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.

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Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary

Make Mentoring Work PDFThe very core of creating value for your community revolves around the idea of having someone to teach you and gear you up for the unavoidable clash.

Each organization requires a person with expertise to handle the toughest challenges!

In this book summary, we turn our heads towards finding the secret recipe in delivering the ultimate solution to every problem.

Who Should Read “Make Mentoring Work”? And Why?

If at some point, you’ve shown promising signs of developing into a smart leader or manager, this book comes as a blessing to you.

Each leader in-the-making should explore the depths of it and learn how to make the most of each activity.

In other words, “Make Mentoring Work” questions the traditional styles of managing human resources and provides revolutionized ideas you can use.

About Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson currently has the role of national president of the Australian Human Resources Institute Ltd.

He is also an author and a mentorship expert.

“Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary”

Top-notch organizations are totally aware of the necessity of recruiting and most-importantly spotting talents to help them launch their mentoring ideas. Nurturing these programs takes more than just proper planning and even better execution.

Nowadays, job applicants and employees in various companies look ahead to perceiving mentorship as some sort of a job benefit. To bring these demands into line with the digital age, corporations are prepared to initiate planned programs.

Laying the groundwork for the mentoring program requires a certain dose of expertise and discipline to abide by these guidelines:

  • The person who is in the spotlight must be aware of its role in the mentorship agenda.
  • People who thrive in mentorship situations, and those being coached should specialize in all features related to management and building such relationships.
  • Regardless of your position, you should wholeheartedly enroll in programs to understand the big picture in an often-neglected race against time.
  • Although many organizations skip this step, it’s vital for the mentor and the student to reach a state of full-compliance and blend their ideas into the overall objective.
  • Mentors should actively support their students and show them how to destroy their shallow limitations. Seize the day and don’t dread the idea to endorse your new concepts and give them a go.
  • The bottom line is – the mentor should allocate some time in writing and defining the final report.
  • Both need to perpetrate acts which lead to finding a final resolution to job-related issues.
  • Mentoring requires supervision, control, and higher understanding.

It’s needless to say that without integrity and honesty, mentors can’t carry out the fundamental activities on a daily basis. In other words, they have to be friendly and honest regarding all matters that involve human management. Moreover, they have to put themselves in the shoes of their subordinates and look at things differently.

For instance, every noteworthy mentor is aware that its responsibilities are stretched out to the maximum. Basically, without wisdom, hard work and credibility they can’t enforce rules or enact specific ideas.

Today’s top workers are looking for an employer prepared to invest in their skill levels and career learning.

They should always lean towards active listening and deep understanding, instead of promoting their official status on every occasion. A good mentor spends 80% listening and only 20% talking.

Most importantly, skillful mentors place emphasis on filling the atmosphere with hope and welcoming approach. For instance, many companies now pay their employees to generate ideas. For every bad idea, each employee gets a reward.

So, encouraging your mentees to speak up and share their views leads to profits; and ultimately, satisfaction at the end of the sales funnel. Mentors must not step outside the lines of decency and protocols. Behaving positively at meetings will give the mentees the vital edge they require.

Expanding the network of associates and partners is one of the few things you should strive to achieve.  

It’s not all butter and milk. Friendly mentors must sometimes go for a hard pep talk, which can lift the spirits of all parties involved in the process. You have to feel the situation and provide a response that is in tune with the environment.

The mentor must show understanding and interest in paving the way with healthy habits and even better management skills. Mentees, on the other hand, must display a commitment to follow the lead and thus increase their input. Proficient mentors are a valuable gem for up-and-comers in these activities:

  • Handling complex relationships and dealing with complicated characters.  
  • Managing the corporate framework and the needs of the stakeholders.
  • Lean towards the idea of becoming a full-equipped manager who tackles social, economic and political ambiguities.
  • Looking for answers that cast doubt on ethical norms.

Here are the three crucial roots:

  1. Socratic philosophy – Socrates had a huge base of students, who perceived him as a figure of authority whose actions revealed great wisdom. Mentors have the same role and act with the same dose of mystery. They provide guidance and instruct younger mentees on how to improve their performance.  
  2. Parental behavior – It comes as no surprise why many people refer to mentors as “second parents” who guide them through life.
  3. Spiritual vibes – Last but not least – mentors are spiritual gurus. Whenever an employee/mentee has a problem, a mentor should be willing to listen and find time to resolve the issue.

Key Lessons from “Make Mentoring Work”

1.      The harder you train, the easier the game
2.      Discover new forms of leadership
3.      Explore the depths of the relationship-building process

The harder you train, the easier the game

Face-to-face meetings are pivotal and unavoidable routine for every four-start mentor. Why’s that?

In these gatherings, the students learn how to act with decorum, because in the foreseeable future they may have to test the burden of being a mentor.

Discover new forms of leadership

You must not allow direct interference in the company’s long-term prosperity by any newbie, and on such occasions – the ends do justify the means.

It’s fair to say that coaching, is the embodiment of proper leadership because it directs the employees’ efforts and puts the mentor’s expertise to the test.

Explore the depths of the relationship-building process

In the traditional sense of mentor-mentee relationships, the mentor often takes the role of an older brother.

However, in the modern era, the age difference is melting, and co-mentoring emerges as a method way of coping with the increased pressure.

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“Make Mentoring Work Quotes”

Good mentors help you to walk in your own shoes, even if you start out just wanting to walk in theirs. Click To Tweet Listening to how the challenges of the mentee would have been handled at a similar stage in the mentor’s own working life is hugely powerful. Click To Tweet Mentoring is also about life leadership. It’s about becoming a leader in your own life with a little help from someone who has already shown leadership on their own. Click To Tweet Mentoring is a proactive bespoke art that confers rights but also places obligations on both mentor and mentee. Click To Tweet Mentors need to telegraph that their purpose is to give unconditional positive support and encouragement. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Mentoring is a real struggle. A fierce psychological battle that you have to win.

Peter Wilson makes it easier for you by developing a full system that can guide your efforts. Don’t miss it and understand the benefits of it!

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Managing Transitions PDF Summary

Managing Transitions PDFMaking the Most of Change

Whether you own a $100 startup or the largest Internet company in the world – one thing is fairly certain: things change.

The key is to make the most of these changes.

In “Managing Transitions” William Bridges explains how.

Step by step.

Who Should Read “Managing Transitions”? And Why?

When it was first published 26 years ago, “Managing Transitions” was one of the very few books on the market – if not the only one – to point out that as difficult as it can be for a company to deal with situational change, the psychological transitions which come by way of it are much more challenging and strenuous.

In other words, that it is essentially the people one should be worried about during times of change.

And when we say “people” we mean the employees, just as when we say “one” we mostly mean managers.

However, even though primarily a business book, some of Bridges’ psychological insights are so profound and his step-by-step instructions so clear, that we feel that “Managing Transitions” can be used by anyone who deals with almost any kind of change in ordinary life.

William BridgesAbout William Bridges

William Bridges was an American author and organizational consultant, widely considered the foremost expert on business change and transitions for most of his life.

Educated at Harvard (BA, English), Columbia (MA, American History) and Brown (Ph.D., American Civilization), Bridges started off as a professor of American Literature at Mills College but changed careers in 1974.

He wrote ten books, three of which are still in print: “The Way of Transition,” “Transitions” and “Managing Transitions.”

Bridges passed away in 2013 at the age of 79.

“Managing Transitions PDF Summary”

Even though “where there’s change, there’s transition,” change and transition are actually two very different things.

