Captivate PDF Summary

Captivate PDF SummaryThe Science of Succeeding with People

Not exactly a people person?

The good news: it’s not in your genes.

The even better news: Vanessa Van Edwards has all the scientific facts you need to help you become more sociable.

And she’ll teach you how to:

Captivate.

Who Should Read “Captivate”? And Why?

The 21st century is all about networking.

So, whether you want to hire the right employees, be hired by the right clients or, simply, meet the right people – you need to improve your social skills.

And Captivate is undoubtedly a great starting point.

About Vanessa Van Edwards

Vanessa Van EdwardsVanessa Van Edwards is an American behavioral investigator and a bestselling author.

Inspired by numerous awkward experiences in her childhood, Van Edwards founded Science of People, a Portland-based research lab where she and her team study the science of human behavior.

Captivate is her first book.

“Captivate PDF Summary”

In a world that’s all about networking and the people you know, your social skills can either make or break you.

If you don’t want to be a victim of the latter, Vanessa Van Edwards’

Don’t Play Their Game: Beat Them at Your Own

“The eagle never lost so much time as when he submitted to learn of the crow,” wrote once William Blake.

According to Vanessa van Edwards, the same can be applied to human relations: you don’t need to act like you belong everywhere; you don’t need to act like you excel in all situations.

Want a proof?

Well, a survey done by Vanessa’s lab, Science by People, has revealed that 86,9 percent (out of 4.361 participants) are capable of identifying a fake smile.

So, even when you think you’re fitting in, if you are fake smiling, you’re probably already recognized as an impostor.

How can you change that?

The simple answer is: you can’t. The better one: by avoiding these awkward social situations.

After all, it couldn’t possibly be that all the people at a party matter to you!

Focus on the right ones!

Just take a page out of the authoress’ book.

Literally.

Vanessa explains how one of her YouTube followers once complained to her in a comment that she needs to look more professional, and, in order to do that, she needs to get rid of her casual clothes.

Of course, Vanessa’s knee-jerk reaction was to go shopping.

However, soon she realized that she doesn’t do the YouTube videos for the people who can be distracted by her apparel.

She wanted only those who could focus.

You don’t need to appeal to everyone.

Focus on the right people. And be yourself:

When you try to be the same as everyone else, it’s boring. When you try to fit into a mold, you become forgettable. When you try to be “normal,” you become dull. Just be yourself, because no one is like you. If you’re a little weird, own it. The right people will like you for it.

The Triple Threat of First Impressions

“Whether we like to admit it or not,” writes Vanessa Van Edwards, “we decide if we like someone, if we trust someone, and if we want a relationship with someone within the first few seconds of meeting them.”

Great, you say!

Now you’ve taken the pressure off of me… not!

Hey, of course we’re not going to say that so many things depend on your first impression without sharing with you a great hack to use this to your benefit.

It’s called the Triple Threat, and you can use it as much as you like. People are capable of identifying fake smiles, but they can’t seem to see through the Triple Threat.

So, you’re biologically OK in this case!

The Triple Threat is all about body language.

First, start with your hands.

It is incredibly important to keep them visible at all times.

Why?

Interestingly enough, because of evolution. Namely, people still feel distrust for people who hide their hands because a few millennia ago, that could have signified that they are carrying some weapon.

Hack this instinct to your benefit!

Next – moving on to posture.

You already know that the Wonder Woman stance can do wonders for you in terms of confidence; however, it’s not exactly one you could strike in a casual conversation during an event organized by, say, your networking agent.

Which is why you should learn the Launch stance!

Pull your shoulders backward and downward, push your chest forward and let your arms fall gently away from your body.

Now you’re ready for the final piece of the puzzle: eye contact.

Eye contact stimulates the production of oxytocin, the “I trust you” hormone.

In other words, maintain eye contact with someone two-thirds of a conversation, and you’ve got yourself a new friend!

Microexpressions and the Seven Universal Emotions

As we’ve already told you, Paul Ekman – aka Tim Rothman in Lie to Me – is “the best human lie detector in the world.”

One of his most important contributions to the field of psychology is his discovery of the human microexpressions, involuntary emotional responses which, unlike other facial expressions, are fast, brief and impossible to hide.

Be attentive of their manifestations, and you’ll be able to uncover which one of the seven universal emotions the person you’re talking to is going through.

#1. Anger, for example, generates two vertical lines between the eyes and pinched eyebrows; in addition, the mouth is tense, either tight-lipped and shut or open wide as if before a shout.

#2. Contempt is defined by something we generally refer to as a smirk, aka the smile that isn’t (or, even, the Mona Lisa smile). As in a smile, a smirk comes with a mouth skewed to one side; however, it indicates dislike or displeasure.

#3. Unlike contempt, happiness shows all over the face; in other words, people are not smiling only with their lips, but also with their cheeks and eyes; but, then again, you’ll know a happy smile when you see one.

#4. Fear is expressed mainly through the eyebrows and the wide-open eyes; additionally, people who fear usually open their mouths: an evolutionary instinct to stimulate extra inflow of oxygen.

#5. Surprise is similar to fear: wide-open eyes and raised eyebrows; however, in fear, the eyebrows pull together; in surprise, they pull apart.

#6. When someone feels disgust, his/her upper nose wrinkles, his cheeks raise and his upper lip lifts; you know, the thing everybody does after taking a bite of a bad sandwich.

#7. Just like happiness, sadness is easily distinguishable; just look for a frowning, downward and drooping expression.

Swim the OCEAN: The Five Major Personality Traits

In the 1980s, Dr. Lewis Goldberg discovered what we now call the Big Five personality traits, often represented by the acronym OCEAN, because, well, the first letters of these traits somehow – and strangely – form that word.

They also form another one – CANOE – but the OCEAN model sounds less confusing than the CANOE model, which, let’s face it, few would think is an attempt at psychological taxonomy.

So, we guess you won’t blame us for preferring the first order:

#1. Openness to Experience. This trait explains how curious or adventurous you are. A good rule of thumb: if you like your daily routines and you’re not that into traveling, then there’s a high chance that you’re not that open to experiences. On the other hand, if you want to self-actualize through peak experiences, then you are.

#2. Conscientiousness. This trait is related to how efficient/organized you are or, contrarily, to how easy-going or careless you can be. If you like to make to-do lists and you follow a specific schedule, then you are conscientious; if, however, you are spontaneous and flexible then you rank low on this scale, and it’s entirely possible that you’re a bit sloppy and unreliable.

#3. Extroversion. You know this one. If you are outgoing and energetic, and you seek simulation in the company of other, then you’re an extrovert; if, however, you feel most energized when alone, you’re an introvert.

