ten years working toward an eventual outcome, however great it might be, was just not rational.”

Your nausea, tiredness, and lack of will – that’s just your body telling you that you may die soon and that you haven’t experienced anything before that.

Belsky’s conclusion:

Our addiction to short-term validation is so engrained that trying to defy it is hopeless. Accept this fact. While many people paint an incredible long-term vision for their teams, the prospect of long-term rewards is insufficient for long-term motivation.
It is virtuous to aspire to these goals, but a noble venture is not exempt from the need to feel incremental progress and be rewarded for it. Rather than fight the need for short-term rewards, you must hack your reward system to provide them.

For example, when Behance was founded, Google auto-corrected the search query to “enhance.”

When it finally stopped, Belsky organized a party – a kind of reward.

1 milestone down. 15641 to go.

Optimize: Learn How to Be an A/B Tester

Now, the problem with having many ups and downs is not only our biological incapability to endure them easily; it’s also the effect this has on our thought processes.

It’s only natural that when you have an idea which eventually doesn’t amount to anything, you are crippled by self-doubt and lack of confidence; and you don’t even want to find out whether the next one will work.

The opposite is also true: when something works, your ego starts working against you.

“The number-one killer of start-ups,” writes Bo Peabody, “is when entrepreneurs confuse ‘being lucky’ with ‘being smart.’ You must possess the humility to distinguish one from the other.”

Belsky can do you one better: it’s not only about humility and about self-awareness – but it’s also about implementing a good process which can help you distinguish between what’s smart and what’s merely lucky, between what’s good and what’s bad.

It’s called A/B testing and just about everybody – from Google to the smallest startup – does it.

You want to change the color of a button on your site?

Test it and compare the results with the current state of affairs!

If the color change brings new customers – then do it; if it doesn’t – then it’s probably the wrong decision.

It’s that simple!

And it applies to everything:

A/B testing isn’t just for digital buttons—you can use it to advance all areas of your life, from A/B testing your daily habits to how your team functions. A team might change how and when they meet, or an individual may try using a new tool for a week. If it works, the change is made permanent. If it makes things worse, you simply revert to the previous version.
The best optimizers are always trying to figure out why something works.

The Final Mile: Always Repeat, Never Finish

And now the most interesting part.

Eventually, if all goes well, you’ll make it: you’ll emerge victorious from the Messy Middle and reach the final mile.

Scott Belsky’s suggestion: it’s time to go back now!

Wait… what?

But isn’t the very idea of enduring and optimizing getting out of the Messy Middle? Why would I ever want to go back and ruin my life all over again?

Well, because, that’s the price you pay if you want to be successful. “The paradox of making progress,” writes Belsky, “is that it moves us past the early period when we’re the most willing to make the bold moves that actually accelerate progress.

Take Facebook for example!

If you ever get a chance to walk around its headquarters, you’ll notice many posters and laptop stickers saying the same thing: “This journey is 1 percent finished.”

And there’s probably no need to remind you that the only two websites more visited than Facebook are Google and YouTube.

However, Facebook keeps evolving because it always tries to sustain the “we’re still just getting started” mentality.

You want an example of a company which instead of sustaining this mentality attempted to sustain its final product.


That’s right: you’re either a Facebook always in the early innings or a Myspace which believes a single touchdown brings the victory.

It’s always a long season, and then another one, and then another one.

After all, nobody said it was going to be easy.

Key Lessons from “The Messy Middle”

1.      First, You Need to Endure
2.      Then, You Need to Optimize
3.      Finally, You Need to Repeat

First, You Need to Endure

The Messy Middle part of your journey – be it a large project or a large company – is always the most difficult one.

However, if you want your journey to be successful, then you must endure it.

Start by short-circuiting your reward system: ascribe milestones, so that you have many goals and rewards instead of one.

Embrace the uncertainty and take a dose of OBECALP to suspend your disbelief in others (read the word backward if you want to know what we mean by it).

Reset if that’s the only way forward.

And do the work regardless of whose work it is.

Then, You Need to Optimize

IF you want to endure – hire endurers; foster apprenticeship and keep your employees moving.

Be an A/B tester: you don’t know if something works until you compare it to something else. That goes for everything: whether your product, your team or yourself.

Accommodate free radicals: usually, they are the ones who move things forward.

Simplify. Iterate.

Question core assumptions.

Finally, You Need to Repeat

And when you get to the finish line – turn around and go back.

Always stay in the early innings, because continuing to learn is the elixir of life.

And because, well, to be done is to die: “for those who love what they do… the creative pursuit never ends. Creativity is never finished:”

The messy middle miles that you endure and optimize your way through don’t get any easier and never repeat themselves, because they are the moat between vision and reality. The messy middle is a life’s work, and when anyone crosses the finish line and pushes an extraordinary creation out to the world, we all benefit.

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Messy Middle Quotes”

One of the greatest motivators is a sign of progress. Click To Tweet

Don’t seek positive feedback or celebrate fake wins at the expense of hard truths. Click To Tweet

To create what will be, you must remove yourself from the constant concern for what already is. Click To Tweet

Be frugal with everything except your bed, your chair, your space, and your team. Click To Tweet

A lot of big problems don’t get solved because we can solve small problems faster. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Joe Gebbia, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Airbnb, provides us with one of the best descriptions of The Messy Middle you’ll find anywhere:

“Starting a new venture is like jumping off a cliff and sewing a parachute on the way down. This book is the parachute.”

Of course, Gebbia is not the only one with this opinion.

“Having been through the ups and downs of the Messy Middle many times,” writes Tony Fadell, the inventor of the iPod, “it’s critical to understand the challenges ahead.”

And then he goes on: “This insightful book empowers you to approach them head-on. Belsky’s powerful toolkit, based on hard-earned experiences, is an essential guide to building a compelling product, revolutionizing an organization or growing your leadership abilities.”

It’s difficult to add anything new without echoing Gebbia and Fadell.

Then again, who could blame you for taking their words at face value?

After all, they’ve gone through the Messy Middle quite a few times. And emerged – as millionaires!    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Dare to Lead PDF Summary

Dare to LeadBrave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

We’ve summarized quite a few books on leadership on our site.

Here’s an addition, and from someone who has never dabbled in the topic before.

At least not specifically.

Yet, Brené Brown is certainly one who could teach you how to dare greatly and rise strong at work.

But, above all, she wants to teach you how to:

Dare to Lead.

Who Should Read “Dare to Lead”? And Why?

It’s the 21st century, and it’s certainly an age which requires a new type of leaders.

Unlike the leaders of the past – as Simon Sinek taught us – these new leaders eat last and make you feel safe.

And Brené Brown has always been interested in subjects such as humility and safety, which is why it comes as no surprise that her new book repackages her past ideas for the business and leadership market.

Meaning: if you are a leader who hasn’t read Brené Brown before, then you might as well start with Dare to Lead; in addition, the book will probably prove to be both exciting and inspiring for anyone who wants to be a little braver at the workplace.

However, if you’ve already read Brené Brown’s previous works and you’re not in a position to lead anyone, then we suggest you skip this one.

Also, if you have a good relationship with your team, but want to read something by Brown, this is probably not the book for you.

Read one of the five listed below instead.

About Brené Brown

Brené BrownBrené Brown is a TED superstar, New York Times bestselling author, and a research professor at the University of Houston.

She has dedicated her life to studying topics such as courage, vulnerability, shame, and she is considered an expert on these subjects.

She is the author of numerous books, most of which have reached the #1 spot on The New York Times bestseller lists. We’ve summarized almost all of them on our site: I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn’t) (2007); The Gifts of Imperfection (2010); Daring Greatly (2012); Rising Strong (2015); and Braving the Wilderness (2017).

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. is, so far, her last book: it was published barely a month ago.

Brown’s famous 2010 TED Talk, “The Power of Vulnerability,” is one of the five most viewed TED Talks in history: it has been seen almost 40 million times!

“Dare to Lead PDF Summary”

The Courage to Be Vulnerable

Look up in your dictionary – or, if you don’t have a suitable one, your Word thesaurus – for the antonym of “vulnerability.”

A few words jump out.

The obvious “invulnerability,” the expected “immunity” and “imperviousness,” the related “strength” and “resistance,” the godlike “invincibility.”