Change is merely a new situation presenting itself, but transition is the personal transformation which goes with it.

Change, in other words, is situational; transition, however, is psychological:

People are the ones who have to embrace new situations and carry out the corresponding changes. The psychological shifts that accompany the situational shifts can be difficult for people and must be managed to have everyone on board.

So, when there’s downsizing or a company relocates, when there’s a merger or a new management team comes on board – there are also hundreds of employees who need to go through a personal transition to keep pace with the factual change.

If managers don’t help them, they may remain stuck in the pre-change situation, which is a double catastrophe: both organizational and personal.

Every transition is a three-phase process, which consists of an ending, neutral zone, and a new beginning.

So, let’s have a look at how managers can help employees to go through each of these stages.

#1. Ending

Not many things begin with an ending, but every transition does:

Before you can begin something new, you have to end what used to be.

And there are few simple, but quite crucial steps one needs to make to (help someone) put an end to something:

a) Understand the situation: you need to explain/understand every change in detail, clearly and comprehensibly;
b) Look ahead: go beyond Stage One: every change brings another and then another;
c) Identify losses: once you understand the situation fully, make a list of who loses what;
d) Recognize the reality: losses are not only material – they can also be subjective and emotional;
e) Expect strong reactions: some will grieve, some will be angry; nothing is an overreaction from the perspective of the one who has lost something due to a change beyond his power;
f) be open and keep the information flowing: sometimes, there’s nothing you can do; communicate that in an earnest, sympathizing manner; don’t lie and don’t hide anything from those going through the transition;
g) respect the past: Hernán Cortés burnt his ships at Vera Cruz to make clear to his crew that going back to Spain was now not an option; make your point in a similarly dramatic way.

#2. The Neutral Zone

Think of the neutral zone as some sort of a bardo or a limbo: you’re on your way, but you’re not there just yet.

And even though “one doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time,” we don’t need to tell you that there are a few things worse than uncertainty in life!

The same is true for your employees, so don’t expect them to be orderly and logical once they realize that there’s no turning back.

So:

a) Keep your demands reasonable: reasonable in the neutral zone means lowered expectations;
b) Old rules out: if necessary, allow your employees to circumvent some of the old policies;
c) Set concise goals: to give your employees a boost in morale, set concise short-term goals;
d) Communicate: help your employees communicate among themselves.

#3. The New Beginning

Beginnings are strange things,” Bridges says. “People want them to happen but fear them at the same time.

To help your employees kickstart their future, always have the four P’s in mind:

Purpose: if people know where they are going, they would be willing to tolerate the change;
Picture: go beyond words: show your people the final destination;
Plan: a change plan is not the same as a transition plan; the latter consists of subjective, individual, emotional and psychological elements;
Part: if one is not part of the transition, he/she will be part of the problem; so, make sure everybody gets a role.

To make sure everyone’s on board with the new beginning, follow these four simple rules:

a) Consistency: be consistent with your goal; otherwise, you’ll lose your people;
b) Go for quick wins: as in the neutral zone, boost your employees’ morale with a few quick and low-risk wins;
c) Use the power of symbols: symbols are powerful and meaningful; so, don’t underestimate them, even if we’re just talking about the color of the uniform after a merger;
d) Throw a success party: celebrate the new beginning.

Key Lessons from “Managing Transitions”

1.      There’s a Difference Between Change and Transition
2.      Transition Is a Three-Phase Process
3.      Take Few Tips Out of Moses’ Book

There’s a Difference Between Change and Transition

Even though the thesaurus may list them as synonyms, change and transitions are two completely different things.

Change is situational and much more objective; transition, on the other hand, is a psychological and subjective experience.

In a nutshell, transition is, in fact, the process of adjusting to change.

It’s easy to change; it’s difficult to make the transition to stay even with the change.

Transition Is a Three-Phase Process

Every transition consists of three phases: ending, neutral zone, and a new beginning.

Putting an end to something means leveling the field for something new: the latter will never arrive if you still hang on to the former.

The neutral zone is the region of chaos and confusion, the in-between place where you can feel the loss of the old but are still unaware of the benefits of the new.

Once you become aware of the advantages of the new situation, you’ve gone through the neutral zone; it’s time for the new beginning.

Take Few Tips Out of Moses’ Book

One of the greatest transition stories in history is the sojourn of the Israelites from Egypt to Israel.

So, be a Moses!

Take your people on the much necessary journey once you’re sure you can get them to Canaan.

Tell them that your journey has a purpose and that the next stage is the promised land.

But, also, be very aware that many will not want to follow you and, while in the neutral zone, will look back with nostalgia on the previous phase, the same way the Israelites did while walking in the desert, when they yearned to go back to Egypt even though they had been slaves there.

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“Managing Transitions Quotes”

Where there’s change, there’s transition. Click To Tweet

Before you can begin something new, you have to end what used to be. Click To Tweet

One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. Click To Tweet

Economic and social forecasting is a big business, but when tested against subsequent events, it misses as many boats as it catches. Click To Tweet

Plans are immensely reassuring to most people, not just because they contain information but because they exist. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Managing Transitions” was first published in 1992 and it was widely hailed as a classic even back then. A quarter of a century later, this brief volume of fewer than 130 pages is considered the definitive guide to dealing with change.

Clear and comprehensible, timely and thorough, “Managing Transitions” is one of the best business books you’ll ever read.

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The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 PDF Summary

The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 PDFAs its title implies, “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008″ is essentially an update of Paul Krugman’s decade younger book, “The Return of Depression Economics.”

Now taking into account the 2008 financial crisis, Paul Krugman is once again at his best investigating what drives economic growth and what causes recession.

And how the government – and we, the regular people – can contribute to the former and stop the latter.

Who Should Read “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008”? And Why?

Since it’s Paul Krugman we’re talking about, it’s safe to say “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008” – just like any other of his books – is a must-read for anyone interested in how the mechanisms of world economics and financial markets work in theory and in practice.

Featuring a host of analogies which simplify complex economic concepts, “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008” may also prove to be a thought-provoking book for beginners as well.

Finally, an economist you can understand!

Paul KrugmanAbout Paul Krugman

Paul Krugman is an American economist, currently working as a columnist for “The New York Times” and as a Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Krugman has authored and edited almost 30 books and has published over 200 scholarly articles, in addition to writing numerous columns for popular publications such as “Slate,” “Fortune,” and “The New York Times.”

One of the most influential thinkers in the world, in 2011, a survey ranked Krugman as the economists’ favorite economist under 60 by a wide margin.

In 2008, Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to New Economic Geography and New Trade Theory.

“The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 PDF Summary”

When Paul Krugman writes for the general public, he is very aware that he is writing for the general public.

So, he uses great analogies to describe complex processes and, subsequently, make his point.

Let’s start our summary with possibly the most significant – and memorable – presented in “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008,” since it describes the logic behind an economic slump.

Say that a babysitting co-op has been set up for 150 couples with young children.

Its currency: babysitting coupons which are given to one babysitting couple when it babysits for another to be used on a night out.

And in the beginning, everything is going great: some couples are happy with how other couples are babysitting, and the latter are happy with the value of the coupon they earn in return.

However, after some time, the couples begin to sense that there is some shortage of coupons.

As a result, they are now much more interested in babysitting to earn coupons, than using the coupons they have already earned.

This, however, means that nobody is going out now, and that, consequently, nobody needs a babysitting couple.

So, in other words, the babysitting business comes to a halt; and, what’s worse, nobody is enjoying life.