#4. Agreeableness. The more you are compassionate toward others, the more agreeable you tend to be; if, however, you’re antagonistic and suspicious by nature, then you are not that agreeable. The catch: the more agreeable, the more naïve you are.

#5. Neuroticism. This trait describes your tendency to psychological stress. The higher you rank on this scale, the less stable you are as a person.

The Three Types of Stories

Storytelling is awesome.

It played such a big part in our evolution – and, by all accounts, it should go on playing – that some think, instead of being called “wise man” (homo sapiens), out species should be called pan narrans, the storytelling chimpanzee.

Be that as it may, neuroscientists discovered what makes storytelling so powerful.

In a nutshell, its capability to make you feel the very same the storyteller feels. Brain scans of a storyteller and his listener revealed that, by the end of the story, the listener’s brain acted almost the same as the storytellers.

Even though the listener had never gone through the personal experiences the storyteller was trying to relate.

Use this to make connections with other people.

There are three types of stories:

#1. Trigger Topics Stories. These are the ones most people talk about; they are about generic subjects such as the latest news, the traffic, the weather or any other thing which affects all people.

#2. Sparkling Stories. These are, usually, personal stories which tend to communicate at a deeper level. They are either anecdotes or some dramatic experiences which engage the listener. At best, they tend to make other people experience a strong emotion, one of the seven universal ones we’ve gone through above.

#3. Boomerang Stories. These are the stories which start with the storyteller, but end with the listener. Any story can become a boomerang story if you end it with: “Has this ever happened to you? Something similar, perhaps?”

Key Lessons from “Captivate”

1.      Make a Good First Impression Through Your Body Language
2.      Storytelling Is Awesome – and There Are Three Ways to Use It to Your Benefit
3.      Want to Be Closer to Someone? Ask Him a Small Favor!

Make a Good First Impression Through Your Body Language

First impressions matter; in fact, they matter so much that there’s a high chance 90 percent of the people you like, you’ve liked from the outset!

If you want to leave a good first impression, however, your body language is just as important as your words.

Escape the triple threat of failure by never hiding your hands (evolutionary, hidden hands may mean hidden weapons), standing up straight with your shoulders back (in a launch stance), and maintaining eye contact (for two-thirds of any conversation).

Storytelling Is Awesome – and There Are Three Ways to Use It to Your Benefit

Everybody wants to listen to other people’s stories – when they are interesting; and from the same reason everybody likes to watch movies or play video games – simply put, humans like narratives.

There are three types of them, and using each craftily will help you become a more effective people person.

The first type of stories are the trigger stories – you know, the latest news, the weather, the traffic; the second type are the sparkling ones – personal anecdotes, dramatic experiences, etc. Finally, the third type are the boomerang stories – those which bring the story back to the listener.

Prepare yourself a story stack – and mingle!

Want to Be Closer to Someone? Ask Him a Small Favor!

We’ve already told you about this one, but let us remind you.

Once, Benjamin Franklin asked to borrow a book from a political rival and a would-be legislator; he returned it with a thank-you note.

Suddenly, they weren’t rivals – but friends.

Because everybody likes better people unafraid to show that they are vulnerable.

Don’t believe us?

Just ask Brené Brown.

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“Captivate Quotes”

Being a highlighter is about constantly searching for the good in people. When you tell people they are good, they become better. When you search for what’s good, you feel great. Click To Tweet If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Click To Tweet Whether we like to admit it or not, we decide if we like someone, if we trust someone, and if we want a relationship with someone within the first few seconds of meeting them. Click To Tweet When you produce dopamine during a conversation, you not only give your partner more enjoyment, you are also assigned more significance, which increases your memorability. Click To Tweet Don’t try to impress people, let them impress you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

According to Joe Navarro, a former FBI agent and the author of What Every BODY is saying, “Captivate is packed full of useful information for anyone interested in improving their social skills—it’s a must-read.”

“Nearly every page contains surprising insights and practical tips to help you succeed more in life,” adds Chris Guillebeau.

But John Acuff is both most succinct and straightforward: “Hello Captivate, good-bye awkward moments.”

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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.”

Why?

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.

Why?

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.

Why?

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.”

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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.

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The Ideal Team Player PDF Summary

The Ideal Team Player PDF

How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues: A Leadership Fable

If you know anything about Patrick Lencioni, you probably didn’t need that subtitle: of course, it’s a leadership fable, possibly one of your favorites!

This one’s about “The Ideal Team Player.”

Who Should Read “The Ideal Team Player”? And Why?

If you’re interested in sports, you’ve probably noticed that haphazard groups of extra-talented individuals are never as good as teams of average players with a good manager.

Why?

Well, because – as they say for quite a long time – there’s no “I” in “Team.”

“The Ideal Team Player” is the book you should read if you want to build an all-star team at your company. So, if you are in HR or you are a company owner/leader, and you think you could really use a little guidance from someone who knows a thing or two about good teams, then don’t hesitate to buy this book and take Patrick Lencioni’s advice.

It works both ways: Lencioni’s fable can help you even if you are an employer who can’t fit in, but would really want to become a good team player.

About Patrick Lencioni

Patrick LencioniPatrick Lencioni is an American author, consultant, and keynote speaker. He is the founder and the president of The Table Group, a management counseling firm.

Deemed by the “Wall Street Journal” as “one of the most in-demand business speakers,” Lencioni has so far written ten books on various aspects of business management, most of them stressing the importance of teamwork.

Lencioni is renowned as the author of two bestsellers, “The Advantage” and “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” the latter of which serves as a sort of a prequel to the “The Ideal Team Player.”

“The Ideal Team Player PDF Summary”

Once again, Lencioni’s story is about a company with a problem: Bob Shanley, the long-time CEO of Valley Builders (VB) – a contracting firm he has founded – has to retire due to a heart problem requiring surgery.

He offers the job to his nephew Jeff, who soon learns that he has become the CEO at the worst time possible: the company has just won two gigantic contracts which require for him to hire at least 60 new employees within the next two months.

Make that 80: 20 of them, as his experienced senior executives tell him right at the bat, would eventually quit.

Why?

Because they wouldn’t fit the VB culture established and cultivated by his uncle, who was pretty aware that “the ability to work effectively with others…is more critical in today’s fluid world than it has ever been.”

Soon Jeff learns that VB’s work culture is based on the idea that a team must be built around ideal team players and that these, in turn, must share three traits: humility, hunger, and people smarts.

However, they must have all of these, since lacking one or two of them will probably have a counter-effect.

You see, people who are merely humble are no more than pawns; those who are merely hungry are bulldozers; and those who are smart only are charmers.

You don’t like any of those.

However, two of these three traits aren’t enough:

Employees who are hungry and smart but not humble are skillful politicians who will further their personal interests until it’s too late to do something about that.