When you think of the word “vulnerable,” you think of unsheltered wide-eyed children in Sub-Saharan Africa; when you think of its antonyms, you think of soldiers with muddy faces marching through the enemy’s ranks.

And yet, when Brené Brown interviewed a group of special purpose troops of the American military back in 2014, none of the soldiers could think of a single example in which their courage didn’t come paired with vulnerability.

Brown wasn’t surprised.

Because this is the essence of her philosophy.

Vulnerability, by definition, is insecurity, and insecurity means risk; and since only those who risk win, vulnerability is not an antonym to courage, but basically its necessary requirement.

“The courage to be vulnerable is not about winning or losing,” writes Brown, “it’s about the courage to show up when you can’t predict or control the outcome.”

In other words, accepting your vulnerability doesn’t mean becoming vulnerable; it means becoming a courageous adventurer, open to the possibilities of tomorrow.

For example, people who invest money in order to start a business they don’t know the future of are some of the most vulnerable people you’ll ever meet.

And yet – these are the people who create and innovate and make the world a better place!

Feedback Matters

“We all need people who will give us feedback,” supposedly Bill Gates said once. “That’s how we improve.”

And yet, for some reason, leaders barely even know their employees’ thoughts altogether, let alone which of them are true.

Moreover, it goes both ways: leaders tend to communicate only half-truths or lies to their employees because they believe this is kinder.

Brené Brown doesn’t feel that way: “Feeding people half-truths or bullshit to make them feel better (which is almost always about making ourselves feel more comfortable) is unkind.”


Because somewhere down that road, your employee will make a mistake for which you’ll blame and scold him/her severely, even though that mistake is just the inevitable outcome of your “be kind” policy.

You know what’s kinder?

To talk to your employees, share with them your sincere opinions, and, as it only fits, expect from them very much the same.

And it all starts with listening to them.

A good strategy is to also leave a lot of empty space during the conversations you have with them. People try to fill the empty spaces in a conversation with something and, instinctively, they start talking.

And when they do – don’t interrupt them with preformulated responses.

Wait for them to finish.

They were kind to share their opinions with you.

Now, you be as kind and share yours with them.

Braving: The Best Way to Build a Culture of Trust

If you listen to your employees and share with them your sincere sentiments about them, then you’ve made your first step towards building a culture of trust in your workplace.

You need a few more.

The best thing is you’ll never forget them since they neatly fit a great acronym: BRAVING.

B is for Boundaries. There’s no trust between two people – let alone between leaders and employees – without boundaries; or, better yet, without proper respect for each other’s boundaries. So, set them – and keep setting them until everybody feels comfortable.

R stands for Reliability. One of the worst things you can do at your workplace is overpromising. Be aware of your limitations and try always to do what you say you will. Your employees will follow.

A is for Accountability. Everybody makes mistakes. The point is to admit that, apologize for them, and try your best to not repeat that mistake again in the future.

V is for Vaulting.  That’s the first rule of trust – you don’t share with people things you’re not supposed to share them with; you put them in your vault. And as we’ve learned from Seinfeld, once you open your vault, it seizes to be a vault. So, don’t open it.

I stands for Integrity. Talk the talk, but walk the walk as well. Holding yourself to consistent standards is difficult, but that’s why everybody respects it.

N is for Non-judgment. You know this from the way you act around your friends. No matter how bad of a mistake you’ve done, you tell them, because you know they won’t judge you. Be that boss.

G stands for Generosity. Finally, be generous to others. Not so much in a “giving away” fashion, but in “I know you didn’t mean anything wrong” mode. It pays dividends!

Fail While Daring Greatly

The best lesson business leaders can learn comes from skydiving.


Because the first thing that skydivers train for is hitting the ground safely.

That’s exactly as it sounds!

Before they are allowed to fly through the sky, they simply jump off ladders and learn how to hit the ground.

Business leaders, on the other hand, spend most of their careers cocooned, hoping for the best-case scenarios, and rarely preparing for the worst ones.

And then, when the latter one almost inevitably come, they are shocked and try to find ad hoc solutions. Sometimes this works; but, sometimes it doesn’t.

Teaching yourself – and your employees – resilience is the best guarantee there is that failing will always work for you.

In other words, that, even in the worst-case scenario, you’ll at least fail forward:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again…who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.

Now you understand better why Nassim Nicholas Taleb prefers doers to thinkers; and why he is interested in finding ways systems can resist shocks and stay the same.

Simply put, because that’s the only way they can endure.

Key Lessons from “Dare to Lead”

1.      Be Brave Enough to Be Vulnerable
2.      Build a Culture of Trust
3.      Discover Your Values and Take Off Your Armor of Perfectionism

Be Brave Enough to Be Vulnerable

Vulnerability is not antonymous to courage; on the contrary, in fact: it’s almost synonymous with it.

Now, how’s that?

As simple as this: courage stems from vulnerability.

A heartbreak leaves you vulnerable, but it is a courageous act to start a new relationship afterward; a failed business leaves you helpless, and starting up a new company makes you even more vulnerable; yet, that’s the only way you can find your perfect partner or make millions.

Courageous people are courageous because they’ve embraced the vulnerability of risk.

It’s as simple as that.

Build a Culture of Trust

“If we want people to fully show up,” writes Brené Brown, “to bring their whole selves including their unarmored, whole hearts—so that we can innovate, solve problems, and serve people—we have to be vigilant about creating a culture in which people feel safe, seen, heard, and respected.”

And building a culture of trust is a seven-step process. Fortunately, it’s easy to remember it, since Brown has, yet again, packed it up neatly within a memorable acronym: BRAVING.

B is for the boundaries you need to establish in your company; R is for the reliability of your promises; A is for the accountability of your mistakes.

V is for vaulting: don’t ever share with other people things you weren’t meant to share; I is for integrity: being consistent in your beliefs is the only way you can inspire your employees to respect you; N is for non-judgment: don’t judge other people for their mistakes, because everybody makes them.

Finally, G is for generosity: be open-hearted and open-minded toward your employees if you want them to be open-hearted and open-minded towards you.

There you have it: you’ve braved a culture of trust!

Discover Your Values and Take Off Your Armor of Perfectionism

You know what they say: when the going gets tough, the tough get going.


Because they believe in something deeper and more profound; or, in other words, because they’ve discovered their values and know that they are bigger than any misfortune, no matter how big it is.

Speaking of: bad things happen; no matter what you do. So embrace them and don’t cover them up. Perfectionism leads to anxiety and depression.

Vulnerability to courage and success.

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“Dare to Lead Quotes”

I define a leader as anyone who takes responsibility for finding the potential in people and processes, and who has the courage to develop that potential. Click To Tweet

At the end of the day, at the end of the week, at the end of my life, I want to say I contributed more than I criticized. Click To Tweet

Daring leaders work to make sure people can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging. Click To Tweet

Show up for people in pain and don’t look away. Click To Tweet

If you have more than three priorities, you have no priorities. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We’ve seen this so many times before that it comes as no surprise to us: after a few books, authors tend to recycle their ideas and repack them in a business edition.

But why shouldn’t they?

Business leaders are straightforward people; what they want to read are books written specifically for them. It’s not that you won’t find almost everything you’ll find in Dare to Lead in Brown’s previous books.

Here, however, it’s specifically aimed at leaders.

That may be the only new thing you’ll find in Dare to Lead; but that’s probably the only new thing business leaders would ask for.

“With Dare to Lead,” writes leader Sheryl Sandberg, “Brené brings decades of research to bear in a practical and insightful guide to courageous leadership. This book is a roadmap for anyone who wants to lead mindfully, live bravely, and dare to lead.”    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Laws of Human Nature PDF Summary

The Laws of Human Nature PDF SummaryGreene’s books undoubtedly exert a lot of influence on many people. He covers everything you need to know in order to detach from your emotions and remain vigilant.

Above all else, he addresses the problems that all of us face on a daily basis.

Robert Greene makes assumptions and draws conclusions based on his life-experience and insights gleaned from medieval reformers, philosophers, and successful people in general.

Stay tuned to get a sneak peek into the author’s message.