Why?

There’s no corruption, not one single change in the babysitting practices, and the quality of the service hasn’t diminished one bit.

Well, Paul Krugman notes,

The problem was not with the co-op’s ability to produce, but simply a lack of ‘effective demand’: too little spending on real goods (babysitting time) because people were trying to accumulate cash (babysitting coupons) instead. The lesson for the real world is that your vulnerability to the business cycle may have little or nothing to do with your more fundamental economic strengths and weaknesses: bad things can happen to good economies.

There’s one more lesson here, and it’s both the more important one and the one Krugman advances.

Namely: the solution.

According to Krugman, there are two different ways to solve the problem of this anecdotal babysitting co-op.

The first is a law forcing each of the couples to go out at least twice a month. The second – much more reasonable – is to simply up the supply of babysitting coupons.

Recessions, in other words, can be fought simply by printing money – and can sometimes (usually) be cured with surprising ease.

Unfortunately, however – as the analogy demonstrates – recessions can be also pretty difficult to predict, since panic (regardless of how irrational) can easily supersede sound macroeconomic policies.

But nobody knows when a panic will evolve to do just that, since not every shock causes panics of this degree.

Once again, an analogy illustrates the situation well.

Think of a microphone in an auditorium: it always produces a feedback loop, since the speakers emit the sound of the microphone which is then caught by the microphone and send back to the speakers to be amplified.

However, this is usually controlled and causes no problems.

But, what will happen if, say, the sound is too loud or the room has a significant echo?

That’s right: a malfunction of such extent which will cause the system to stop working properly.

Well, the very same happens in an economy: a lack of regulation of a system leads to its breakdown.

That’s exactly what caused the crisis of the 2008 – according to Krugman: the risk-taking practices of shadow banks, i.e., institutions which basically function as such, but are not regulated or capable of coping with crises.

As the shadow banking system expanded to rival or even surpass conventional banking in importance, politicians and government officials should have realized that we were re-creating the kind of financial vulnerability that made the Great Depression possible – and they should have responded by extending regulation and the financial safety net to cover these new institutions. Influential figures should have proclaimed a simple rule: anything that does what a bank does, anything that has to be rescued in crises the way banks are, should be regulated like a bank.

Key Lessons from “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008”

1.      Capitalism Is Doing Just Fine
2.      The Romantic Aspects of Capitalism
3.      We Need to Spend More… and Governments Need to Print More Money

Capitalism Is Doing Just Fine

Even though many people saw the economic collapse of 2008 as a signal for the end of capitalism, Paul Krugman said – even back then, a decade ago – that this was just a needless exaggeration.

Put differently, there’s no more Soviet Union in the world and nowadays even China is much more of a capitalistic country than a communist one. The fact that it has annexed Hong Kong and it has still preserved its free market is a proof that capitalism is just too valuable to be destroyed.

So, don’t worry: capitalism is doing just fine.

The Romantic Aspects of Capitalism

In fact, capitalism is doing more than fine.

Because, nowadays, it has even entered a phase of romanticism.

That is: for the first time in history, there is such thing as a popular capitalistic hero.

We’re not talking about Fords or Rockefellers anymore.

Oh no: ours is the time of the Musks and Jobses, the genius entrepreneurs capable of succeeding in spite of mammoth corporations.

And it’s a good time to be alive in!

We Need to Spend More… and Governments Need to Print More Money

Depression economics” is basically a failure on the demand side of the economy. And, even though it is a problem, this is the better one of the two.

In other words, we are producing more than we need.

What we now need to do is to start spending.

And, in cases of recession, to hope the government starts printing money – instead of being indecisive.

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“The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008 Quotes”

Economics inevitably takes place in a political context. Click To Tweet

Who can now use the words of socialism with a straight face? I can remember when the idea of revolution, of brave men pushing history forward, had a certain glamour. Now it is a sick joke. Click To Tweet

Much of the world, very much including the United States, is grappling with a financial and economic crisis that bears even more resemblance to the Great Depression than the Asian troubles of the 1990s. Click To Tweet

The Great Depression was brought to an end by a massive deficit-financed public works program, known as World War II. Click To Tweet

There are probably around 12 million American homeowners with negative equity as this book goes to print. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Written in the midst of the financial crisis as an analytical tract (“not so much what happened as why it happened”), “The Return of Depression Economics and the Crisis of 2008” became a classic as soon as it was published.

A decade later, it still is.

Highly recommended.

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The Evolution of Cooperation PDF Summary

The Evolution of Cooperation PDFThe Way to Successful Leadership

It can be said with some confidence that developing into a self-motivated and compassionate leader requires mental resilience.

Not all individuals can cope with the burden that derives from such responsible decision-making.

In this book summary, we try to use the Prisoner’s Dilemma matrix to encapsulate the author’s main findings.

Who Should Read “The Evolution of Cooperation”? And Why?

People are social creatures, and as such we are compelled to get together with other individuals who share the same moral values. Getting to know the other, is, in fact, understanding yourself.

Cooperation is neither modern nor stylish term. It originates from the ancient gatherings of the Stone Age, where groups tried to improve their chances of survival by collectivizing their efforts.

A movement with one accord is proving to be harder than we imagined.

The Evolution of Cooperation” gives some thoughts on this problematic, and that’s why it’s perfect for managers and leaders in the making.

About Robert Axelrod

Robert AxelrodRobert Marshall Axelrod is a renowned American political scientist born on May 27, 1943. Currently, he is a professor at the University of Michigan and the author of several books.

In 1964, Axelrod obtained his B.A. in mathematics from the University of Chicago, and five years later he received his Ph.D. from Yale University.

“The Evolution of Cooperation PDF Summary”

Truly, we couldn’t help but notice that cooperation emerges in various forms, depending on the environmental factors.

Robert loves to use real-live vivid examples to give a brief explanation on how collaboration or alliance can change.

Have you ever been heartbroken because the partner didn’t appreciate your efforts? Do you have a hard time when it comes to aligning personal agenda with company’s objectives? Is it worth it to show compassion and kindness to those who are not willing to repay the favor?

The discrimination of others may be among the most important of abilities because it allows one to handle interactions with many individuals without having to treat them all the same, thus making possible the rewarding of cooperation from one individual and the punishing of defection from another

What advice would you give to other people? Or if you want to take the matter even further – How should a country react to Blitzkrieg – a hostile invasion without a declaration of war?

To drive this point home further, it’s best if you learn the ropes of Prisoner’s Dilemma matrix. It’s a simple 2 row and 2 column visual graphic that forms four equal adjoining boxes.

Evidently, each of these boxes represents a different case or scenario that illustrate an outcome inherent in such circumstances:

  • Box 1: Cooperation column and cooperation row – The first box manifests the highest form of cooperation, and in doing so – each player receives 3 points for its efforts.
  • Box 2: Defection column and cooperation row – The second box entirely differs from the first one on the ground that unity is not always the best solution. The column player decides to abandon the coalition, but the row participants strive for cooperation. In doing so, the row player receives zero points, and then defecting column player win the game by accumulating 5 points.
  • Box 3: Cooperation column and defection row – This box, in fact, represent the inversive process of the previous box. The column player now is pressing for cooperation and the row player chooses to seize the momentum and defect.
    The winner is the row player with 5 points, and the column player goes home empty-handed.
  • Box 4: Defection column and defection row – In the last case scenario where both players decide to defect and go on their own, each of the participants receives P – which stands for punishment. They both get one point.