Employees who are humble and smart but not hungry are lovable slackers who won’t get going when the going gets tough.

Finally, employees who are humble and hungry but not smart are accidental mess-makers who will unintentionally create more problems than the team can solve.

So, you want your team player to be ideal?

Pick only those who have all three values:

#1. Humility

In Lencioni’s words, humility is probably the most important quality:

Great team players lack excessive ego or concerns about status. They are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self, and define success collectively rather than individually. It is no great surprise, then, that humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player. Humility is the single greatest and most indispensable attribute of being a team player.

#2. Hunger

Hungry people are never satisfied, and they always want more than they have. They have a drive and a burning ambition to be more than they are.

Hunger, writes Lencioni, “is the least sensitive and nuanced of the three virtues. That’s the good news. The bad news is – it’s the hardest to change.”

#3. People Smarts

Be aware that “people smarts” doesn’t necessarily mean “brilliant”; but it does mean emotionally intelligent and capable of interpersonal interaction.

Of course, you can’t have a team if there’s no team chemistry; and employees who are people smarts contribute to this chemistry.

Key Lessons from “The Ideal Team Player”

1.      The Three Essential Virtues of the Ideal Team Player
2.      How to Interview New Hires for Your Team
3.      How to Develop the Three Essential Qualities

The Three Essential Virtues of the Ideal Team Player

For organizations seriously committed to making teamwork a cultural reality,” writes Patrick Lencioni, “’the right people’ are the ones who have the three virtues in common – humility, hunger and people smarts.

However, neither of them is enough in itself; in fact, if not combined with the other two, it can be seriously detrimental to your team, producing either too servile or ambitious workers or, even worse in today’s work climate, lone wolves.

How to Interview New Hires for Your Team

“Most interviews are still the same stilted, rehearsed and predictable conversations they were 40 years ago” – notes Patrick Lencioni.

And of course – they don’t need to be!

Now that you know the three essential virtues of an ideal team player, you should design your interview process to find out if your potential employee has them.

So, try to be unconventional (say, take the interviewee on a shopping trip) and focus on detecting the subtle hunches which may tell you if your new prospect is humble, hungry and people smarts.

These are good rules-of-thumb:

#1. For humble: Ask the applicant about the most important accomplishments of his/her career and see if he will use “I” or “we” more; the latter indicates humility;

#2. For hungry: Ask the applicant what the hardest he/she has ever worked on in his/her life is. If it seems that he/she has enjoyed (as opposed to merely tolerate) this experience – he/she is certainly hungry.

#3. For smart: Ask the applicant how would he describe his/her personality. If he knows his/her weaknesses and strengths well, then he/she is introspective and emotionally intelligent.

How to Develop the Three Essential Qualities

If you want to become the ideal team player, then, obviously, you need to work on the three essential qualities of being one:

#1. Humble: be polite and learn how to compliment; ask your colleagues how they feel; listen.

#2. Hungry: this is the most difficult virtue to develop; but do try: learn how to do more work.

#3. Smart: there are many books which can help you develop your emotional intelligence; use them as your guide.

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“The Ideal Team Player Quotes”

The five behavioral manifestations of teamwork: trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results. Click To Tweet

A long list of hobbies like extreme skiing, sled dog racing, storm chasing and shark hunting might just be a red flag when it comes to someone who is not going to put the needs of the team ahead of personal pursuits. Click To Tweet

Humility isn't thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less. Click To Tweet

The most unhappy people in a company are the ones who don't fit the culture and are allowed to stay. They know they don't belong. Deep down inside they don't want to be there. They're miserable. Click To Tweet

Many people will try to get a job even if they don't fit the company's stated values, but very few will do so if they know that they're going to be held accountable, day in and day out, for behavior that violates the values. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

If you know your Lencioni, you won’t be disappointed by “The Ideal Team Player”: this book has everything one has grown accustomed to expect from a book by him.

Namely, a finely written and relatable fable with a straightforward moral, which is not only simple but also universal and easily applicable.

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Taking the Stage PDF Summary

Taking the Stage PDF

How Women Can Speak Up, Stand Out, and Succeed

Are you a woman wondering how you can succeed in this all too male world?

Then, time to learn a lesson or two in “Taking the Stage,” sister!

Who Should Read “Taking the Stage”? And Why?

Let’s eliminate about 50% of the world’s population straight away: this book doesn’t concern men, and they will find nothing even remotely interesting or applicable here. (One more reason why you should always read the subtitle first: titles are just too poetic to be straight to the point!)

However, the other half of the population should really give this book a go!

Because even though its main target audience is women in the corporate world, it doesn’t hurt to know how you can communicate leadership even if you can use the knowledge merely in somewhat trivial, day to day situations.

About Judith Humphrey

Judith HumphreyJudith Humphrey is a Toronto-based entrepreneur and author.

In 1988, Humphrey founded the Humphrey Group, the first Canadian leadership communication firm to focus on teaching executives and leaders how to be effective speakers.

In the three decades since its inception, the firm has built a portfolio of high-quality clients, including IBM, Microsoft, Deloitte, Walmart, and TD Bank.  

An acclaimed speaker and part-time columnist in “Fast Company,” Humphrey is the author of one more book in addition to “Taking the Stage” – “Speaking as a Leader.”

“Taking the Stage PDF Summary”

Have you ever heard of a little thing called “The Impostor Syndrome”?

If not, that’s a psychological condition which makes an individual feel as if he or she is not worthy of his/her career and that, anytime soon, he/she will be exposed by someone as a “fraud.”

And this goes against the external evidence, in spite of the abundance of which, these individuals still believe that they have become successful merely due to luck or chance!

The worst part is that we kind of used too many pronouns in the sentence above: scratch the “hes” and the “hises” because, unsurprisingly, the Impostor Syndrome is all but an exclusively female category!

Judith Humphrey claims that 9 out of the 10 women who sought leadership advice from her and the Humphrey Group were plagued by the feeling of imposterism, speaking to themselves with a “negative internal voice”!

But how can they not?

After all, we live in a society which teaches boys to be competitive and outspoken and girls to be humble and passive.

It’s only normal that men end up believing that leadership roles are within their natural predisposition as opposed to women who think that these are everything they shouldn’t be:

Men tend to take pride in their strengths and accept compliments, whereas women are more likely to point out their flaws, disclose their fears and dismiss their strengths.

The solution?

Challenge the status quo:

It’s time for us to claim our place on center stage. As we do so, we will discover in ourselves a stronger, clearer, more influential voice that can change us, change others, change our companies and change the world.

First step: don’t allow to be interrupted!

Studies have shown that the majority of interruptions in conversations occur when males interrupt females, and only a small minority happen the other way around.

So, change that: when interrupted from now on, raise your palm in the direction of the person who interrupts you and say “Hold on!”