Who Should Read “The Laws of Human Nature”? And Why?

Unlike most of the other self-help and psychological books, this one covers issues that seemingly elicit interest from the masses.

It gives us the lowdown on how to behave, and most importantly – how to act.

In other words, we find it highly inspirational and insightful, therefore, it’s safe to say that “The Laws of Human Nature” is prescribed for the wider audience.

Robert GreeneAbout Robert Greene

Although Robert Greene has faced some unwanted criticism regarding the message he endeavors to convey, his books continue to fill in the bestselling lists!

The author of five international bestsellers:

– strikes again.

“The Laws of Human Nature PDF Summary”

Decluttering your mind seems like a hard work, which in fact, is. However, not tackling the toxic thoughts and sticking to your comfort zone can backfire on you, and leave you on the brink of emotional destruction. If you are still on the fence, we are here to help you out to pick up the pace.

The author merely wants to expose these destructive patterns and put you in full control over your decisions. It’s about time we put a lid on this constant chatter of thoughts and form judgments based solely on merit and rationality.

Generally speaking, a dearth of humility in the process, will hinder this evolution. Be open to various methods, and subdue your instinct to jump into conclusions. One can easily make mistakes, but that mustn’t be the cause of deep dejection.

In addition, let’s take a closer look at these life-altering Laws of Human Nature:

The Law of Irrationality

The first law interprets our emotional attachment to the decision making. Instead of perceiving the world through the lens of rationality, we lean toward emotions as a way of expressing our dismay over the issues that grab our attention.

Unfortunately, this is one of those things that we can’t inherit or adopt. It’s a mindset that must be cultivated in order to achieve a maximum effect. 

The Law of Narcissism

It goes without saying that we are all narcissistic, at least to some degree. Anyway, to lower people’s resistance when introducing your agenda, you ought to redirect that self-appreciation outwardly.

On top of that, pay heed to narcissists who are either passive or active aggressors and want to drag you into their endless drama. Beware of their hidden intentions and envy.

The Law of Role-playing

You don’t need anyone telling you that people love to wear masks, one for each occasion – metaphorically speaking. Nonetheless, they often reveal their true intentions through various non-verbal cues such as facial expression, body posture, nervous gestures, etc.

By being able to spot these signs of insecurity, you’ll able to outmaneuver and be one step ahead of them at all times. It’s an opportunity one must not take for granted, to say the least.

The Law of Compulsive Behavior

Honestly, people’s character is tricky to understand. It is often the real pillar of the rinse and repeat process. To put it differently, people tend to sing same old song throughout their lives.

You should bear this in mind, and grow fond of individuals who show signs of strength and courage. Being aware of your negative patterns will help you keep toxic people at a distance. If you don’t comply, this law will get the better of you.

The Law of Covetousness

It’s strange but true that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. A philosophical illustration that shows why humans bend over backward to obtain something slipping from their grasp. You can use this momentum to create a mysterious aura around your presence and leverage that position.

It’s a great way to become an intellectual lodestar and earn some respect. People love to explore the unknown, and playing by those rules could give you the upper hand.

The Law of Shortsightedness

The idea of maintaining long-term vision is too much for most people. They are lured by recent trends, opinions, and backlashes. These people who can’t see beyond their nose, often fall under the shortsighted category.

Keep your distance and associate with individuals whose goals are governed by a long-term perspective. They rarely become victims to some brinkmanship and prefer calmness over reaction.

The Law of Defensiveness

It’s needless to say that over time people take up a defensive stance, and react fiercely when someone advocates for change. If you want to ease off their resistance, you must urge them to alter their viewpoints but not by offending them.

If you want to take gigantic strides towards achieving your goals, one must strive for creativeness. Explain your noble intentions, and make them feel like they are in control of their opinions and patterns.

The Law of Self-sabotage

Whatever you feel, you radiate. By confining solely to negativity and fear, all the people with whom you share as much as a word will sense the habitual skepticism. Such an attitude will lower your chances of success, and make you more vulnerable.

It starts to sound a bit like a cliché, but a positive attitude is the only bridge standing between you and success. Cultivating such a mindset will help you to get the best out of everything, and see opportunities where others see a trap.

The Law of Repression

People are not who they pretend to be. It’s in their nature to try and conceal the darkness that prevails in their heart. Before you embark on a journey to observe the overall ignorance, one must become acutely aware of its shady urges.

By consolidating your enigmatic side into your personality, you’ll get to a vantage point from where you can act as an observer. This action ultimately has a pivotal role in your efforts to draw people to you.

The Law of Envy

The social construct of today endorses the struggle for position, status, and achievement. This, however, often stipulates a dose of stubbornness, which could be the fundamental basis for deep envy. Some individuals only wish to emulate the success of others, but not all of them.

Stay on full alert for unwanted attention and try to avert a potential conflict. Comparing yourself with others will only lower your self-worth and jeopardize your position in the societal circle.

Remember, actions speak louder than words!

The Law of Grandiosity

By all means, humans have a tendency to ponder about a lot of things. This includes our perpetual lust for success associated with the elevation to higher societal status. Nonetheless, most of the time these thoughts take the shape of grandiosity – a far cry from the actual truth.

We strive to gain superiority, and in the process, we lose contact with reality. As a result, we form irrational judgments and confine solely to fictional limits. Your attitude toward success must be brought into line with your overall contribution and the value you bring to other people.

The Law of Gender Rigidity

Truthfully, it’s not as straightforward as using a magic wand to subdue all masculine and feminine qualities. You have to work on your urges, and understand how this affects your thinking mechanism, and make you predictable and rigid in day-to-day encounters.

By eradicating these signs of masculine and feminine energy, you’ll introduce an authentic version of yourself to the world. You’ll no longer be obliged to act in a specific manner based on the features imposed upon you.

In other words, resisting the temptation to play gender roles will put you on the fast track to success.

The Law of Aimlessness

In the digital age, people have to outdo themselves on an occasional basis in order to deal with the temporary disappointments and setbacks in life. On top of that, we fail to acknowledge the fact that a sequence of defeats is merely the end result of lacking direction.

Our judgment and decision are formed to fill in the short-term quote, leaving us exposed to potential threats that may hamper our chances for success. We know ourselves better than anyone, and we ought to use this knowledge to eradicate this sense of aimlessness.

The Law of Conformity

People want to give the impression of confident and self-sufficient individuals, but that’s rarely the case. We tend to pattern our choices after the group’s strides and inclinations. This social construct makes us adjust our mindset, and imitate the mob.  

As much as we want to pull back from this group mood, our lives are already infiltrated to the point of no return. In doing so, we end up deprived of our uniqueness followed by an impaired thinking mechanism.

The Law of Fickleness

When you absorb the role of a leader, prepare yourself for special treatment. Each mistake you make will be recognized as a chance for someone else to step up and take your crown. If you withstand these attacks, you’ll tackle all suspicions and maintain your status.

The best tool for such an endeavor is the authority. A wielder of legitimate power must help people to see him/her as the rightful leader. Proficient leaders practice this craft from early on because they are aware of its side-effects.

The Law of Aggression

The world needs your energy, and people feel disposed to try every trick in the book to get the better of you. They try to fulfill their longings by outmaneuvering different persons and assert their superiority on them.

Dealing with this group takes a bit of expertise and composure. If you remain only the observer of these aggressive moves, you’ll be able to stand your ground when things get out of hand.

Passive aggressors can be spotted from a mile away if you know the array of cues which correlate with their behavior. Aggressive energy is by no means bad! If you know how to channelize it, it will help you to remain bound and determined regardless of the temporary setbacks.

The Law of Generational Myopia

The generation gap is not a myth, because each new generation creates its own separate values and agendas. It forms the behavior of its members and compels them to exert a powerful influence on the world.

The problem is that yet again we are doing this at the cost of our innateness. We are restricting ourselves, without casting a shred of doubt on these concepts.

Make strides toward uniqueness, not mediocrity! Leave the generational narrowmindedness aside!

The Law of Death Denial

Death smiles at us all, and that’s the truth. Being aware of the unpredictability and shortness of this existence is truly a powerful tool one can embrace. It will help you to create a sense of urgency that will fuel your day-to-day activities.