As the process exhibits, the game awards the players based on their decision during the show. However, the worst part is that the participants can manipulate the system.

For instance, if the game is played once, both players will logically choose defection to accrue the benefits of one-time play.

If the play is extended to several rounds, the decision-making becomes more rational. If the participants settle upon the idea of embracing cooperation, they will maximize their points!

So, the ground to make split second-decisions shifts due to the intensity and continuance of the game. Taking advantage of cooperative strategy breaks the chains of ego-centric approach.

This logic indicates that both of the players would want to amplify the beneficial side of the deal until the game reaches its end.

Investors know that every penny that is not included in the endless cash flow process loses its value. The same logic goes for Prisoner’s Dilemma because participants prefer immediate payoffs over future ones. Nonetheless, the value of the reward is not calculated in such manner.

By taking all these elements into account, a person might be thrown off balance. So, what’s the best strategy an iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma of infinite time?

To get the big picture, researchers organized a contest and invited renowned figures from all spheres of influence including psychology, math, sociology, to give their contribution to the project.

All of them were obligated to propose computer programs that can overshadow the other one. Out of 14 candidates, Tit for Tat was announced the winner. A professor from the University of Toronto – Anatol Rapoport was the inventor of the program.

Tit for Tat is a simple, and technologically advanced program that functions in a highly unique fashion. It starts with cooperation, as the main move that symbolizes a good fighting spirit.

Next up, the program emulates the movements of other computer applications, making it literally impossible to outsmart it.

What accounts for TIT FOR TAT’s robust success is its combination of being nice, retaliatory, forgiving, and clear.

The 20th century will always remain in history as the bloodiest era of human progress. Let’s jump into World War I and examine the activity at the Western Front where troops from both sides used this cooperative push to gain some momentum.

Staying in trenches for months and fighting the opposing side fiercely for few inches of the territory was their daily routine. What came as a surprise that German or Allied soldiers would walk right into the enemy’s shooting range, but the soldiers would ceasefire.

A new world – driven by the endless fire of cooperation and mutual understanding.

Key Lessons from “The Evolution of Cooperation”

1.      The horrors and miracles of World War I
2.      Tit for Tat came out on top
3.      Anticipate the flow of the game

The horrors and miracles of World War I

Even in war times, the cooperation emerged in a spontaneous manner. Along the entire Western, Front soldiers refused to take part in massive killings and strived for reconciliation.

This serves as a proof that cooperation is a powerful strategy that is widely underestimated.

Tit for Tat came out on top

As it turns out, Tit for Tat won the game by a mile – and earned 504 points in a 200 move tournament. It would be ignorant to criticize other programs because pretty much all of them proved its effectiveness onto the battlefield.

Anticipate the flow of the game

The inability to judge the course of the contest makes the participant more aversive towards cooperation and more eager to embrace defection.

In general, everyone would agree that indefinite time-frame is a down-to-earth scenario.

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“The Evolution of Cooperation Quotes”

Based upon the tournament results and the formal propositions, four simple suggestions are offered for individual choice: do not be envious of the other player’s success; do not be the first to defect; reciprocate both cooperation and… Click To Tweet Reciprocity is certainly not a good basis for a morality of aspiration. Yet it is more than just the morality of egoism. Click To Tweet It is not an exaggeration to say that reciprocity is a way of life in the Senate. Click To Tweet If the other player is not likely to be seen again, defecting right away is better than being nice. Click To Tweet For cooperation to prove stable, the future must have a sufficiently large shadow. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Even though this book was firstly published in 1984, it’s preserved its glow and status over the years. As an evergreen topic, no one can take away its worth.

We had the honors of indulging in such amazing reading-time and advise you to do the same.

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The Barefoot Executive PDF Summary

The Barefoot Executive PDFThe Ultimate Manual for Being Your Own Boss & Achieving Financial Freedom

Don’t you want to be able to just once go to work in your pajamas?

What about if that is your life?

Carrie Wilkerson teaches you how you can become “The Barefoot Executive.”

(Which, having founded a company by the same name, she quite literally is.)

Who Should Read “The Barefoot Executive”? And Why?

Do you like your job?

Can you imagine yourself doing it for the next decade or half a century?

If so, then – congratulations!

You’re one of the fortunate few people on this planet who’ve managed to become their own executives!

Because we just can’t imagine someone who’s not his own boss – and who, consequently, has to adhere to schedules, deadlines, inflexible work hours, etc. – content enough to not yearn for a different future.

Carrie Wilkerson’s “The Barefoot Executive” is a book about these yearners, the less fortunate ones.

Those who want to do something other than what they’re currently doing.

So, basically, it’s about you.

Carrie WilkersonAbout Carrie Wilkerson

Carrie Wilkerson is a bestselling author, consultant, and sought-after keynote speaker.

Named by “Forbes” a top small business influencer, Wilkerson has been featured on both Fox Business News and CNN and has consulted many Fortune 500 companies, including Google.

“The Barefoot Executive” is her only book so far.

Find out more at http://carriewilkerson.com/

“The Barefoot Executive PDF Summary”

Even though it shares the title, this book has nothing to do with the 1971 live-action Disney movie starring the young Kurt Russell and a very smart TV-loving chimp.

However, it may have everything to do with the brightness of your future and your wellbeing, since Carrie Wilkerson’s goal – as stated in the Introduction is

…to give you hope and to take you through the process of investigating your options and your skill sets to create the financial freedom and work life that you’ve perhaps only dreamed of until now.

Ignore the naysayers and avoid the status quo.

So, in other words, Carrie’s vision of your future is one in which you can go to work without socks – or even pants – and one in which you can have the flexibility to join your daughter on an all-day field trip whenever you like – without asking for permissions and without any consequences.

And she shares this vision in five main parts.

The first part is titled “The Myth Breakers,” and it consists of two chapters: “Job Security, Tenure, Retirement, and Other Fairy Tales” and “Why You Must Own a Business.”

As evidenced by the tiles themselves, these chapters set the tone for Carrie Wilkerson’s main investigation, i.e., the why before the how of becoming your own executive.

Needless to add, as far as Wilkerson is concerned, you’re living in some century past if you still believe that securing a 9-to-5 job for the long run is the only way you can live your life, or that you can retire inspired and live happily ever after on your social security pension only!

It’s never been easier than today to start your own business, so you’re missing the opportunity of your life if you don’t at least try that!

But how should you start?

Well, by not making one of “The Three Big Mistakes” which is how the second chapter of Wilkerson’s book is titled.

The mistakes are chasing someone else’s dream, chasing too many rabbits, and chasing dollars.

Wilkerson’s point here is that you shouldn’t try to be the next anyone because that way you risk detaching your own business from your real desires and dreams, ultimately falling down the same rabbit hole you were trying to climb up from.

In other words: if you don’t work the job you want, create the one you’ve always dreamed about!

Not the one which books say will most probably work, or the one which self-help authors claim will get you the most money.

As Simon Sinek so convincingly argued a while back, there’s only one place from which you should start building your company: its why.

Part three, “The Methods,” is where Wilkerson moves from the why to the how, or, in other words, from motivation to action.

Here she explains what the right mindset of success is and how personalizing a business means taking massive action.

However, actually masterminding it will probably mean doing at least one of two things: finding a good mentor and doing serious research.

After all, even the greatest of sportsmen can’t maximize their talents without a proper mentor – so, don’t act self-important and do find one.