Afraid that you will be described as “aggressive” or “overbearing”?

Well, that brings us to the second step: don’t be afraid of being described as “bossy”!

“Bossy” is one of the many adjectives male employees use to downgrade women’s qualities and abilities.

In “Lean In,” Sheryl Sandberg reminded us that the majority of women have been accused of behaving aggressively; strangely, barely few men have ever experienced the same.

So, from now on, take this kind of attitude from your male co-workers as a compliment instead of taking it as an insult: obviously, you’ve become a threat; potentially, you can lead them instead of being led by them.

Step three: change your language and change your attitude!

As we said above, as opposed to men who highlight their strengths, women tend to draw attention to their weaknesses.

So, time to put an end to quite a few phrases and speech patterns which say a lot more than you intend to:

#1. “Do you mind if I add something…” – Nobody should mind: just add what you want to add.
#2. “I guess…” – No: you know.
#3. “This is probably a stupid question but…” – Don’t undermine yourself: it’s not!
#4. “I just wanted to spend a few minutes…” – Don’ use past tense when talking about the future.
#5. “Probably” is “always” from now on!

We go over a few more tips and tricks in our “Key Lessons” section!

Key Lessons from “Taking the Stage”

1.      Develop Your Voice
2.      Choose a Suitable Wardrobe
3.      Stand Out on Stage

Develop Your Voice

There’s really no such thing as the voiceless,” writes Arundhati Roy. “There are only the deliberately silenced, or the preferably unheard.

Don’t allow to be one of these two groups: develop a voice which breaks through the barriers you had to put up with ever since childhood.

So, no more “the little-girl voice” or “the cheerleader voice,” “the girlfriend voice” or “the maternal voice,” “the nice voice” or “the grateful voice.”

No more attempts at emulating “the manly voice” either!

It’s time to find your own unique voice, which you should develop on the background of calmness, gravitas, and pride – the qualities of all true leaders.

Add some body to it as well: you already know that your body language shapes who you are!

Choose a Suitable Wardrobe

Here are few tips from Judith Humphrey concerning your wardrobe:

#1. Wear clothes that reflect the workplace you want to have in the future, and not such which reflect the one you currently have;
#2. If you have a meeting, prepare yourself accordingly;
#3. Instead of highlighting it, deemphasize sexuality with your wardrobe;
#4. Avoid haircuts or accessories which will turn other people’s attention from your corporate appearance.

Stand Out on Stage

Your future depends on your presence. No, that’s not a mistake – it’s just a clumsy pun.

Presence is not to be confused with charisma,” writes Humphrey. “Charisma involves a bit of flash. It is an aspect of certain personalities. Presence comes from a deeper, more personal place.

Dig deep and find that place.

That way, you’ll always stand out on stage!

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“Taking the Stage Quotes”

’Taking the Stage’ is a metaphor for all the ways you can be your own best champion by finding compelling ways to express yourself Click To Tweet

Women must take the stage if they want to have a greater impact on their organizations and greater success. Click To Tweet

To flourish on center stage, you’ll need to develop your ‘character.’ Click To Tweet

Self-confidence and assertiveness do not belong to men alone…Such strengths are a woman’s birthright, too. Click To Tweet

If there is a formula for staying on center stage, it is refusing to be sidelined or satisfied when you hit a ‘wall.’ Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Even though “Taking the Stage” claims that it is about all women (“no matter their age, rank, or profession”) one feels that no more than two groups of women can really profit from reading this book: those who are at a more junior stage and have time to learn how to assert their authority, and those who are already at a higher level

“Blue-collar” women workers – i.e., those who are working in a men’s environment and want to make themselves heard (but are unable to) – may feel that the book leaves somewhat to be desired.

We feel the same way too.

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The Smartest Kids in the World PDF Summary

The Smartest Kids in the World PDFAnd How They Got That Way

No, don’t feel dumb right away. There are different types of intelligence; the ability to analyze and solve problems is just one of them.

In this summary, we try to unveil some of the principles and enacted policies that changed the path leading to higher knowledge.

Who Should Read “The Smartest Kids in the World”? And Why?

If you are not smart enough, this book is not for you. – Just joking! “Smart” is a relatively unbalanced term because it focuses mainly on the creative and cognitive skills of one’s mind.

The Smartest Kids in the World” is an excellent book for those willing to crush the boundaries of their mind and expand their horizons.

The stories of these kids will surely help you out in that endeavor.

About Amanda Ripley

Amanda RipleyAmanda Ripley is lauded as a great writer, who manages to penetrate into the mind of the reader.

She is also the author of The Unthinkable: Who Survives When!

“The Smartest Kids in the World PDF Summary”

If the name Andreas Schleicher doesn’t ring any bells; a recount of past events may eventually clear up the confusion.  He was a student at the University of Hamburg, Germany in the mid-80s, where he studied physics.

Amidst all the uncertainty, he received an invitation from Thomas Neville Postlethwaite (an educational scientist by profession) to conduct a full-scale quantification of educational patterns with the help of hard data.

No more than two decades later, approximately half a million students from 40+ Countries enrolled in testing” to gauge their level of competence in various fields. Putting numbers on their cognitive and critical thinking skills is vital to ascertain the level of proficiency in math, science, and reading.

Nowadays, this “phenomenon” is labeled as the PISA Test. The testing is controlled and carried out by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) division. The OECD embraces the father-figure in this process and acts as its executioner.  

The real question was – Is PISA doing something to improve the level of education? The primary concern of this inquiry was to mark the countries, which are subtly indoctrinating the kids. The people involved in this process, recall the long-awaited results of the first PISA Testing in Paris.

OECD officials announced the results and showed the light at the end of the tunnel, which many skeptics didn’t see.

Schleicher didn’t hold back in his admiration for Finland’s social system. Moreover, according to him: Americans were partially distressed, while the Finns dazed by these revelations.

Indeed, the world has now evolved in the realm of education, and as a result, the number of countries that are enforcing this type of assessment is growing by the year. Experts agreed that the examination should happen once in 3 years. When it comes to the States – in 2009, the US Teenagers ranked 26th on the Math Test and 13th on Reading.

Kim’s Story:

Although there are several stories, we cannot basically cover all of them.

Kim was born and raised in Oklahoma or more precisely Sallisaw – a small town inhabited by less than 10,000 people. Half of those claim to have a Native American background, which grants them small favors and benefits such as free school materials and support in all forms.

From a young girl, Kim showed promising signs as a leaning enthusiast with an unquenchable passion for knowledge. In the late 60s, The United States was in desperate need of modification regarding the education system, and they tried to fill in the gap by hiring new teachers, enforcing new policies, and authorizing new standards.