Training your mind to think and act in a similar manner is undoubtedly a great way to achieve results much quicker. Don’t be obsessed with overshadowing others; just remain keenly aware of the mortality as an integral part of life.

Key Lessons from “The Laws of Human Nature”

1.      Tackle the narrow-minded aspects
2.      Use persuasion only as a last resort
3.      Define your goals

Tackle the narrow-minded aspects

It’s not easy to shift your mindset when certain concepts are so deeply rooted in your heart. All whining aside, it’s a process of utmost significance.

By expanding your horizons, you’ll surely prosper more than you ever thought possible.

Use persuasion only as a last resort

Despite what others have taught you, the number of people who love pushy persuaders and influencers can be counted on one’s fingers.

You have to respect one’s opinion before you decide to submit yours. Don’t act as if you know everything!

Define your goals

Although we try to refrain ourselves from sharing cliché tips, this one is based purely on merit. How can you reach your destination without knowing your bearings?

It’s a simple process that allows you to move with confidence and withstand potential threats.

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“The Laws of Human Nature Quotes”

Our continual connection to social media makes us prone to new forms of viral emotional effects. These are not media designed for calm reflection. Click To Tweet

To this day, we humans remain highly susceptible to the moods and emotions of those around us, compelling all kinds of behavior on our part—unconsciously imitating others, wanting what they have, getting swept up in viral feelings of… Click To Tweet

Your task as a student of human nature is to transform yourself into a master decoder of envy. Click To Tweet

Do not be afraid to exaggerate the role of willpower. It is an exaggeration with a purpose. It leads to a positive self-fulfilling dynamic, and that is all you care about. Click To Tweet

In developing your skills in this arena, you must learn to distinguish between the fake and the genuine smile. In trying to hide our negative feelings, we most often resort to the fake smile, because it is easy and people generally do not… Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Now we see why Robert Green is hailed as one of the best authors of its own time.

His methods are always authentic and most importantly practical, which means – they are applicable in real life.

We must give this one, a Thumbs Up and 10/10 score. We really felt like it reflects the everyday struggle of an average Joe.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Kellogg on Branding PDF Summary

Kellogg on Branding PDFThe Marketing Faculty of The Kellogg School of Management

Taking a glimpse into the selection of well-researched tactics for reaching the zenith of your brand-building process, is not something you stumble upon every day.

Do we dare to say it? – Despite the odds of being exposed to such an impressive collection, you joined the club.

Without further ado, let’s drill down to the core of this book.

Who Should Read “Kellogg on Branding”? And Why?

Not all people aspire to build a sustainable asset in the world. In order to thrive on branding, one must prick up its ears, and embrace an open-minded approach.

In our opinion, “Kellogg on Branding” is an exclusive selection of tactics and tools that an organization should capitalize on, to survive in this age.

About Alice M. Tybout and Tim Calkins

Alice M. TyboutAlice M. Tybout served in the Kellogg School for Marketing as an academic director and professor. Currently, she is the Harold T. Martin Professor of Marketing. Alice runs a research team to investigate how various individuals process information and make up their minds.

Tim Calkins is widely acclaimed for his contribution as a professor, consultant and keynote speaker. Momentarily, he has the role of a Professor of Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he presents his insights on Biomedical Marketing.

“Kellogg on Branding PDF Summary”

Design, Build and Understand Branding

The central argument in this eye-opening book encircles around the concept of reforming the market and carrying out the necessary changes. The current global predicament leaves us little choice but to take into account the consumers’ preferences and bring them into line with the organizational goals.

For a business to gain the much-needed edge in this overly crowded marketplace, it must answer the following questions:

  • Who should we target and why?
  • How can the product/service be of use to potential consumers?
  • Why should someone be fixed upon our brand over the competitor’s one?

Prior to showing glimpses of professionalism, and commitment, the organization must pay special heed to many rising aspects of doing business.

The first one that springs to mind is the frame of reference. Neglecting the integration between the frame and the point of difference can turn out to be costly! As a disregarded facet, it allows the business to expand their operations by helping the consumers meet their needs and wants.

Operating as a unit will undoubtedly going to provide support for the brand-building proceedings through fortification or other methods. In other words, by leveraging industry’s best practices, the organization could improve its positioning and impose entry barriers.

Afterward, you can quickly discern why is brand design so essential and move on to the categorization of products. To get a bird’s eye view of the process, you must execute all of the following 5 steps:

  • Step 1: Realize that branding takes the shape of any concept, which lays emphasis on the categorization of products.
  • Step 2: Identify a few categories that will clear up the brand concept when used by consumers.
  • Step 3: Don’t let a single brand-design element slip from your memory. Eclipse your competitors by creating an asset that contains category name, logo, brand name, visual illustrations, symbols, verbal lexicon, etc.
  • Step 4: Conduct an evaluation of your policies and consider other alternatives that might benefit the brand-process.
  • Step 5: Use legit and impartial metrics to assess whether the brand concept is in tune with the product features.

On top of these steps, it vital to become conscious of the uniformity between market behavior and human behavior. For precisely the same reason, the authors assert that only perceptive managers with the right mindset will have no difficulties to integrate social, political and ethical aspects into branding.

How to Build and Leverage Your Brand

For the sake of supporting the previously stated strategies, it’s of unparallel importance for the brands to influence the learning process. This new form of structure, named “the buyer learning” absorb the central role in the brand-building process.

With almost total disregard for the status of the entries, top-notch brands unleash the same strategy from pioneers to late entrants.

It’s crystal clear that the pioneers absorb take the role of masters because they’re allowed to remodel the categories, launch their own brands, or even set up invisible barriers. Nonetheless, these aspects shouldn’t be construed as a full-scale victory for the pioneers, which may face other difficulties further down the road.

Late entrants, for instance, can exploit the inelasticity of pioneers, and take control of the learning process. Thereupon, they can introduce modifications to it, and benefit the changes arising from it. On the other end, being dependent upon one product category can be a formula for disaster.

When a brand opts for expansionism, the buildup of a network is influenced by the same token. With an aerial perspective of the situation, you can easily conclude that “brand evolution” is a complex operation, and as such, it incorporates the following guidelines:

  • It urges you to take one step at the time
  • Help others to understand the reasons for the brand expansion
  • In the aftermath of expansionism on the parent brand, consumers must get the full picture

It may come as a shock to most people, but placing all your energy on one brand is not enough. Indeed, there’s such thing as a brand portfolio, which is the extension of the previous method.

Brand Advertising and Relationship Branding

Evidently, not even the best of the best products can reach its zenith without marketing efforts to support their ascend! Without a shred of doubt into your mind, you should endorse that advertising is composed of carefully selected means transmitted through the right channels.

The perfect copy as the authors have a habit of labeling it, must embody humor to enhance engagement.

This will not only give you a competitive advantage but help you establish an unshakable connection with the other side. Bound with the idea of sharing common interests, the brand and consumers can take the interaction onto the next level. Playing the emotional card is also something you should fully exploit.

If you aspire to put an end to the one-way relationship, you should stimulate feedback by interacting with your customers. The number of brands which are aware of the issue is meager. By soliciting the views from the end-users, you’ll take the driver’s seat and have full control over the situation.

According to the authors, being able to manage the relationships with the target audience proficiently is often depicted as the epitome of mass customization. It’s needless to say that a large bulk of today’s brands are mass-orientated. Steps in, CRM!

Customer Relationships Management is like a medieval fortification that stops the advancement of mass-marketing. It’s main incentive springs from handling the interactions between an official body and the customer. Unlike other processes, it strictly relies on data to prepare for potential twists and turns.   

It can be further broken down into the following subsequent elements:

  1. Find and identify subsegments
  2. Assess the effects of each sub-segment process by associating it with a goal
  3. Design contacts and conceive an actionable strategy
  4. Anticipate the outcome

If a brand doesn’t vouch for its services and turns a blind eye on the inept management, it will soon be overrun by other more user-centric organizations. The idea is to put the cravings of the consumers on top of your priority list.

Brand Driven Organization and Service Branding

Customer expectations must be satisfied by consolidating their input. In doing so, the business becomes a branding-machinery and would stay abreast of their demands by monitoring their reactions regarding the product/service offered.