The fourth part of the book – titled “The Models” – covers (quite fittingly) six different business models from which you can choose to develop your business practically from scratch.

The models discussed here are service based (i.e., the one based on using your skill set), expertise-based (coaching and consulting), knowledge-based (information marketing), goods-based (commerce or direct sales), and referral-based (commission or affiliate marketing).

The sixth model is not actually a business model in itself but a combination of the other, since, once you have at least one model firmly planted, nothing’s stopping you from progressing to multiple streams of income.

The fifth and final part of the book, “The Marketplace” is all about positioning and finding your right audience.

It tries to answer questions such as “who wants what you have?” “where will they find you?” and “where will you find them?” while also sharing some ideas to income and discussing how you can effectively build your audience.

Scattered throughout Wilkerson’s book, you’ll find many practical advises and case studies – “Barefoot Action Steps” and “Barefoot Case Studies” – in addition to numerous links to supplemental videos which should further help you understand Wilkerson’s message.

Which, ultimately, is really simple but extraordinarily powerful: if you don’t like your life, you can easily fix it.

Just remodel yourself:

Key Lessons from “The Barefoot Executive”

1.      Shatter the Myths of the Past Century – and Become Your Own Boss
2.      The Three Big Mistakes You Should Never Make
3.      The Five Business Models You Should Research

Shatter the Myths of the Past Century – and Become Your Own Boss

There are many unsubstantiated and/or obsolete myths which, unfortunately, have decided your life for you.

Some of the most frightening ones are the Myth of Job Security, the Myth of Tenure, and the Myth of Retirement.

These are all remnants of a past world which has nothing to do with the dynamic you-can-do-it-yourself age in which we’re currently living.

So, forget about them.

Start your own business and write some new myths for the new generations.

The Three Big Mistakes You Should Never Make

There are three big mistakes you should never make if (or, rather, when) planning to start your own business.

The first one should be an obvious one – but people do it much too often so that we can ignore it: chasing other people’s dreams. The point is to build your life around your very own.

The second one is chasing too many rabbits – because that way you probably won’t catch a single one.

Chasing dollars is the third one.

Money should always be just means to an end, not the end itself.

The Five Business Models You Should Research

Probably the most important part of “The Barefoot Executive” is the fourth one: “The Models.”

Here you’ll find five different business models you should research and the ways you can employ them and link them to your very own business.

These are service-based, expertise-based, knowledge-based, goods-based, and referral-based.

Finally, the sixth model is a combination of these, i.e., multiple streams of revenue.

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“The Barefoot Executive Quotes”

Why do you want to start a business? Why are you reading this book? Click To Tweet

The ‘why’ behind the money, the ‘why’ behind how you are changing people, the ‘why’ behind what you do is what you are really focused on. Click To Tweet

You are never going to work really hard just to have a lot of money. Click To Tweet

What motivates us is what the money can do or the cause it can support or the choices that money allows us to have. Click To Tweet

Take action, absolutely – but also keep learning and growing. Don’t ever be finished. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you want to find a one-for-all working formula on how to start a business and become a filthy rich person, “The Barefoot Executive” is not the book for you.

However, it can do you one better: it offers a comprehensive overview of the possibilities ahead of you while sharing with you all the motivation and inspiration you’ll ever need to finally get the courage to start of your own business.

Funny and stimulating, “The Barefoot Executive” is certainly one of the places where you should start pursuing your dream career.

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Leading Professionals PDF Summary

Leading Professionals PDFPower, Politics, and Prima Donnas

Power and politics are not like fire and water – they are like flames and charcoal. If you get into the water, you’ll get wet.

What we are trying to say is – many people fail to recognize the signs which indicate a foreseeable reality.

Leaders’ job is to anticipate everything and instruct others on how to steer the wheel.

Who Should Read “Leading Professionals”? And Why?

Leading Professionals is an applicable book that is written for the sake of newcomers and those eager to expand their knowledge in the realm of leadership. In other words, it’s perfect for individuals who are willing to dig up the mysteries of proper management.

We sincerely urge you to join Laura’s cause and abide by her paradoxical principles which may take your abilities to the next level. Pay attention and heed the warnings!

About Laura Empson

Laura EmpsonLaura Empson is an author, the Director of the Centre for Professional Service Firm and a senior researcher at Harvard Law School.

She spent more than 2 decades conducting various researches and case studies on professionalism and leadership.

“Leading Professionals PDF Summary”

Leading professionals ought to provide directions for other decision-makers, lawyers, managers, consultants but that isn’t a straightforward process.

Perhaps, avoiding the word – difficult would be the best because such claim can be misconstrued by those who divide matters into two categories: complicated and easy.

Having authority is one thing, knowing when and how to apply it, is an entirely enigmatic momentum. Why? – Because, professionals within an organization tend to possess distinctive features, which can jeopardize the communication in all layers.

In a democratic society, where opinions differ, enacting strict rules which control the behavior of those involved in the process is virtually impossible. Consensus as a tool starts to kick in; this organizational instrument sparks ideas and prompts people to commit themselves to the task, and come to an agreement with others if that’s necessary.

Without such outlooks and horizons, you can’t be regarded as a professional. It’s critical to be open-minded and willing to put the company’s interests above the personal gain. In efforts to align personal and professional goals, people lose their sense of self, so you don’t need to force any rapid conclusion.

According to Laura Empson, professional institutions or companies have to deal with two evidently energetic professionals:

  • Extensive autonomy – Professionals who would do anything to be in charge of their own operations and have an aversion towards monitoring and supervision.
  • Contingent authority – These group of professionals doesn’t mind having support from other leaders and rely on their partners.

Influencing and the ability to ask for better terms is becoming an integral part of the art of “Making Deals.” Leaders who can’t cope with pressure; can’t be labeled as goal-oriented professionals. In hopes of designing the perfect system that stimulates consensus, companies often change their internal policies.  

The standard procedures existing in every professional firm, give rise to a phenomenon named – plural leadership. As the name implies, it refers to a tricky situation that signifies how partnership develops into a new form of a joint command.

To put it briefly, this new form of authority takes the initiative to confront conventional and hierarchical decision-making and places emphasis on professional change.

Acting with such audacity takes more than just courage. The professional firms must be backed by all executives and those willing to invest in helping the management to solve complex organizational issues. All things said, leaders fly in the faces of 10 paradoxes:

  1. Autonomy and control” – It’s no secret that professionals love and appreciate autonomy. Nonetheless, those higher in the chain of command must at least supervise their activities, and finding the right balance is key. These professionals must be given a choice to willing accept a certain level of control for better organizational execution.
  2. Reluctance and ambition” – If you intend to lead and guide other members of the organization, you must not become one of those overly-ambitious leaders.
  3. Political and apolitical leadership” – Often times, professional organizations have political elements in their decision-making. Leaders need to possess specific skills, such as be able to talk smoothly and maintain influential craftiness to subside a storm within the ranks.
  4. Individual and collective interests” – In general, professionals in any company must protect their authority, but on the other side, they should take into account the interests of their partners. Nurturing these connections is vital for maintaining the stability of the organization.
  5. Harmony and conflict” – If your employees are deprived of a harmonious environment – productivity and efficiency will suffer. To avoid quarrels and growing tensions, leaders need to put themselves in the shoes of others to understand their perspective.
    Putting those tense feelings aside can give the organization the upper hand to withstand the competitiveness of the market.
  6. Insecurity and confidence” – Nobody likes insecure individuals! As a leader, you are obligated to help your co-workers and associates to build up that self-esteem and rise to the occasion.
  7. Commercial and professional priorities” – In some companies, a group of professionals may be in charge of large operations. These senior managers are inclined to agree that commercial profits are vital for maintaining the functionality of the company.
  8. Centralized power and distributed leadership” – There’s more than just physical evolution because a professional firm can also evolve in all matters. Power can swing from one executive to the other; departments may receive higher autonomy, and so forth. Leadership also can be distributed to various executives who showcased their readiness to carry out the operations.  
  9. Active and passive leadership” – Indeed, many great leaders act as observers. Their expertise and years of experience grant them the privilege of being spectators, who take drastic measures only in a given situation. Sometimes doing nothing, is in fact, doing everything. This is a great paradox that only a small group of leaders can digest. The proactive form is typical for the majority of managers, but that’s not the only practical approach.
  10. Ambiguity and clarity” – In theory, leaders are duty-bound to aid their base of disciples/followers/members/partners in times of trouble. This is especially true for matters that extend far beyond their level of competence. Ambiguous behavior is one of the most baffling paradox, and leaders in any professional firm must outline a plan to deal with such audacity.