Nonetheless, all of these efforts were mainly fruitless and didn’t live up to their expectations. About the time Kim was 12-year-old, she was exalted by her English teacher, who said that her tests met specific standards and that she’s fit to enroll in the special summer program at Duke.

Let’s say that once more – Kim outperformed her much-older peers and college seniors by a whopping 40%.

Despite her eagerness to learn and advance, Duke was an unreachable destination at the time due to money problems. 12 months later, Kim and her family found out that Finland is a gold mine for Smart Kids, and they have a much more progressive System than the Americans.

As a freshman at Sallisaw High School, Kim embarked on a journey with her mom’s permission to raise money and go to Finland. Reaching 10,000 $ for an unemployed girl was no piece of cake. She was persisting and determined to go to the end and started by selling her flute on eBay.

Through donations, going from door-to-door, she managed to reach $5,000. Her grandparents provided the last financial injection, and Kim was finally there.

Time in Finland wasn’t only Sunshine and Rainbows, both literally and metaphorically. Dark winters, with little daylight, made her depressive and added to her homesickness in general. She sought the help of a psychologist who confirmed that Kim is eligible to stay for as long as she wants in Finland.

The American student-exchange program helped her to find a new home, where Kim lived for less than a year. In the meantime, she started collecting Finish words, to keep her motivated and endure during this hard period.

The Teachers’ Program

Investing in creating, distributing and maintaining high-level of education, that contains progressive methods is many countries’ top priority. They want to achieve a level of independence that is brought by psychologically equipped and technologically savvy teachers.

Motivation is the key trigger, which pulls all the strings and sets in motion the idea of investing in yourself. These persons can, later on, develop into skilled negotiators, lawyers, economists, entrepreneurs and even athletes.

Proficient teachers are able to teach and convey moral norms and other traits such as “diligence,” “self-discipline,” “dedication” to students who are still on the lookout for their innateness.  

PISA Testing as a process is promoting dialogue and project-based learning, which puts emphasis on interactions and solving real-life problems that are an integral part of the social system.  

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“The Smartest Kids in the World Quotes”

Everywhere I went, in every country, people complained about their education system. It was a universal truth and a strangely reassuring one. No one was content, and rightly so. Educating all kids to high levels was hard, and every… Click To Tweet It was interesting to note that higher standards were seen not as an investment in students; they were seen, first and foremost, as a threat to teachers. Click To Tweet In many U.S. schools, sports instilled leadership and persistence in one group of kids while draining focus and resources from academics for everyone. The lesson wasn't that sports couldn't coexist with education; it was that sports had… Click To Tweet Tom was not good at math. He’d started to lose his way in middle school, as so many American kids did. It had happened gradually; first, he hadn’t understood one lesson, and then another and another. Click To Tweet Without data, you are just another person with an opinion . . . Without data, you are just another person with an opinion . . . Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We are speechless and amazed by the authenticity of this masterpiece. As mind-blowing these discoveries are, we were also surprised by the data presented to support such claims.

Two words – Read Now!

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How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying PDF Summary

How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying PDFHesitant to share an accomplishment with your loved ones so as to not sound too irritating?

Time for a brief lesson by Alexandra Franzen:

How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying.”

Who Should Read “How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying”? And Why?

If you have accomplished something, and you want to share it (and your joy) with your friends, but don’t want to toot your own horn (so as to not disturb the delicate balance of the universe), you can use Franzen’s tips and tricks and actually do all of those things.

Don’t believe us?

Read ahead!

Alexandra FranzenAbout Alexandra Franzen

Alexandra Franzen is a Portland-based writer and consultant.

Mostly interested in topics such as productivity, creativity, goal-setting, communication, and entrepreneurship, Franzen has had her writing featured in magazines such as “Time,” “Forbes” and “The Huffington Post.”

She has written two books so far: “50 Days to Say You’re Awesome” and “You’re Going to Survive.”

“How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying PDF Summary”

Alexandra Franzen may not have a Wikipedia article just yet, but she does have a pretty visited webpage, an ever-growing fanbase, and few books to her name.

Even so, one day, soon after having her first book, “50 Days to Say You’re Awesome,” published, when asked by a friend of hers “So what’s been going on for you lately?,” she replied the same way most of us regular Joes would do: “Oh, you know… things… and stuff.”

Fortunately, this friend of hers was one who knew about her book, so she (or he) didn’t want to accept that kind of nonsensical answer, pressing Alexandra to say something more about her book.

But Franzen wouldn’t give in: “It’s really just an illustrated book. Barely any writing. Plus, it’s not like it’s a bestseller or anything…”

And then her friend said something that struck the author of “How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying” to her very core:

‘Alex, you wrote a book, and it’s being sold in bookstores,’ she said, matter-of-factly. ‘That is amazing. I’m proud of you. Let me be happy for you. Stop downsizing your joy.’

However, as you are about to learn, in social conventions and friendly conversations, the opposite of downsizing isn’t aggrandizing, but, well, being nice while joyful.

And Franzen shares her five rules on how you can do just that.

And we have our “Key Lessons” section reserved just for them.

Key Lessons from “How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying”

1.      Keep It Simple
2.      Whenever Possible, Use “Because”
3.      Discuss the Future of Hard Work Ahead of You
4.      Make It a Conversation, Not a Monologue
5.      Shift the Conversation… Even Further

Keep It Simple

Accomplishing something doesn’t mean using every opportunity to go off on an hour-long rant (or, to use Franzen’s word “ramble-fest”) about how you showed your high school classmates that you’re better them.

And it doesn’t mean overstating the accomplishment or glorifying your discipline and dedication.

Be simple and matter-of-factly: “I just got promoted at work. I think I am capable of rising up to the challenge.”

No exclamation marks!

Whenever Possible, Use “Because”

Franzen informs us that a Harvard research study has all but proved that using the word “because” results in people agreeing with you much more likely.

So, to use Franzen’s example, say something along the lines of:

I’m really excited about my promotion to a senior-level position because I want to live in a world where 50% of CEOs are female, instead of just 4.6%.

Discuss the Future of Hard Work Ahead of You

Staying still with our promotion-related example (we think you can easily translate the strategy into almost every other situation when you have to talk about your accomplishments).

For most people, telling them that you’ve just been promoted to a senior-level position is not much different from telling them that you’re about to earn much more money for doing a lot less work.

So, counter this from the start: “I just got promoted at work to a senior-level position. It’s a lot more challenging and time-consuming job, but I think I have the right motivation and state of mind. And I’m going to prove to them that they made the right choice.”

Make It a Conversation, Not a Monologue

And… stop there.

If you go on talking about yourself after these few sentences, you’ve broken rule #1, i.e., you’ve not kept things simple.

Now, it’s time to engage your friend in this (so far) quite boring discussion which includes him/her not one bit.