Prior to conquering the world with your brand-new idea, one must make a decision to build a product or launching a service. The gap between these two separate fundamental features must be considered by understanding the following truths:

  • The services are intangible deliverables
  • Services don’t fall into the category of commodities for disposable use
  • Their heterogeneity nature

It comes as no surprise that internal branding is also a force to be reckoned with, and should receive an equal standing with the other execution strategies. In addition, the organization should enforce a code of conduct in order to speed up the integration, and put all elements together.

The author cannot emphasize enough the importance of conducting strategic employee-assimilation. Hence, it’s pretty straightforward to identify the first-class brand assimilation programs. With the segmentation taken care of, the author presents the three-phase structure:

  • Phase 1: Strategic Development
  • Phase 2: Foundation Building
  • Phase 3: Implementation

In truth, many things can deteriorate the morale of the employees and even put into question the successiveness of the internal branding programs. In this book, you’ll find why embedding the procedure in the broadcast can turn out to be a huge mistake on your part.

When it comes to allocating resources for external and internal branding, you should refrain from stretching too much. Such uncontrollable expansion can aggravate the problem even further and put you in a position of jeopardy. The same logic is applied to seductive ads and messages used on both fronts.

In a nutshell, branding services is a never-ending work, but that mustn’t discourage you to proceed.

How to Build a Megabrand

Reaching the top of the heap is not an overnight thing. Yet, in a race against time, NetZero shocked the world with its innovative way of doing business, which puts adaptation in the center of it. In just 5 short years, NetZero compelled the internet marketing community to shift its core paradigms due to the changes that occurred.

To receive the “rising star” epithet, NetZero focused on the frame of reference. Neglecting and undervaluing its effects can hurt your business. One-of-a-kind marketers are aware of the power emerging from the frame of reference and feel disposed to use it in order to improve the brand positioning.

The authors point out yet another decisive element to achieving brand-dominationName. It may seem like being struck by lightning, but being creative and setting your heart on something that will stand out as being catchy and unique can give you the upper hand.

How to know which name would meet these criteria?

The author claims: A brand name must be able to stand the test of time! Do we need to say more? The more iconic, the better you’ll do. Pay attention to the business as a whole, don’t dissect it in order to choose a suitable name.

A good label may provide the stimulus required for going international. You’ll need all the support you can get in that regard. However, prior to sailing to new shores, you must evaluate the consistency of the brand by examining the pricing, distribution and positioning on the local markets.

In addition, be cognizant of the fact that the pricing strategies must be in accordance with the local competitors and the demand. Creating a global system must be complemented with a broad perspective regarding the price elasticity and other factors.

Generally speaking, every brand must give the impression of earnestness and decisiveness for each market segment.

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“Kellogg on Branding Quotes”

Ultimately, brands are built by people who passionately believe in their brands. Indeed, many of the world’s best brands can be linked to a single person: Howard Schultz created Starbucks, Steve Jobs built Apple, Pleasant Roland formed… Click To Tweet

Brands are sets of associations linked to a name or mark associated with a product or service. Click To Tweet

Successful companies understand that brands are assets. Click To Tweet

Brand positioning refers to the specific intended meaning for a brand in consumers' minds. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you have your perspective broadened, and your mind sharpened, then we did a great job. If not, we firmly advise you to read the book, whenever you find some time.

Don’t forget to implement the tactics to accentuate your professional endeavors.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Powerful PDF Summary – Patty McCord

Powerful PDF Patty McCordBuilding a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

At Netflix, Patty revolutionized the concept of efficiency by challenging the conventional methods of doing business.

She should undoubtedly be accorded the status of policy-changer, due to her efforts.

In this summary, we try to share the most critical findings.

Stay with us!

Who Should Read “Powerful”? And Why?

It’s hard to determine, who is fit to read this book and leverage its takeaways. In our humble opinion, anyone working or participating in some organization should consider diving into its mysteries.

These days, it’s impossible to find someone who’s not incorporated into some system. Therefore, we wholeheartedly urge you to scratch the surface of “Powerful” regardless of your position.

Patty McCordAbout Patty McCord

Patty McCord draws on her personal and professional experience to cast doubt on the Silicon Valley concepts of fresh ideas. She yearns for a full-scale modification, in terms of how we behave and think within the business environment.

By putting the best practices on a silver platter, she makes it easier for the reformers to utilize the knowledge and apply the methods. Patty spent more than a decade at Netflix, while continually being on the lookout for better ways of conducting the operations.

She is a frequent keynote speaker and an advocate for challenging the outdated policies. So far, she has appeared on a dozen CEO Forums, and Business Schools.

“Powerful PDF Summary”

Do you have the guts to hear the bitter truth or you prefer to comfort yourself with lies? – We’ll get to that in a minute, but first, one must realize that advocating for changes in the workplace, might not be a straightforward transition. Patty states that hiring adults, meaning persons whose focus is fixated on improving the company, will make your life a lot easier.

The rookies, in need of a babysitter, will often turn out to be costly. Filling up your organization with self-managing people can create the snowball effect. These characters endorse criticism, are prone to learning, and know their boundaries.

Arguably, siding with the reality will give you a leg up in any quarrel.

For instance, a football team requires from its players to showcase their talent in order to achieve victory. A one man’s show would never suffice, and the same analogy can be broken down into details regarding HR and business overall.  

How can we define this phenomenon?

A culture of responsibility is perhaps the most suitable description and stands as a symbol of a prosperous association. Nonetheless, this system should not be sided with “working harder” but linked to the idea of adding greater value.

Although this will eventually crank up the competition, you should not dread the idea of a challenge. Being eclipsed by someone can become the turning point in your life. On the bright side, you should try to outperform yourself on a daily basis.

From a leadership vantage point, these urges must be fueled continuously but monitored in order to balance the scales.

In the early years of the 20th century, an average employee had zero respect and no contribution to decision-making whatsoever. The exploited machinery had to stick to their routine, without even bothering to comprehend the operations.

This ineffective way of management started to crumble when a new form of leadership emerged.

Generally speaking, the new generation tries not to divulge misinformation by integrating all the layers into the system. In doing so, all the parties can get an aerial view of the situation and share their insights.

Nowadays, each applicant, employee, associate, partner, or manager strives to understand the whole ball game. Nobody wants to be a drop in the ocean, but an essential element to the business. Achieving that however, it’s often easier said than done.

Encourage debates, dialogue, freedom of expression, annual reviews, or simply communication – will get you across the threshold.

The Power of a Debate and Radical Honesty

It’s unlikely that you’ll be stunned upon hearing that people are not fond of two-faced leaders. There’s absolutely no need to twist the reality because disclosing the problems in a timely fashion can help the organization to assess its current rankings.

In the light of this discovery, it’s also critical to mention that not all employees, welcome constructive criticism. Nonetheless, if you establish such a corporate culture, they’ll have little choice but to embrace transparency.  

Let’s unveil few benefits, which are a direct result of radical honesty on an organizational level:

  • It minimizes backstabbing
  • It enhances the communication
  • It spots the problems promptly as they rise to the surface
  • It adds to problem-solving
  • It improves the performance of all parties

Indeed, the number of leaders that dare to acknowledge their mistakes is still meager. By breaking the ice, they create a new culture and incite the employees to do likewise. In other words, they will automatically trigger transparency.

Powerful Summary Patty McCordAt Netflix, Patty brought in an all-encompassing feedback system for the employees to share their insights on the team’s efforts and submit their annual analysis.

When it comes to debating or discussing, the leader should set terms in advance, and urge everyone participating in the debate to adhere to them. After all, problems crop up each day, and the organization must put its analytical prowess to the test by encouraging dialogue.

If you find yourself in an argument, give a stamp of approval to anyone who shares facts not personal agenda. In like manner, you should abide by the same set of norms, and refrain yourself from getting emotional when a potential conflict erupts.

In the meantime, you should stick to your broadness, because someone may lay down a series of well-researched theories that oppose your perspective. Be prepared to double-check your methods, and leave your ego aside.

According to Patty, debates among smaller groups bring about a revolution in the organization because of the input. They are not prone to group-thinking, which opens a window of various scenarios and conclusions.