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“Leading Professionals Quotes”

Senior professionals may choose to delegate authority to their elected leaders but reserve the right to undermine or remove them. Click To Tweet The assumption is that professionals who understand their clients’ business will be well qualified to lead their own. This inference is…no more than a good guess. Click To Tweet Political behavior among professionals… is not inherently wrong; it is an organizational fact of life. Click To Tweet Strong relationships between individual professionals and their clients are essential to the successful sale and delivery of professional services. Click To Tweet In a professional organization, the so-called greater good is simply the interests of the collective as defined by its leaders at a particular point in time. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We rarely say this, but it seems like leadership in years to come will gradually transform from proactive into passive shape.

Genuine behavior inspired by the right and accurate information will serve as a tool for making that happen. This book is undoubtedly ahead of its time, and probably we will witness these changes in the foreseeable future.

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Winning with People PDF Summary

Winning with People PDFDiscover the People Principles That Work for You Every Time

Managing human resources as a process is in full-motion since the stone age.

People aligned in groups to improve their chances of survival.

These days, the cutting-edge technology grants us the opportunity to explore the magic in building strong and unbreakable bonds between people.

In this book summary, you’ll get a glimpse at these principles.

Who Should Read “Winning with People”? And Why?

Winning or influencing people has always been the topic of tense debates. Emperors, kings, managers, leaders, opportunists, and careerists, all strive to understand the psychology of influence.

Winning with People” is best suited for managers and leaders, who wish to pull the strings and act upon the feedback they receive from others.

About John C. Maxwell

John C. MaxwellJohn C. Maxwell IS ONE OF AMERICA’S finest authors and experts on leadership and influencing.

He is the author of many bestsellers – 21 Laws of Irrefutable Leadership, Developing the Leader within You, 5 Levels of Leadership, etc.

“Winning with People PDF Summary”

So, Maxwell known for its transparent and genuine approach jumps right into the 25 Principles that can enhance your relationships:

1. The Lens Principle

Have you ever wondered – What may destroy or improve relationships? – According to the author, the way people engage themselves in a conversation is a factor number one. For instance, if you suspect other person’s intentions, that may indicate that you feel pretty much the same way about yourself.

2. The Mirror Principle

If there’s anything harder than not judging others, that’s being aware of these notions. Self-awareness is difficult because people are trapped in the endless circle of thoughts. Trying to solve these tendencies amidst all the confusion, creates the mirror effect.

3. The Pain Principle

Often referred to as the pain body – according to Eckhart Tolle; the pain principle illustrates the magnitude of psychological or mental struggle. A person who experiences these sensations is prone to hurting others and judge those who don’t abide by their norms.

4. The Hammer Principle

Being a drama-queen/king is one-ticket to damaging your relationships. Some people have a habit of pushing the panic button on a regular level. Overreacting creates a brick wall between themselves and the interlocutor, and thus obstructs the process of nurturing strong and effective relationships.

5. The Elevator Principle

Don’t be surprised to hear that you’ve got the power to change another person’s life. It sounds even shocking for most people because they would rather indulge in gossiping than assisting other to overcome their insecurity. Their destructive mindset brings about hatred and impatience.

6. The Big Picture Principle

Well, putting the benefits of others above yours is not a popular approach in the capitalist era, now is it? However, if you persist in making and building great bonds with others, they have to witness sacrifice on your part – not just words.

7. The Exchange Principle

Generally speaking, putting yourself in the shoes of others can drastically reduce the judging notion, and help you get the big picture. By doing so, you’ll become a better listener and a more trusted companion.

8. The Learning Principle

What are your thoughts on helping others craft their skills?  Do you have a firm stand? – Make your presence count at any stage by being the “Example” in the room. A bad attitude renders such process impossible and forms invisible barriers.

9. The Charisma Principle

According to Dale Carnegie, a charismatic leader knows how to get the most out of its associates and employees. It’s proven that friendly body language gives positive vibes and incites people to return the favor in the same manner by being creative and productive.

10. People want their achievements recognized

If you constantly try to undermine the achievements of others, you’ll seriously damage the company/organizational performance. Think about your motives and question your ideas that make you undervalue great successes. Without trust and mutual respect – you can’t flourish.

11. The Confrontation Principle

If you and your team are propelled into a hostile situation, the only thing you can do is provide arguments. Conflicts are an integral part of life, and these events shape your decision-making abilities. Don’t fight the current, just act smart and call a meeting to solicit the views of everyone involved.

12.The Bedrock Principle

As we mentioned, the backbone or the cornerstone of every successful bond is trust. The pillars of building such relationship are formed in the fire of mutual understanding. Being a person with integrity or an individual whose words don’t differ from its actions, represents this principle.

13.The Situation Principle

Having the situation under control at all times seems like an impossible task. Temporary defeats can reduce the credence given to your plans, but that must not be an excuse. Even a top athlete can lose its concentration during the game, so don’t judge yourself, and understand that momentary setback is neither the judge nor the jury of your efforts.

14. The Bob Principle

Have you noticed that every group has a black sheep in their ranks? Leaders need to make sure that everyone’s agendas align with the organization/team/company/ plans. Don’t be that problem-maker and provide support to the management.

15. The Approachability Principle

It’s clear as day that people have no inclination talking to people they dislike. Being available to listen to their complaints can really prove to be a win-win situation. Respect their individuality, because in the 21st century, organizations are customer-centric and every single internal/external preference must be met.

16. The Foxhole Principle

They say – Any friend shows its true face when you are in trouble. So, find the ones that don’t back down when things get messy. Find those who can withstand pressure, and don’t succumb to the strain.

17. The Gardening Principle

Think of relationships as flowers; if you don’t put water, they will dry out. So, renewing and watching after these connections is the only path you should take. Otherwise, you won’t be able to cultivate the bonds you create with people.

18. The 101 Percent Principle

Not many individuals take into account each other’s interests. They just want the other party to honor their side of the agreement, and that’s it. Embrace differences and don’t be pulled by greed because that way you’ll damage your reputation.

19. The Patience Principle

In general, groups tend to be a bit slower than individuals. As such, they require more time in preparations, management, delegation, and execution of tasks. So, if you find yourself in a complex environment, be patient, and remain with both feet on the ground.

20. The Celebration Principle

Everyone is dependent on encouragement, especially after a setback. You need to provide cover and support for the actions of your employees. When joint efforts generate great results, make sure to sing the praises of every individual who contributed to the outcome.