So, start talking about your friend’s recent accomplishments.

In case there are none, and he/she hates his/her job, ask him/her something like “What would be your dream job?” or “Do you have a fantasy career?”

This should open up the conversation and earn you some friendship points.

Shift the Conversation… Even Further

Don’t stop there.

In case you notice that the news about your accomplishment has made your friend even less happy – be even more generous!

And spend as much time as you need to get him/her to talk about something positive and upbeat.

The world, after all, doesn’t revolve around you.

So, never forget that when things go your way, there are many people around you whose lives haven’t been as generous.

It’s your turn.

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“How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying Quotes”

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. (Via Maya Angelou) Click To Tweet

People may forget your accomplishments and career successes, but if you can make someone feel valued and appreciated, like they’ve got a real friend and cheerleader on their team? Click To Tweet

Stop downsizing your joy. Click To Tweet

So often, in life, we downplay our accomplishments because we don’t want to be irritating, sound braggy, or take too much credit for making big, exciting things happen. Click To Tweet

Your friends, your colleagues, your future employer, new people at your local industry mixer—they’d all love to hear something excellent and inspiring. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying” may be nothing more than one more uninspiring article compiling in a list few commonsense things everybody should know and do, but – since the latter is not the case – the former is certainly not the case either.

In other words, for all its brevity, “How to Talk About Your Accomplishments Without Sounding Braggy and Annoying” should inspire you to become a better and more caring person.

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The Lost Art of Closing PDF Summary

The Lost Art of Closing PDFWinning the Ten Commitments That Drive Sales

It’s said that a great product sells itself, and finding the right channels comes naturally.

Marketing efforts only add to the overall quality and provide the users with an amazing experience.

We try to present the key findings in a way that you’ll understand what it takes to close a sale.

Who Should Read “The Lost Art of Closing”? And Why?

It really is an art, or perhaps a skill crafted for special occasions. Anyway, it’s not something that can’t be learned or digested!

The Lost Art of Closing” emphasizes the 10-step process for converting skeptical prospects into long-term collaborators.

It really is something you wouldn’t want to miss, especially if you are a salesperson in the making.

About Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino

Despite being a writer, Anthony Iannarino is also the founder of The Sales Blog.

He is also a part-time teacher at Capital University School of Management and Leadership.

“The Lost Art of Closing PDF Summary”

Let’s get this straight: Without these 10 commitments it’s literally impossible to close sales:

  1. The commitment for time – Breaking that ice requires psychological readiness, especially when it comes to scheduling a meeting. Experienced salespersons realize that e-mailing is not the best option for this endeavor. Instead, you should prefer a phone call to ask only for time, and don’t get into details about the product. Ask no more than three times and stick to what’s been agreed prior to the meeting.
  2. The commitment to exploring – Salespersons love the image of a business-person and can’t stand being labeled as pushy; interested in nothing other than commission. Your job is to make the client more comfortable with your presence and gradually reduce the aversion towards change. In these first contacts, you should avoid pitching about the product and rather focus on the threats of remaining rigid in a fast-paced environment.
  3. The commitment to change – Why would anyone be interested in buying what you’re offering if the service they use instead is satisfying their needs to the limit? It makes no sense, so your job is to ask the right questions and see where the problems are and how your service/product can help them capitalize on these pitfalls.
  4. The commitment to collaborate – The fundamentals in this step, revolve around a simple statement – change your solution into a “Solution.” In other words, don’t deliver your final product without even taking into account the clients’ needs. Adjust your solution to be their weapon, which they would use to accomplish their goals. The salesperson and the client must become strategic partners, both carrying for each other’s interest!
  5. The commitment to build consensus – Sometimes the sales solution is wrapped in a complex B2B network including multiple stakeholders. In such a situation, finding general agreement is a must. At first, your job would be to single out all major stakeholders and put yourself in their shoes. Such a decision may help you understand the big picture and define a proposal that may eventually develop into a win-win situation. If you can’t reach out to them, the least you can do is explain your contact why is important to build a relationship with them. But not all are willing to hear your battle cry.
  6. The commitment to invest – Every sales process encompasses several parties which must invest their time, energy and capital. Your position, on the other end of the tunnel, is to discuss the price after several meeting sessions. You have to beware of a bidding war with your competitors and to avoid such a scenario; it’s advisable that you present your price early on. This approach will help you weed out all unprofitable prospects.
  7. The commitment to review – When the time comes to showcase your presentation skills, you have to gear yourself up with mental sharpness. Don’t skip any step and secure a commitment from the client to find a generally acceptable proposal. To do so, you need to solicit feedback from all the stakeholders in the process and then form the final solution.
  8. The commitment to resolve concerns – The bottom line is – clients don’t fear your product, but the changes deriving from it. So, basically you must encourage them to share their concerns to close the sale. For instance, do you think that your clients are eager to implement your solution if the service you are providing is only a slightly better option than the one already in place? – No! Because it’s not worth the effort! Tackle their fears by offering something 5x times better and provide support during the enforcement of the new idea.
  9. The commitment to decide – The 9th commitment arrives spontaneously if you have successfully executed all previous 8. Securing a commitment from the client is not a straightforward task, especially when it comes to making the final decision. If you succeed, the relationship will reach a whole different level.
  10. The commitment to execute – A sale that is not able to deliver a product of unparalleled quality, damages the reputation of the salesperson and puts him/her in an inferior position. Not satisfying the clients to the full extent, may obstruct the process of winning additional sales. Therefore, you must make an effort to present the offerings straightforwardly, and provide the users with valuable info on how to utilize all the features contained in the product. This final step can be marked as a commitment to execute.   

Key Lessons from “The Lost Art of Closing”

1.      Secure the necessary commitments in the shortest timespan possible
2.      Embrace gradual transition from one stage to the next
3.      Integrate clients’ needs into the development of a solution

Secure the necessary commitments in the shortest timespan possible

Sales managers are duty bound to supervise the process and gauge possible deals.

The execution of the 10 commitments will serve as a backbone for nurturing lucrative relationships with clients and other key personalities.

Embrace gradual transition from one stage to the next

It’s no secret that not a small portion of salespeople opt for skipping some of the commitments to get the part where they can actually earn money.

For them, the process can be reduced to 4-5 key steps, and all the extra stages are just adding to the complexity.

Don’t become one of them!

Integrate clients’ needs into the development of a solution

Use your business expertise to pain a partnership picture; don’t opt for a one-way communication style.

In other words, increasing customer retention by 5% can generate roughly a 75% increase in profits!  