When it’s your turn to present your insights, be on alert for people who adhere to their biases. The information extracted to support their claim is rarely applicable to the matter of contention. Even so, it’s needless to say that formal debates are the epitome of business breakthroughs.

Build the Powerful Future by Finding the Right People

As reported by Patty – today’s actions and behavior shape the future. By being aligned with the fluctuating practices in the digital age, you’ll develop into an energetic leader. For example: you have this great idea of how should your team should perform in a year or so, but you lack the execution methods.

Start by labeling every element that is hampering the enhancement and transition. Next up, lay the groundwork for the future by making the necessary modifications in order to scale the company. Such an attitude has all the earmarks of successful progression.

Being proactive when instigating the complete change, will push you to find the right people who don’t bear a grudge against alteration. The scatterbrained attempt to carry out all of these assignments shouldn’t serve as an excuse in potential failure. Genuine leaders pour their blood, sweat, and tears in order to embolden the organization; and they also blaze a trail for others to follow.

Evidently, without the prowess and craftiness to back them up, they can’t do much. The detailed planning doesn’t incentivize the execution as one might have hoped, and only the team of implementers is duty bound to accentuate the proceedings. Prior to conducting the hiring process, consider the following aspects:  

  • Pay little attention to the resume and observe the body language
  • Try to determine whether the applicant thrives on problem-solving
  • Assess their strong motives for joining the organization
  • Gauge the competence
  • Try to evaluate whether the applicant would be a good fit for the team

You don’t need a big name, but a person whose skillset, character and determination apply to the team’s vision. As simple as that! For the job, you need a set of HR officials who understand the technical side of the business too.

Once you find people whose expertise matches the organization demands, you could expand the operations.

The beginning of the 21st century was turbulent for Netflix. The company merely collapsed due to deep economic malaise within its ranks. Netflix reacted by laying off almost 1/3 of its employees. What came as a shock to the new operational structure, was the fact that, this new policy generated remarkable dividends.

The crafty pool prevailed over the obstacles by embracing more responsibilities in order to fill in the gap. It didn’t take too long for Netflix to get back on track, and restore its former status.

The Art of Managing the Employees

When an organization is crammed with underachievers, it cannot function in a strong fashion. That’s a major blow to the company, and that’s precisely what happened to Netflix. Nonetheless, the line that separates productive employees from bad ones is very slim.

Every so often, people are hired for a position that doesn’t match their expertise, or the officials are not aware of their contribution. Either way, a leader must double-check to see whether the managerial hierarchy with all its sub-elements is well structured.

When it comes to payment, Patty McCord argues that you should at least ponder about paying top of the market for the positions that you believe are the most precious to the organization.  

A common mistake most managers make is taking into account only what the organization can afford in terms of salary. Indeed, being aware of your financial capabilities is critical, but sometimes you should consider the value that the new hire will generate.

To put it differently, consider how will the new employee influence the business, and as a result, perhaps you need to conduct an audit regarding this matter. It’s a topic that should be thought about.

After putting all the elements on the table, you can agree on a salary that reflects the financial worth that the new employee will bring. Meanwhile, don’t forget to execute the following checklist:

  • Embrace transparency
  • Don’t hesitate to increase the salaries of those who deserve it
  • Identify the best value for the business
  • Don’t put a lot of weight on salary surveys

Singing the praises of the employees is a tremendous team-building asset. The same methodology works perfectly fine when constructive criticism is unleashed. This strategy can diminish the chances of getting sued by a former employee who was fired based on its performance.

Goodbyes don’t manifest the end of the world nor speak about the attributes of the individual. Genuine managers understand that some people are not in tune with the particular working atmosphere. They would even recommend them to someone else, only to expose them to an environment that resonates with their skills.

Key Lessons from “Powerful”

1.      Get into the right frame of mind
2.      Less is more
3.      Don’t be a narrow-minded prick

Get into the right frame of mind

Then again, Patty McCord states that openness can help you to balance the scales in favor of the organization, and keep underachievers at a distance.

Don’t hesitate to speak your mind! A good leader can both lavish praise upon someone, and discuss the probability of someone being better off at some other company or team.

Less is more

The conceived plan, must not incorporate people who are pessimistic from the outset. This tells you that only a handful of high-performers can do the job.

Improve the cohesion among them and try to identify any potential twists.

Don’t be a narrow-minded prick

In case you’ve miscalculated the severity of the problem, agree to support the better solution and alter your viewpoints.

As you can see, a productive debate can shore up the company, so don’t be reluctant to solicit as many views as possible, to get a bird’s eye view of the situation.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Powerful Quotes”

Trust is based on honest communication, and I find that employees become cynical when they hear half-truths. Cynicism is a cancer. It creates a metastasizing discontent that feeds on itself, leading to smarminess and fueling backstabbing. Click To Tweet

Are we limited by the team we have not being the team we should have? Click To Tweet

Instilling belief in the practice gets easier as managers come on board. The greater the density of great team builders you achieve, the more you can spread the practice organically. Click To Tweet

When engineers start to whine about a process you’re trying to implement, you want to really dig into what’s bothering them, because they hate senseless bureaucracy and stupid process. But they don’t mind discipline at all. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Like what you saw or read? We bet you did because this is one of those books that get you all fired up and ready to conduct the necessary changes.

We advise you to read this book, page by page to get a good handle on what Patty is trying to convey.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

The Secret Red Book of Leadership PDF Summary

The Secret Red Book of Leadership PDFWhat do you know of leadership? Are you ready to make one final push?

Awdhesh unravels the greatest misconceptions and helps you to turn over a new life in your professional career.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the key findings!

Who Should Read “The Secret Red Book of Leadership”? And Why?

Unlike other books that cover topics related to leadership, we firmly believe that this one is mainly aimed at those who express doubts about their leading potential.

“The Secret Red Book of Leadership” helps you to stay on track and fight these social tendencies, which are breaking your spirit.

Take notes, and learn quickly!

Awdhesh SinghAbout Awdhesh Singh

Awdhesh Singh is among other things perceived as the Quora Guy. As the founder of AWDHESH ACADEMY and IRS officer, he thrives in helping people reach their potential.

“The Secret Red Book of Leadership PDF Summary”

Are you ready to plunge into the turbulent deep waters of leadership?

Leadership, as a concept, is still receiving hard blows from the community due to the overflow of misleading information and lack of strategy. The primary concern of today’s decision-makers is finding a way to enhance the performance of all parties that are integrated into the process.

If you’re ready and willing to master the subject of leadership, enrolling in courses will not suffice. All efforts will be in vain unless you take part in strategy-building activities that can get the best out of you.

Running a business or an organization can be overwhelming for many leaders, who can’t seem to get the handle on what’s causing all the troubles. Entrepreneurs are compelled to lead their company from one stage to the next and oppose the early startup factors, which are endangering the growth.

So, what does this has anything to do with leadership?

In all honesty, regardless of the idea or professionalism implemented in terms of execution, your entrepreneurial journey will not see another day, unless you can showcase your leading ability. People are not inclined to learn by listening; they prefer to be led by someone who has blazed a trail for others to follow.

As it turns out, early startup difficulties get the better of many innovators and creators, who can’t seem to survive the 5-Year collapse frame. When embarking on similar ventures, one must consider numerous elements that can make-or-break the business.

Steps in – Leadership.

The one-of-a-kind person who embraced the father figure of modern leadership is Peter Drucker. Years of research, practice, and implementation had led him to believe that managing people is tricky business. He even went a bit further by claiming:

It is not whether the answer is right. It is whether it works.”

Leaders don’t shy away from following prominent figures who can show them the way. However, when it comes to choosing a mentor, they are finicky about the expertise and competence these personalities possess. Moreover, they’ll reject any piece of advice, if that information doesn’t seem convenient at the time.

From your uncertain vantage point, what can you say about leaders?

Do you belong to the vast majority of people who have no doubt that leadership is something embedded into the hearts and minds of privileged few? Or, you give credence to Awdhesh and his conviction that leaders can be forged in the fire of practice and learning.

Never forget that many top-notch brands all around the globe, are inciting their employees to turn into intrapreneurs and share their ideas. These organizations might as well kill two birds with one stone by: first, giving freedom and encouraging employees to think on their own, and second improving the value of the organization.