21. The High-Road Principle

This principle emphasizes three rather practical approaches to handle different personalities:

  • Middle road – how you would like to be treated.
  • The lower road – a bit worse than your initial demands.
  • The high road – to be treated better than your demands.

22.The Boomerang Principle

The 22nd principle gives some honest explanation on the give-and-receive attitude. When you lay eyes on a relationship worth investing; you need to do everything in your power to establish a healthy communication between you and the other party. Help others = help yourself.

23.The Friendship Principle  

Friendship is essential for good business. It’s proven through case studies that the art of making a deal heavily depends on harmony and affinity between the parties. If you possess social skills, you are surely aware of this revelation!

24. The Partnership Principle

Two heads think better than one; two leaders can easily outperform a single decision-maker. Partnerships are vital for keeping the ideas flowing in and out. Benjamin Franklin endorses the same assertion by indicating that self-improvement often works better in a union.

25.The Satisfaction Principle

Sharing similar experiences and encounters can often straighten any problems out among members of the same organization. That’s precisely why people indulge in staying together and have this excitement at the beginning of every relationship.

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“Winning with People Quotes”

Any married man should forget his mistakes—there’s no use in two people remembering the same thing. Click To Tweet A person with a negative self-image will expect the worst, damage relationships, and find others who are similarly negative. Click To Tweet People knowledge is much more important than mere product knowledge. Click To Tweet The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing in the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment. Click To Tweet I may not be able to change the world I see around me, but I can change what I see within me. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

John Maxwell never disappoints. His actionable tips and effective strategies regarding leadership made him the person he is today.

We cannot think of any misleading info that we encountered while reading this book.

We give our thumbs up!!!  

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A Complaint Is A Gift PDF Summary

A Complaint Is A Gift PDFRecovering Customer Loyalty When Things Go Wrong

Customers are gold, and the business should revolve around their needs, not your agenda.

Experienced managers and marketers realize that understanding their position is like having the wind at your back!

In this book summary, we try to melt all the vital info and lay the foundations for a new strategy.

Who Should Read “A Complaint Is A Gift”? And Why?

If you ever plan to run a business or expand your expertise regarding CRM, this book should be on your pending list!

We believe that “A Complaint Is A Gift” is like a research bomb, whose clock is already ticking.

Therefore, newcomers in the world of managers, business experts, and marketers need to dive right into the essence of this masterpiece and use its sources to devise better plans.

About Janelle Barlow

Janelle BarlowJanelle Barlow is an expert in customer behavior and the president and owner of TMI US. Her contribution to customer-management is out of the question.

Despite being the author of four books including (Emotional Value), she has also provided many top-notch brands with consulting services!

“A Complaint Is A Gift PDF Summary”

If you didn’t see this one coming – we have to explain that receiving complaints doesn’t reflect “The End of the World.” Truly, there’s a number of useful practices that can help you understand the big picture. For instance, you can accelerate your business career by knowing how to interpret complaints and appreciate their effect.

If companies can begin to see complaints as gifts, it will open an entirely new path for interacting with customers and benefit everyone.

Janelle insists on observing especially highly-negative complaints as messages, which help you steer your company. In other words, using this vital info can give you the upper hand in defeating your rivals. You don’t need us telling you that this is not the industrial era – for every action, there is a suitable reaction.

So, why gifts?

There’s one thing to keep in mind – if you decide to conduct an analysis regarding consumer behavior, or if you endeavor to make heads and tails of something, you need valuable and sincere feedback from the other party.

In this case, that other legal body/union/group/association are your customers. If you label yourself as a customer-centric organization that is not merely profit-driven, you have to put customer behavior on top of your priorities.

Their feedback is priceless because it directs your company on the right path. Always be passionate about complainers, they are your corner guy! Make them feel like you care for their objection.

Fortunately, Janelle Barlow designed 8 Step Fundamental Technique – named The Gift Formula that helps you determine what to do in which situation.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Say, “Thank you.”

Expressing gratitude means that you are not biased when it comes to the company’s performance and you take all notes into account. On top of that, you don’t evaluate nor verify the legitimacy of the complaint.

When it’s your birthday, and you receive a gift – we assume you don’t ask nor demand specifications about the present. Where it was purchased, how much it costs, who bought it, and so forth. Whether you need it or not, it’s polite to say “Thank You.”

  1. Explain why you appreciate the feedback.

Customers love their needs to be met, and you can’t do much better than explaining your official status about the quarrel.

You know the old one? – The customer is always right! That means, even if they don’t have trustworthy arguments you must put their interests above yours.

  1. Apologize for the mistake.

Do you have to apologize for specific errors in the process? – Indeed, but only after you complete the first two stages, and created an official stand about the problem.

If you merely apologize, the customer would feel as if the company plans to do nothing, and their feedback means very little to you. Give them a feeling that the organization is working on improvements to meet their needs.

  1. Promise to do something about the problem immediately. Take responsibility.

What customers value the most? – To be involved in the process of decision-making! It’s sound a bit strange that a one-time customer can dictate your operations, but it’s the only path you should take.

Start by saying what and how fast you plan to fix the problem to change their opinion.

  1. Ask for necessary information.

If you monitor these processes or if you are one of the employees who handle customer complaints, you need to possess certain expertise and full-knowingness of the tunnel for dealing with such issues.

Making the customer feel pleased with the company’s efforts, is vital to keep the organization functional. A significant portion of these complainers don’t expect any action on your behalf; they just want to share their issue with the organization.

  1. Correct the mistake – promptly.

Well, speed does matter. Look at it this way, you go to an expensive restaurant, and you order caviar and wine for you and your lovely lady. The waiter accepts the order but delivers it 50 minutes after the initial demand is made. What would be your response?

Your patience has expired, and even if the food is delicious, your overall experience with the restaurant is not that great. Fixing any issue at lightning speed is critical for transforming these unhappy customers into loyal “subjects.”

  1. Check customer satisfaction.

After you completed all these steps in the process, it’s vital to assess the customer satisfaction and see whether their aversion is starting to fade away.

Make a call is one way to do it and ask whether the solution to the problem satisfies their appetites. In some rare occasion, you can also share the precautions taken to prevent the issue from occurring again.

  1. Prevent future mistakes.

Train your staff to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Make sure that you don’t pass the blame on them, always take “We” instead of “You” “I” “He” “She,” that way you’ll make everyone equally responsible for both successes and failures.

If you display excellent management skills, your staff members will eagerly put your instructions into action and implement the solution to its full extent.

Key Lessons from “A Complaint Is A Gift”

1.      The customers are your most precious jewel
2.      You are not right
3.      Take one step at the time

The customers are your most precious jewel

Profit-driven companies hit the bottom quicker than you ever thought possible.

We are not saying that you should not be making money, that is absurd, but your primary incentive must be making the end user happy and satisfied.

You are not right

If you have all the arguments in the world to prove the customer wrong; you’ll still be leaning towards the losing side!

It’s not what you can prove, or how well you can contradict the consumer’s statements, but how you handle complaints.

Take one step at the time

Don’t simply rush into conclusions; making split second-decision won’t do you any good. To deliver a superior product, you have to execute all steps with utmost perfection.

In doing so, you’ll build a strong base of loyal admirers!