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“The Lost Art of Closing Quotes”

You can’t wait until your dream client experiences the negative impact of not changing before you decide to help them. You have to be…helping them understand the need to change. Click To Tweet Your dream client wants…problems to be solved, challenges overcome, opportunities pursued and greater outcomes obtained. Click To Tweet Although you may think that your client is only buying the value in your product, service or solution, the truth is that you are the larger part of the value proposition. Click To Tweet Sales can be a very rewarding career because, properly done, it requires that you help people get results they couldn’t have achieved without you. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We are always on the lookout for practical and applicable tips that present an actionable solution. This book is the embodiment of such a reality.

We were really thrilled to participate in something so profound and share our thoughts on the topic!

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Lose the Resume, Land the Job PDF Summary

Lose the Resume, Land the Job PDF Almost Everyone Gets It Wrong. This Is How You Can Get It Right.

Experiencing problems while looking for a job?

Even more when trying to find the job?

Gary Burnison says:

Lose the Résumé, Land the Job.”

Who Should Read “Lose the Resume, Land the Job”? And Why?

The way you know them, resumes are a thing of the past – not because they are not important, but because they have transformed into something better: the story of you.

As “The New York Times Book Review” writes in its review” “Lose the Résumé, Find the Job” breaks down every aspect of job hunting, explaining what matters and what doesn’t.

As such, it should help everybody who has problems finding a job. And even those who do have one, but it is not really the one of their dreams.

This book has strategies for that as well! 

Gary BurnisonAbout Gary Burnison

Gary Burnison is the CEO of Korn Ferry International, with 2,500 employees across 40 countries, the world’s largest executive recruiting company.

After joining Korn Ferry in 2002 as CFO, Burnison served as COO for four years, before becoming the company’s CEO in 2007.

In 2011, he published “No Fear of Failure,” the first of his five books, which also include “The Twelve Absolutes of Leadership,” “Lead,” and “The Leadership Journey.”

“Lose the Resume, Land the Job PDF Summary”

You wonder why you got an automatic reply to your application or, even worse, that nobody called you even though you have such a great résumé?

Well, do you know that 98% of the candidates for a job position are eliminated basically before the employing process even beings, their CVs not given a second look, their résumés thrown in the trash can barely few minutes after they arrive?

Why, you ask?

Simply put, because nobody wants to lose his time and money.

And it’s not like there are five applications for a job!

Also:

The cost of replacing a manager six to 12 months after he or she is hired is equal to 2.3 times that person’s annual salary.

In other words, companies can’t afford to risk.

So, the process of choosing the right applicant is actually a fairly serious process (monitoring, background checks, testing, etc.) on the part of those who choose.

Consequently, it should be a serious process on your part as well!

And what do you think a company is most interested in when hiring you?

Turns out: it’s your passion.

Use Burnison’s ACT strategy to find out how much of it you have for the position you want to apply for – and save yourself the trouble of applying if it turns out that you have none.

ACT stands for:

Being authentic – which means that lying isn’t going to get you far! After all, you’re certainly present in the online world, so you can be sure that if there is some discrepancy between the information you give about yourself to a company and the ones you share with your closest friends – it will be used against you!

Making a connection. If things go well, you are going to stay at the company where you’re applying for a job for at least a couple of years. The painful truth is that nobody wants to work with someone who doesn’t make a good first impression. This works both ways!

Giving people a taste of who you are, what you can do best, and how much of a contribution you can make.

Speaking of which:

Your résumé should concisely and compellingly illustrate one major message point: This is how I made things better for my employer while I was there.

Résumés are not as important as you think; in fact, as we hinted above, they are merely a small part of a large package which includes your online presence and even – if it gets to an interview – your body language.

Since hiring managers rarely have time to cast more than a look or two on your CV, if you want to make it effective, then you need to follow certain résumé-writing rules:

#1. Don’t lie!
#2. Avoid buzzwords and clichés: when everybody is a “team player” and “innovative,” nobody is.
#3. Don’t leave any unexplained time gaps in your experience!
#4. Tell your story: it matters more than the layout.
#5. May your objective be discernible from your story: don’t state one instead.
#6. List your experience and accomplishments in the middle – and in reverse chronological order.
#7. Use most of this space (three-fourths of it) to describe your current job.
#8. Tell three relevant stories from your current job in the format challenge-action-outcome; use bullet points.
#9. Ask for some feedback from a professional before sending the résumé.
#10. Always – always – be prepared to provide references.

Once you’re finished with the résumé, it’s time to clean up your online media presence. Which boils down to at least a few no-brainers:

#1. Polish your LinkedIn profile and embellish it with a relatively recent photo of the well-groomed smiling you.
#2. Delete all inappropriate photos and tweets you can find.
#3. Investigate how often you post: excessive posting means you’re not that busy; the opposite that you are too passive.

Since it abounds in practical advice, we’ve reserved our “Key Lessons” section for three more important messages from this book.

Key Lessons from “Lose the Resume, Land the Job”

1.      Assess Yourself with the KF4D Test
2.      Be a Connector to Be Connected
3.      Avoid the “Deadly Sins of Interviewing”

Assess Yourself with the KF4D Test

Korn Ferry’s Four Dimensions of Leadership test is a useful tool which assesses four areas of utmost importance:

#1. Traits. These are your personal qualities. In a nutshell, the ones which companies usually search for should be pretty obvious: engaging people with a vision who can act and influence others.
#2. Drivers. Ask yourself: what drives you in life? Don’t work for a company which doesn’t address this drive.
#3. Competencies. Everybody has his own strengths and weaknesses. Find yours.
#4. Experiences. What have you done in the past that proves you can do the job you apply for in the future?

Be a Connector to Be Connected

“The biggest misconception,” writes Gary Burnison, “is that networking is about you. It’s the opposite. It’s about the other person.

It’s as simple as the golden rule: help other people, and you’ll be helped too when the time comes.

Connect friends to other friends (not for your own, but for their benefit), and, soon enough, you’ll be part of a large circle of people.

When networking, don’t think about anything past this.

Do it because you want to see the people you like happy.

Avoid the “Deadly Sins of Interviewing”

Most of these are fairly obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many people have lost a job opportunity because of simple mistakes.

So, without further ado:

#1. Don’t lie! (We can’t overemphasize this!)
#2. Dress appropriately.
#3. Don’t be late!
#4. Research the company beforehand.
#5. Don’t talk too much, but don’t talk too little either.
#6. When asked if you have any questions, be sure to have them. “Replying, ‘I’m good, thanks’ as if someone had offered to refill your iced tea, shows a lack of preparedness and engagement.”
#7. Reiterate your enthusiasm and passion for the job before leaving: the last impression counts almost as much as the first one.
#8. Treat every interview as if it is your first – even if it’s your fifth for the day.