The bottom line is – evaluate and analyze every scheme delivered to your doorstep. This simple thesis is the embodiment of genuine leadership!

Leaders aren’t always on the run

Indeed, not every decision-maker has a close associate who is always on the ball. Not having a right-hand man by their sight, compels these figures to dive deep into some serious thinking:

  • How not to succumb to pressure?
  • Can I tackle every upcoming issue that threatens the organization?
  • What to do if my plan doesn’t turn out to be useful?
  • How to handle mistrust in my leadership abilities?
  • How to enhance productivity?

… The list goes on.

Pondering about these options and scenarios will do you no good unless you gear yourself up with the perfect mindset. Thriving on the challenges ahead is what a genuine leader would do, so building that momentum is vital to keep you going and growing.

When you think about, there are no beginnings nor ends in the business world. Each action leads you to the next one, and so on – in other words, each move you make takes you a step closer toward the next challenge.

You can’t fight the current; you just have to go with the flow!

Awdhesh Singh has the credibility to differentiate between a mediocre leader and an outstanding performer. Actions speak louder than words (and that’s the only distinction) – eminent figures focus on execution and learn by doing, while average leaders place a lot of emphasis on contemplation and overthinking things.

According to the author, every organization is composed of 4 unique groups of personalities. Each one of them adds value to the organization, but not in the same manner:

  • Leaders: A group of characters who are self-accountable and motivate others to do their job.
  • Followers: The second-in-command; an execution body which acts upon instruction from its superiors.
  • Shirkers: Delayers who avoid taking part in activities that are not interesting.
  • Resistors: A group that can’t seem to cope with the age of rapid expansion and evolvement.

The worst part about being a leader, and embracing the role to the degree that you are obliged to cover for others at work, is constantly being engaged in everything.

Now you know what it takes to beat the odds and develop into a real linchpin in your sphere of influence!

Key Lessons from “The Secret Red Book of Leadership”

1.      Instill a sense of imperativeness
2.      Adopt the proper mindset
3.      Take it slow but then shift into 5th gear

Instill a sense of imperativeness

From what we acquired so far, it’s fair to say that leaders who don’t prioritize problems cannot scale up their organizations.

Urgency is a powerful weapon that can turn mediocre performers into a distinguished elite.

Adopt the proper mindset

Wise leaders don’t want to build up their follower-base but produce leaders who are self-manageable.

Such perspective injects a dose of hope, and increase the chances of tackling negative thinking on an organizational scale.

Take it slow but then shift into 5th gear

Generally speaking, some people are more eager to lead. However, you don’t have to submit to their will without even trying to evaluate your potential.

All you need to do is take the first step and adjust your strategy along the way.

Like this summary? We’d Like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“The Secret Red Book of Leadership Quotes”

Treating everyone equal is the surest recipe for disaster. Click To Tweet

Power is acquired gradually. Just like a person does not grow rich overnight and a sportsman has to defeat many competitors in a series of games to win the championship crown, a man becomes powerful only after a prolonged battle, where he… Click To Tweet

However noble your goal may be, it is impossible to achieve it unless you severely punish those who obstruct your way. In a game of power, you have to create fear in the hearts and minds of all opponents. Click To Tweet

A leader creates a new idea by assimilating many old ideas like an architect uses existing bricks and mortars to make a new building. Click To Tweet

It is not difficult to take initiatives. People can usually see what is required to be done to make the world a better place for us and our future generations. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Well, we did go through page-by-page only to found that each chapter is actionable and pragmatic.

We highly appreciate the amount of work Awdhesh has put into this amazing guidebook, and we recommend it to everyone willing to climb the leadership ladder.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

Reinvent Yourself PDF Summary

Reinvent Yourself PDF Summary

Half a decade ago, James Altucher asked you to choose yourself.

Now, he’s back with another advice:

Reinvent Yourself.”

Who Should Read “Reinvent Yourself”? And Why?

If you have heard anything about James Altucher, you probably already know that he is an incessant experimenter and that he absolutely abhors the idea of 9-to-5 jobs.

“Reinvent Yourself” is for those who share his hate on the latter and want to become the former.

About James Altucher

James AltucherJames Altucher is an American entrepreneur, podcaster, blogger, and bestselling author.

According to his count, he has founded more than 20 companies and has, in addition, invested in at least 30. Many of them have failed, but those which have succeeded have thriven.

Altucher hosts a famous podcast, “The James Altucher Show,” and has authored 18 books, including “Choose Yourself” and “The Rich Employee.”

“Reinvent Yourself PDF Summary”

The only thing constant in the life of James Altucher is, undoubtedly, his hair.

Everything else is flux and change, inventions and reinventions all across the board!

Who knows – T. S. Eliot may have written these beautiful two lines for him and not for some other guy with the initials J. A.: “In a minute there is time/ For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.”

After imploring you to choose yourself back in 2013, Altucher is now back with an update, telling you to reinvent yourself.


But what does he mean by reinvention?

Well, in his words,

Reinvention is life. This is the call to adventure that constantly whispers to us. Do we answer it? Do we take the call?

The answer, is, of course, a resounding “yes.”

And the way?

Well, start by redefining the word freedom.

Sure, the dictionary will tell you that freedom is “the condition of being free of restraints, especially the ability to act without control or interference by another or by circumstance,” but ask yourself: what does that mean in practice?

Capitalism should have – and, in some sense, it did – brought freedom, but why do you wake up each day at the same time with the same obnoxious alarm sound only to spend the next eight hours working a job you don’t actually like and the remaining few talking about how unhappy it makes you?

We’ll tell you why: because you need to have money to be free.

Which brings us back to Altucher’s main lesson from “Choose Yourself”: if you need money to be free, it’s pointless to earn them by not being free; so, find/choose/invent a job you would like to do!

That way, you’ll both be free while earning money and have money to be even freer afterward! Was it Confucius the one who said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”?

Altucher endorses this.

Next step of reinventing yourself: acquiring the right habits.

According to Altucher,

You are not just the average of the five people around you. You’re the average of the five habits you do, the things you eat, the ideas you have, the content you consume, etc.

The third step on the ladder to a total makeover: improving your relationships.

You are a part of much more than your own life, and this is true for everybody. Meaning: a large part of your happiness and success depends on other people.

In terms of your reinvention, it seems that three are the most important ones: your plus (someone who knows more than you), your equal (your peer), and your minus (someone who knows less).

Which brings us to the fourth, and final, step: your plus should, in fact, be your mentor and finding the right mentors to teach you how to become the person you want to be should become your top priority on your road to reinvention.

In fact, “Reinvent Yourself” doesn’t only include “the ultimate guide to finding a mentor,” but also an explanation of “how to have 1,000 mentors in your life.”

And, of course, numerous pieces of advice from many of them in the following chapters.

For example, Altucher learned from Louis C. K. the Tao of not spending any energy on things you can’t change and the uselessness of saying that you’re bored.

From Picasso and Isaac Asimov he learned that “action is the foundational key to all success” (aka the reason why Picasso produced 50,000 works of art and Asimov wrote 467 books!) and that you should “learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”

From Elon Musk he learned that it’s not a bad thing to have all the eggs in one basket – if you can control that basket.

From Malala and Louis Armstrong that suffering can be transcended and turned into something bigger, whether art or cause to fight for

From Albert Einstein – the beauty of what comes after the “I don’t know.”

From Mick Jagger Altucher learned that, in the beginning, you should take every gig and that it takes about 15 years to master something: 3 to study, 2 to start making money, 4 to make a comfortable living and 6 to become a rock star!

And we’ll stop here.

Though there are many more lessons Altucher shares with his readers, whether coming from rappers such as Eminem and Ice Cube, from regular people such as his daughter or a friend’s grandma, or even some acquired through playing poker and chess or watching “Star Wars.”

Needless to say – they are all interesting and useful!

Mentoring at its most entertaining best.

Key Lessons from “Reinvent Yourself”

1.      Reinventing Is All About Four Things
2.      Find Yourself a Plus, a Minus, and an Equal
3.      Reinvent Yourself in Five Years

Reinventing Is All About Four Things

Reinvention is not something you should fear, nor something you should think of in terms of a painfully long and excruciatingly tiring process.