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“A Complaint Is A Gift Quotes”

If companies can begin to see complaints as gifts, it will open an entirely new path for interacting with customers and benefit everyone. Click To Tweet We must welcome these complaining customers and make them want to come to us with their feedback. Click To Tweet Without open communication between front-line personnel and managers, service quality is very difficult to achieve. Click To Tweet Poorly written policies encourage front-line employees to pay more attention to enforcing company rules than satisfying upset customers. Click To Tweet Organizations need to encourage staff to seek out complaints because this will define what customers want. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Your customers don’t feel pity for you, and they expect something in return for either their time or money.

Janelle teaches you how to make the most out of any situation by advocating for superior-quality.

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How to Be a Power Connector PDF Summary

How to Be a Power Connector PDF The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits

Do you want to be successful?

Of course, you do!

A few decades old news flash:

Success is not just about having an innovative idea and some luck along the way.

It’s also about having a vast network.

And according to Judy Robinett, even that isn’t enough anymore!

Great networkers are a thing of the past; it’s about time you learned “How to be a Power Connector.”

Who Should Read “How to Be a Power Connector”? And Why?

“How to Be a Power Connector” is the book anyone who wants to learn how to build a stronger business network should read.

Consequently, it’s a must-read for those who want to climb the career ladder and improve their future prospects.

And because, ultimately, it tends to teach you how to be a more sociable person, it’s also about talented introverts who want to find a way to be successful in the dynamic business world of today.

Judy RobinettAbout Judy Robinett

Judy Robinett, “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex,” is a business thought leader and a long-time entrepreneur and corporate executive.

She has been on the advisory boards of Illuminate Ventures, Pereg Ventures, Springboard Enterprises, and Women Innovate Mobile (WIM).

In addition, she has been profiled in “Forbes,” “Huffington Post,” and “Bloomberg Businessweek.”

The bestselling “How to Be a Power Connector” is her only book so far.

“How to Be a Power Connector PDF Summary”

If you’ve ever watched a film about street gangs – or been in one – you’ve probably learned one of the fundamental rules of gang membership:

For better or for worse, once you’re in a gang, people tend to attach to you the deeds of the gang.

So, you’re either good or bad by reputation, inspiring fear or respect even if you’re very different from the rest of those in the gang.

Translate that in the world of business networking:

If you know Jeff Bezos – or even know someone who knows him – people tend to look at you differently and listen to your ideas with very different ears.

Put that in terms of a simple equation:

More powerful network = more personal power.

Or, as Judy Robinett puts it:

Skill is fine, and genius is splendid, but the right contacts are more valuable than either.

So, is your network strong enough to harness your skill and genius?

If you don’t know the answer to that question, ask yourself at least three other:

#1. What is the proportion of strategic relationship when compared to other network relationships? (This is called, strategic quotient, SQ, and it’s a very important metric)

#2. How many people do you talk on a regular basis, and how much value do these discussions add to your future prospects?

#3. How many people on your “networking wish list” are you connected with, and do you have a plan on how to connect with those you are currently not?

If your SQ is great, and you have all but few people left on your networking wish list – then you’re doing a great job as a power connector.

If not, it’s time you regroup and start building your network according to the 5+50+100 Rule:

Your Top 5: The Inner Circle

There should be only 5 people in the world that you are really close to and that you listen and talk to on a daily basis.

Normally, these are probably your parents, your spouse, your best friend and your business partners.

These are the people that are prepared to go to hell and back with you, and the people you won’t hesitate calling at 3AM even if you need some help to bury a body in the backyard.

Your Key 50: The Valuable Circle

This group consists of people you should contact on a weekly basis.

They are your friends and your close associates which are valuable to you, so you always try to add some value to their lives.

In time, it will certainly pay off.

Your Vital 100: The Business Circle

These are some of your more distant friends and occasional business acquaintances.

You like these people as well, but you have only 24 hours in a day, and 7 days a week – so you should contact your vital 100 about once a month.

You can’t afford (and don’t like) to lose them – but you don’t have time to add value to their lives as well.

However, your job doesn’t end with recategorization.

The catch is to choose wisely as well and build a deep and diversified network.

There’s no point in surrounding yourself with people who are like you – or are alike each other. So, if you are a Buddhist, find some Catholics to talk to once in a while; and if you are a Liberal, spend some time with a Democrat or two.

Next, find the right environment for your network.

Once again, there’s no point in having twenty publishing agents in your Key 50 if you are not planning to publish a book.

Concerning this, Steve Jobs – who else? – once offered new entrepreneurs great advice you should heed to: donate to the charities of the people you want to meet.

Because – well, you’ll help, and, as a bonus, you’ll be invited to their Christmas parties!

Key Lessons from “How to Be a Power Connector”

1.      The 5+50+100 Rule
2.      The 10 Character Traits of Power Connectors
3.      The 4 Steps of Power Connecting

The 5+50+100 Rule

Want to build yourself a strong network?

Then follow the 5+50+100 Rule!

It’s fairly simple:

Set aside a group of 5 people – your Top 5 – you know you can trust come what may. Usually, these are your parents, your spouse, your best friend and your direct business associate. Call these people daily and help them whenever; they will help you back even if you don’t.

Your Key 50 should be a group of close friends and close associates. Call them at least once a week and try to add some value to their lives whenever possible.

Finally, your Vital 100 should be a group of distant business acquaintances you really like and whom you should call about once a month.

155 people – that’s the rule-of-thumb limit of your network!

The 10 Character Traits of Power Connectors

All power connectors share ten traits:

#1. Authentic: they are “genuine, honest, and transparent.”
#2. Trustworthy: they are dependable and have a great reputation based on their past results.
#3. Respectful: they are “appreciative of the time and efforts of others” and “treat subordinates with the same level of respect as they do supervisors.”
#4. Caring: “they like to help others succeed” and “have good hearts.”
#5. Listening:  they ask beautiful questions, and they are authentically “eager to learn about others – what’s important to them, what they’re working on, what they’re looking for, and what they need.” 
#6. Engaged: they actively take participation in life and are passionate about things.
#7. Patient: “they recognize that relationships need to be cultivated over time” and so, they invest time in maintaining them.
#8. Intelligent: they are not just skillful and smart, but also they are thoughtful and never burn bridges.
#9. Sociable: they are “nice, likable, and helpful.” In fact, most of them “enjoy being with people, and they are happy to connect with others.” 
#10. Connected: “they are part of their own network of excellent strategic relationships.”

The 4 Steps of Power Connecting

Power connecting is a game of four stages.

It starts with preparation, which means making a 5+50+100 wish list of connections.

Then, you should move to targeting, or, in other words, actually finding ways to meet the people on your list.

Once you do, follow up – it’s crucial to recontact your targets within 24 hours.

Finally, connect your connections for the long run – be sure to add or create some value in their lives, and connect them to some other people from your circles.

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“How to Be a Power Connector Quotes”

Business relationships are important for strong communities. Click To Tweet

Be completely honest. Always own up to a mistake if you’ve made one. It’s more important to be nice than to be right. Click To Tweet

When you deliver first-class work as a volunteer, people will assume you deliver the same high-quality work in your professional life. Click To Tweet

Never burn bridges. People change—cut them some slack and be forgiving. Click To Tweet

In the end, the most important thing will not be the titles you have held or the money you have made but the kind of person you have become. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

The main premise of Judy Robinett’s book “How to Be a Power Connector” is that nowadays networking may be more important than both skill and genius – and that it is learnable.

Even if the former is not entirely true, business networking is still an essential part of modern life.

Use this book to become skilled at it.

It’s neatly organized and easily applicable – so you can start tomorrow!

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