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“Lose the Resume, Land the Job Quotes”

Be honest and transparent about who you are, your background, your current job and responsibilities, and your current compensation. Never lie or exaggerate. Click To Tweet

The best time to find a new job is when you have a job. Click To Tweet

The often-quoted statistic is that people form an impression about others within seven seconds. But it may be even shorter than that. Click To Tweet

To be skilled at anything requires some knowledge and know-how. But more than that, you must possess the ability to adjust, adapt and respond. Click To Tweet

The workplace world is always smaller than you think. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Lose the Résumé, Land the Job” has a somewhat misleading title; fortunately, the misleading part is the first half of it.

Because almost everything that Gary Burnison says is applicable in the real-world, so we seriously believe that heeding his tips may help you land the job you like.

Worst-case scenario: you’ll do your best.

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Barking Up the Wrong Tree PDF Summary

Barking Up the Wrong Tree PDFThe Surprising Science Behind Why Everything You Know About Success Is (Mostly) Wrong

Achieving success is both much more complex and simpler thing than people say it is.

At least that’s what Eric Barker believes.

And he has a book-length apology of his belief:

Barking Up the Wrong Tree.”

Who Should Read “Barking Up the Wrong Tree”? And Why?

Wide-ranging and abounding in practical advice, “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” is for everybody who needs a manual for success and happiness.

It’s not a book you read – it’s a book you reread and constantly employ.

Eric BarkerAbout Eric Barker

Eric Barker is an American blogger.

The content of his “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” blog is syndicated by “Time Magazine,” “Business Insider,” and “The Week;” the blog, updated once a week, has over 300,000 subscribers to its newsletter.

A sought-after speaker featured in “The New York Times” and “WSJ,” Eric Barker has so far authored only this book.

“Barking Up the Wrong Tree PDF Summary”

Let’s start our summary with an eye-popping statistic:

A study of 700 American millionaires has revealed that their mean grade point average was 2.9!

In other words, the valedictorians didn’t do as well as the outliers!

In fact:

Research shows that what makes students likely to be impressive in the classroom is the same thing that makes them less likely to be home-run hitters outside the classroom.

Why?

Because to excel at school, you need to conform; and it’s very likely that this will teach you to be that kind of a person even after graduating and getting a job.

Which may get you a top job, and even a few “employee of the year” titles.

However, the ones that actually change the world are the non-conformists, the people capable of defining success in their own terms.

The earlier they do that, the earlier they realize that many of the activities they are made to do while young are actually extraneous to their goal.

So, they choose not to do them.

And, in the long run, this focus gives them just enough grit to come out on top!

If you want to follow them and build just enough perseverance to succeed, then a good idea will be to use the WGNF guidelines and transform your struggles into a game:

#1. Make the games winnable: you’ve played a lot of games in your life and, chances are, you’ve lost at least half of them; however, the very fact that you know a game was winnable has motivated you to play out the game until the very end.

#2. Attach goals: just like a video game, split the game of your life into levels which gradually become more difficult and have a clear goal on each of them; splitting up your goals into smaller chunks will motivate you to move and move you will – with the right pace.

#3. Build in novelty: each level should be not just more difficult than the last, but also introduce something new; just like a character in a video game, acquire new skills as you go along the road to success.

#4. Give/ask for Feedback: in the absence of feedback, you may be tempted to give up; interaction is a great way to keep track of your progress.

Of course, there’s no point in playing a game the outcome of which will not make you happy.

So, how do you discover whether a future objective is worth your time, effort, and attention?

Eric Barker has a solution for that as well!

If you don’t want to bark up the wrong tree, then constantly check your decisions against the WOOP process.

WOOP stands for wish, outcome, obstacle, plan, and, once broken down like that, it seems pretty self-explanatory.

So, when you have a wish to do something, first start with a specification of the outcome you want.

After that, it’s time to see which could be the obstacles preventing you from reaching that outcome.

Once you get to know them, it’s time to make a plan to circumvent them or, even better, jump over each of them.

If the last one is impossible (due to lack of competence, lack of time, etc.), then it’s best if your wish stays a wish until some better moment arrives.

However, when there is a plan, and that plan is doable – it’s time to be gritty!

One thing you should know in advance is that even though a plan is doable, it doesn’t mean that it will work out in the end: some level 10 bosses are just unbeatable!

What should you in cases such as that?

Simply: quit.

Don’t be afraid to do some experiments and quit the ones that don’t work… you need to try stuff knowing you might quit some of it to open yourself up to the luck and opportunities that can make you successful.

However, while trying to do that, never forget the real objective of success: allowing you to lead a balanced life.

And a balanced life means scoring high on the four metrics that matter most:

#1. Happiness
#2. Achievement
#3. Significance
#4. Legacy

Key Lessons from “Barking Up the Wrong Tree”

1.      The WGNF Guidelines for Success in Life
2.      The WOOP Decision-Making Process
3.      HASL: The Four Metrics Which Matter the Most

The WGNF Guidelines for Success in Life

“Homo sapiens” may just as well be called “homo ludens,” i.e., the game-playing man: that’s how much people like to play games!

So, use this to your own benefit and transform your struggles into games.

However, as always in games, there are certain rules you need to follow, or, in Barker’s opinion, the WGNF guidelines.

WGNF is short for winnable, goal-based, novelty-ridden, feedback-centered – and these are all adjectives which should describe each of the games you need to devise.

Do that – and your road to success will be much less thorny, and much more enjoyable!

The WOOP Decision-Making Process

If you are not sure which project you should take, be sure to check it with Barker’s WOOP tool before you embark upon it.

WOOP stands for wish, outcome, obstacles, and plan, which means that you should only try to make your wish come true if you can devise a plan specific enough to address each probable obstacle and, eventually, reach the wished-for outcome.

Otherwise, try to direct your energy on something else.

HASL: The Four Metrics Which Matter the Most

Always measure your life against these four metrics:

Happiness: find a way to live a pleasurable and content life;
Achievement: set yourself meaningful goals and try to achieve them;
Significance: try to have a positive impact;
Legacy: live your life in such a way that others may say that they have benefitted from your existence.

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“Barking Up the Wrong Tree Quotes”

When you align your values with the employment of your signature skills in a context that reinforces these same strengths, you create a powerful and emotionally engaging force for achievement, significance, happiness and legacy. Click To Tweet

Success is not the result of any single quality; it’s about alignment between who you are and where you choose to be. Click To Tweet

College grades aren’t any more predictive of subsequent life success than rolling dice. Click To Tweet

You do need to be visible. Your boss does need to like you. This is not proof of a heartless world; it’s just human nature. Click To Tweet

Hard work doesn’t pay off if your boss doesn’t know whom to reward for it. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Barking Up the Wrong Tree” is not so much innovative, as it is thorough in its research.

Well-structured and humorously written, it’s easily digestible and straightforwardly applicable; certainly a book worth reading and rereading.

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