On the contrary, you should try to reinvent yourself constantly.

First, by redefining what the word “freedom” means to you at that specific moment. Then, by acquiring to right habits which should guide you to your imagined end. Thirdly, by improving your relationships. And finally, by finding yourself some great mentors.

Find Yourself a Plus, a Minus, and an Equal

Speaking of finding –

This is a strategy James Altucher borrows from Ryan Holiday’s “Ego Is the Enemy,” where the approach is presented as Frank Shamrock’s system for self-improvement.

It consists of choosing a plus, an equal, and a minus.

The plus is someone who knows more than you – i.e., your mentor; the equal is a peer to constantly challenge yourself against; finally, the minus is a student you can impart your knowledge on.

The goal?

Getting real and continuous feedback.

Reinvent Yourself in Five Years

If you want to reinvent yourself completely, you’ll probably need half a decade.

Use the first year to learn, experiment, and start doing some things. Then, the second year, start doing them on a more regular basis, i.e., each day – while finding some time to network with the right people. The third year you should start making some money.

But only the next – the fourth year – you’ll earn enough to make a good living. If things go well, by the fifth year, you should become a wealthy person by doing the things that you love!

Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app, for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.

“Reinvent Yourself Quotes”

Despair = Suffering – Meaning. Click To Tweet

Talent is the tiniest of sparks. A spark lights the fire. But you have to feed the fire more fuel to keep it going. Else it dies out. Click To Tweet

Don’t be afraid to go silent. Mirror and then have the confidence to go silent. Click To Tweet

It’s never too late to do what you love. What you love is always on the shore, waiting for you to arrive, waiting with open arms. Click To Tweet

We were put here to try. Nobody will grade us. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

James Altucher is undoubtedly an idea machine, but, truthfully “Reinvent Yourself” isn’t that original – not if you have followed him well enough during the past decade or so.

Even so, it’s still Altucher – “the Oprah of the Internet” – and, moreover, it’s Altucher and his 1,000 mentors.

So, plenty of great minds.

Multiple that by five for the good advice count.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF:   

How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary

How Complicated Is Your Company? PDFNot satisfied with how productive your employees are?

Willing to restructure processes in order to make them more efficient?

Well, authors Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich from the Boston Consulting Group believe that you should start with a simple question:

“How Complicated is Your Company?”

Who Should Read “How Complicated Is Your Company?”? And Why?

As a rule of thumb, the more complicated your company is, the less productive and satisfied your employees are.

However, going simple is not as easy as it sounds.

Hence, this article should be a must for every owner, CEO, upper-level manager and leader of a company who knows he/she should keep things simple but doesn’t know how to do that.

About Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich

Jaap Backx

Reinhard Messenböck and Yves Morieux are both involved in several projects at the Boston Consulting Group as senior managers.

Donat Wunderlich

Jaap Backx is currently one of the leading partners of the organization where Donat Wunderlick absorbs the role of a principal.

“How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary”

In the words of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, “productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run, it is almost everything. A country’s ability to improve its standard of living over time depends almost entirely on its ability to raise its output per worker.”

Now, many factors can influence productivity – everything from erratic political instability to predictable business cycles – but, none of them have been found to properly explain the global economic decline of late.

in the opinion of Reinhard Messenböck, Yves Morieux, Jaap Backx, and Donat Wunderlich – global management consultants at the Boston Consulting Group – “the underlying cause of the recent slowdown has been the ongoing, long-term rise of complicatedness.”

Its definition?

Complicatedness is… the increase in organizational structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards, and committees that companies impose to manage the escalating complexity of their external business environment.

A wide-ranging survey of executives and employees at over 1,000 companies led the authors of “How Complicated Is Your Company?” to few interesting conclusions.

First of all, that complicatedness can be found in eight different dimensions and that, consequently, there are at least eight ways to simplify an organization.

#1. Leadership
#2. Strategy and Transformation Agenda
#3. Structure
#4. Activities and Roles
#5. Processes, Systems, and IT
#6. Decision Making
#7. Performance Management
#8. People and Interactions

Leadership is, by far, the most crucial dimension, since it “binds together and affects each of the other areas.”

Leaders often create complex procedures and structures which seriously affect productivity.

If you want to simplify, the best way to do this is via leading by example when hiring, promoting and firing. This reinforces desired behaviors in your employees and inspires cooperation and transparency.

In the area of strategy and transformation, the key objective is to “translate strategy into concrete must-win initiatives,” since that’s the only way to ensure consistency between overall goals and lower-level initiatives.

As far as the company’s structure is concerned the solution one should be a no-brainer: simply remove unnecessary layers.

This streamlines top-to-down communication and, moreover, it gives low-level managers just enough freedom, empowering them to make minor decisions quickly and independently.

Eliminate duplication of activities and roles: be sure that each and everyone of this adds value to your company by itself.

It’s the 21st century, so it should be fairly easy for you to completely abolish handoffs between departments and streamline processes and systems via IT.

This simplifies and speeds up communication and boosts end-to-end responsibility.

Give each and every one of your managers strictly delineated area of responsibilities and mandates so that you are able to take decision making back to first principles.

Not only this promotes understanding and cooperation, but it also eliminates conflicts and accelerates the workflow.

So that you can help your managers lead and ensure appropriate recognition for the most cooperative employees, you must master the art of performance management.

Introduce proper collaboration-fostering KPIs should be a great start!

If you want to maximize the output of your employees, then silo mentality is one of your worst enemies!

So, to simplify things in the people and interactions dimensions, try eradicating silos altogether, by creating an unhostile work environment.

The key word – if you ask us – is fun.

In conclusion,

Rooting out complicatedness is possible but only with a structured and focused simplification effort. Business leaders following this road will harvest the fruits of improved productivity and gain a competitive advantage for their companies.

Key Lessons from “How Complicated Is Your Company?”

1.      Productivity Is Stifled by Excessive Complicatedness
2.      Complicatedness Can Be Found in Eight Dimensions
3.      The Simplified Four-Step Simplification Solution

Productivity Is Stifled by Excessive Complicatedness

Even though many factors can affect productivity, it seems that one of the most important ones – if not “the underlying cause” – in relation to the recent economic falloff is the growing complicatedness of companies.

It’s easy to blame external factors, but a survey of the executives and employees of over 1,000 companies has pinpointed complicatedness as the main obstacle to faster growth.

And this is especially true for companies which operate in regulated environments, such as the healthcare industry and the public sector.

Those in the IT world are much simpler and, consequently, agiler.

Complicatedness Can Be Found in Eight Dimensions

Complicatedness can take root in any of eight different dimensions: leadership; strategy and transformation agenda; structure; activities and roles; processes, systems and IT; decision making; performance management; and people and interactions.

The Simplified Four-Step Simplification Solution

The authors recommend “a four-step approach to implementing a lasting solution” for complicatedness-related problems:

#1. Smart Start. Identify the complicatedness dimensions which need to be remedied by, for example, conducting belief audits.

#2. Diagnosis. In-depth employee interviews should help you understand the root causes of unproductive behavior.

#3. Solution Design. Develop appropriate interventions which address the root causes. We’ve gone over some sample actions in the summary above to help you understand how this part works.

#4. Implementation. Now, apply the interventions.

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“How Complicated Is Your Company? Quotes”

The underlying cause of the recent slowdown has been the ongoing, long-term rise of complicatedness. Click To Tweet

Complicatedness is… the increase in organizational structures, processes, procedures, decision rights, metrics, scorecards, and committees that companies impose to manage the escalating complexity of their external business environment. Click To Tweet

Companies that develop strategies and design processes to respond quickly and effectively to their complex business environments can gain a significant competitive advantage over their peers. Click To Tweet

Striving for simplicity involves more than addressing a single dimension of complicatedness. Click To Tweet

Rooting out complicatedness is possible but only with a structured and focused simplification effort. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Since it addresses a complex problem, “How Complicated Is Your Company?” is too simple for its own sake.

True, companies should streamline processes and structures, but this is not as innovative as the article makes it sound.

And, somehow, we are not convinced that complicatedness is “the underlying cause” for the economic decline.    Take this summary with you and read anywhere! Download PDF: