Faster, Smarter, Higher PDF Summary

Faster, Smarter, Higher PDFManaging Your Career

According to Utkarsh, subject matter knowledge has its place in the digital era, but in order to get a firm grip on success, you need something exceptional.

Unless you take part in the relationship building process with stakeholders, you too will face stagnation on a professional level.

Without further ado, let’s see what the author has to say:

Who Should Read “Faster, Smarter, Higher”? And Why?

This book is designed for all misguided individuals who are on the threshold of defeat. If you really want to soar through the ranks, managing lucrative connections with all parties is the way to do it.

In other words, “Faster, Smarter, Higher” applies to personalities in search for actionable tips and covers multiple dos and don’ts when creating these relationships.

About Utkarsh Rai

Utkarsh RaiUtkarsh Rai is an Indian author who wrote Offshoring Secrets and The Fitness Currency. He also likes to be perceived as an angel investor, and a fitness enthusiast.

“Faster, Smarter, Higher PDF Summary”

First and foremost, to dispel doubts about your ability to conquer the business world, you should start writing your plans down. This will give you the momentum you need, and motivate you to prevail.

A large number of business executives, workers and leaders, face a problem that at first glance, seems legit. They conduct a full-scale organizational evaluation and assess their personal competence based on nothing else but the money-making potential.

Don’t fall for it! Keep growth on the other side of the tunnel and never combine these two elements. By doing so, you’ll quickly eliminate issues that can turn out to be a serious threat to the organization. Safeguarding the company’s interests can make you eligible for promotion.

In order for that to happen, two things are critical:

  • An open position at a higher level
  • An applicant who’s got what it takes to handle the pressure

Communicating with stakeholders can give you the edge when trying to get your hands on the new position. Link up with go-getters and troubleshooters to make short work of that adventure.

Utkarsh also declares that a “Friday Man” is the epitome for high morale on an organizational level. Emerging as such requires:

  • Hard working personality
  • Expertise in relevant subjects
  • Razor-sharp communication skills
  • Focus on problem-solving
  • Above all, integrity

How to manage your team and peers

Being eclipsed by someone more competent is a common fear that most managers have. When you think about, developing into an accountable and skillful leader is not a piece of cake. Sometimes, you must to do the things you wouldn’t normally do, such as identify the weakest link in your organization.

Prior to forming an opinion, run through this checklist to see whether some of the following scenarios contribute to their mediocre performance:

  • Their Expertise Doesn’t Correlate with the Job Requirements
  • Personal or Professional Events Hinder the Execution
  • Not Enjoying Managerial Support

A gifted manager is self-effacing and endeavors in earning its credibility and respect, not demanding it. To elicit a positive reaction, stay in contact with your peers and work on improving the cohesion. In all honesty, it can’t get any better than having a group of skilled and sober-minded individuals with whom you can share everything. It will also help you to stay away from conflicts!

How to handle your manager’s peers and superiors

Do everything in your power to impress the key officials by participating in major projects. Clinch business deals and generate value to make sure that your name will come to the surface when the succession-planning procedure is discussed.

If you feel like your manager is undermining your hard work, only then you are allowed to take it up with a higher-level executive. Nonetheless, staying off the radar is a great way of ensuring that you are not the one creating divisions; a strategy which can turn out to be costly.

It’s important to realize that confident managers encourage interactions between their superiors and subordinates. Your only job would be to find the middle ground in nurturing these relationships. The support from your manager’s peers is a wind at your back that can help you catch the eye of prominent officials.

Having strong connections with other layers is a real blessing. Sometimes your manager will not be willing to give you the details, and you’d be compelled to look for an answer elsewhere. It can’t get any easier if you have people you can relate to.

Deal with the future and the things that go with it

It’s literally impossible to take care of every problem, and transform the organization into an unsurpassable gem in all regards.

For instance, the HR can disturb the balance by questioning the management decision regarding a certain promotion or conducting a performance appraisal. Constant monitoring is endorsed and embraced.

As it turns out, most companies nowadays, are geared up with the latest piece of equipment to facilitate the operational activities and communication. In addition, the software installed on these devices or computers compels the users to act ethically.

Also, the financial element has a pivotal role in keeping the company profitable and ensuring its growth. It allocates resources to managers and other officials to maintain close ties with various parties including vendors and customers.

To spread the organization influence, the company must be finicky about which individuals would absorb the role of representatives. As far as the deal-making process is concerned, both parties must honor their side of the agreement and take each other’s interests into account.

Key Lessons from “Faster, Smarter, Higher”

1.      Rise to the sky
2.      Don’t exclude the stakeholders
3.      Put the stakeholders’ interests first

Rise to the sky

It comes as no surprise that people who manage to build a network, ascend through the ranks much faster than their peers.

Improving your social skills can defeat your rivals and put you in the driving seat.

Don’t exclude the stakeholders

Delving into a task or project must be done in line with the projections of various stakeholders. Include their vision into the assignment and show respect for their expertise.

In doing so, you’ll expand your network, and create a hard-working group of people who are willing to help you out.

Put the stakeholders’ interests first

Even if you are not willing to make all the sacrifice, it’s really beneficial if you commit yourself to safeguard their rights and influence.

It’s a win-win situation! You’ll get your recognition, and they will maintain their status.

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“Faster, Smarter, Higher Quotes”

If you are doubtful about your new position, keep your current role for some time keeping your manager in the loop. Click To Tweet Respect your company policies and practices. Company policies are usually very well documented and accessible. Click To Tweet Other ways to make yourself visible are to team up with the go-getters and troubleshooters and work on visible projects and slowly try to become a go-getter or a troubleshooter yourself. Click To Tweet Every good supervisor should adhere to the allocated budget and should be frugal in spending. Click To Tweet Managers need help too! If your manager is trying to push your case for better responsibility, a new role, a promotion or an award, he may have faced some resistance from his peers. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

We love to give credit to authors who unselfishly convey a mountain of actionable tips that the readers can apply in a heartbeat.

All things considered, Utkarsh Rai did a great job in sharing with us what it takes to climb the ladder of prosperity and never look down.

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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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United Breaks Guitars PDF Summary

United Breaks Guitars PDFThe Power of One Voice in the Age of Social Media

By now, you are surely aware that “United Breaks Guitars.”

And that’s all because of one man, songwriter Dave Carroll.

The full story ahead.

Who Should Read “United Breaks Guitars”? And Why?

In case you don’t know, “United Breaks Guitars” is a trilogy of protest songs by Canadian musician Dave Carroll written soon after United Airlines broke one of his guitars and refused to admit it had been their fault and apologize or reimburse him for the damage.

This book recounts that story, so it’s definitely the one you should read if you are a fan of the songs and want to find out more about the story behind them.

However, despite the subtitle, this book won’t be able to teach you something especially new about the relation between social media and corporate culture.

If you are interested in the theoretical aspects of this relation, then try a book in the vein of “The Art of Social Media.”

About Dave Carroll

Dave CarrollDave Carroll is a Canadian musician.

In 1989, he and his brother Don formed a band called “The Don and Dave Show.” Four years later, in honor of their father, they changed the name of the band to Sons of Maxwell, under which they tour to this day.

A volunteer firefighter in his free time, Dave Carroll has so far written only one book: “United Breaks Guitars.”

“United Breaks Guitars PDF Summary”

In the spring of 2008, Dave Carroll embarked on a trip from his hometown Halifax, Nova Scotia to Omaha, Nebraska, where he was supposed to have a concert with his band, Sons of Maxwell.

Carroll had to change flights in Chicago where the staff of United Airlines wanted him to check both his Taylor guitar and his backup Ovation Elite as baggage.

Which is why Dave’s blood froze when a fellow passenger exclaimed “Oh my God, they’re throwing guitars out there” as the United Airlines’ plane stood parked at O’Hare.

When Dave arrived at Omaha he realized that his worst fears had become true: his beloved Taylor guitar had been broken by the United Airlines baggage handlers.

Naturally, Carroll complained to United, but they refused to compensate him for the damage. In fact, they refused to apologize or even discuss with him the nuances of the matter for six or seven months.

Finally, a certain Ms. Irlweg did, but her final answer was a “no”: even though Dave did nothing wrong, apparently the fact that he hadn’t filed a complaint within 24 hours was enough for his request for compensation to be turned down.

If Michael Moore was a singer-songwriter,” Carroll asked himself sometime around this point, “what would he do?

Dave’s answer?

He would sublimate this negative energy into a creative endeavor.

So Carroll told Mrs. Irlweg that he would compose three songs about his experience with United Airways and that he would share them on YouTube:

My goal of being compensated had evolved into a goal of sharing my story with as many people as were interested in hearing it.

And on July 6, 2008, the first of the three songs was uploaded on YouTube.

The Internet went wild: in just one day, the video had garnered more than 150,000 views and thousands of likes and, soon enough, it became a viral sensation, amassing millions of hits.

In Dave’s opinion, this happened because “United Breaks Guitars” was a catchy country song which recounted his story through relatable, humorous lyrics and an amusing low-budget video.

See for yourself:

United Airlines couldn’t ignore Carroll anymore.

So its representatives approached Dave with a request for a conference call during which Carroll was offered $1,200 in coupons for future flights and $1,200 in cash – the sum he had paid to have his Taylor guitar fixed.

However, by this time, Dave couldn’t care any less for compensation; in fact, he was very much aware that accepting a compensation would damage his integrity. “I changed gears,” he writes, “from someone who wanted something to someone who was going to do something.”

So, he requested that, instead of reimbursing him, United Airlines give the money to someone else and immediately change its policy.

Such thing didn’t happen, so “United Breaks Guitars 2″ and 3 followed – and went viral as well.

What could have been solved with merely a thousand dollars and an apology turned into a nightmare for United Airlines, whose stock price fell by 10% within 4 weeks of the day Carroll posted the first video online.

What amazed Carroll the most was not United Airlines’ incompetence in dealing with the matter, but its policy that as long as cases such as his are rare, they are statistically insignificant and can be dismissed.

Thankfully, he proved them wrong!

Key Lessons from “United Breaks Guitars”

1.      The Story of Dave Carroll and His UBG Trilogy
2.      An Apology Worth $180 Million Dollars
3.      Marketing Campaigns Shouldn’t Exclude Anyone

The Story of Dave Carroll and His UBG Trilogy

During a layover at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, Canadian singer/songwriter Dave Carroll’s Taylor guitar was broken by United Airlines baggage handlers back in the spring of 2008.

In July, after spending months unsuccessfully demanding an apology and compensation from the disinterested United Airlines staff, Carroll wrote a song, “United Breaks Guitars” (UBG), which became a viral hit and amassed millions of views in just a few days.

Even so, United Airlines refused to change its policy, so things went from bad to worse for them, because soon UBG 2 and 3 appeared.

A PR disaster for the airline giant!

An Apology Worth $180 Million Dollars

“Sometimes saying you’re sorry is not only the right thing to do but also the least expensive” – writes Dave Carroll.

Indeed, if United Airlines had done that effectively, Dave Carroll wouldn’t have written the UBG trilogy, and the company could have even gotten away without reimbursing Carroll.

4 weeks since the first UBG video went viral, United Airlines’ stock price fell by 10%, resulting in losses for its stockholders which have been estimated at about $180 million!

Marketing Campaigns Shouldn’t Exclude Anyone

The message of Dave Carroll’s book is twofold.

First of all – as should be obvious by now – that individuals matter and that the voice of one can be echoed by the hearts of multitudes: “A victory for me,” writes Carroll, “was a victory for everyone who has ever flown and a victory for customers everywhere who have felt disempowered by giant companies performing badly.”

On a slightly different note, Carroll also has great advice for companies as well: “I am suggesting that marketing campaigns not be designed to exclude anyone. Targeting customers is wise. Excluding people you assume would never be your customers is not.”

Because who knows – maybe the excluded guy will be the next Dave Carroll!

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“United Breaks Guitars Quotes”

The good news about having a viral video is that everyone wants to talk to you. The bad news is that everyone wants an exclusive. Click To Tweet

What should have been a routine business trip became a comedy of errors the likes of which far too many people continue to experience each day. Click To Tweet

United was completely ill equipped to handle a customer-service nightmare in the age of social media. Click To Tweet

United was caught flat-footed in an outdated culture that embraces statistical insignificance. Click To Tweet

By embracing social media, companies have an opportunity to engage directly with their customers. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Just like the songs themselves, “United Breaks Guitars” is a charming little book which does tend to grow a bit less and less interesting as it progresses.

The main story, however, is so humble and inspiring that it’s definitely worth the read.

If you ask us, there should be more people like Dave Carroll on this planet.

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Flat Army PDF Summary

Flat Army PDFCreating a Connected and Engaged Organization

Are you ready to take your management knowledge on to the next level?

Over the course of thousands of years, the hierarchal form of leadership has remained etched into the hearts of those seeking and having power.

The day has finally come to put a stop to that!

Who Should Read “Flat Army”? And Why?

If at some point in life, you wish to coordinate a group of people and make them feel worthy, this book comes as a blessing to you.

To put it briefly: It’s best suited for decision-makers who are still searching for the uniqueness and students who are eager to dig up the mysteries of proper leadership.

Don’t skip it!

About Dan Pontefract

Dan PontefractDan Pontefract is a management expert, coach and a teacher who places emphasis on leadership as a form of achieving greatness in the business community.

He is the author of several books.

“Flat Army PDF Summary”

At the peak of the industrial era in the early 20th century, management had a pivotal role in controlling the output. Likewise, it became crystal clear that the command-and-control management style had lost its grip on productivity and efficiency and corporations started to suffer due to its rigidness.

To this day, this management approach is still not eradicated. The dynamic and progressive society now demands sometimes way more innovative than a hierarchical system, which is not only outdated but entirely fruitless.

Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol

The well-renowned and highly proficient industrial efficiency expert Frederick Taylor along with Henri Fayol cast doubt on the hierarchical structuring as a whole. They outlined the importance of remodeling the command-and-control post by engaging the workforce in the operations.

Although most of the organizations nurture rigidness, and they are not keen to give up on their power, they have to realize that employees no longer wish to be perceived as merely a disposable workforce.  

They arrived at a conclusion: “To lead is a way of life. Being able to coordinate, control, run, and plan is in tight correlation with the idea of knowing how your subordinates react and want to be treated. The rigidness that was applied on a colossal scale in the past has seen its last summer. “

Nowadays, employees and workers want to be incorporated in the decision-making and all the other processes and mechanisms.

The bottom line is – collaboration and communication are critical to achieving success and staying on the top of the world. When we speak about interaction, we mainly refer to maintaining contact that has no hierarchical boundaries between the interlocutors.

All things considered, the management system needs to get back to the drawing board and weight its options. No one wants to be a part of an exploitation system that disregards the basic needs of the employees and stripes them of even more fundamental rights.

Flat Army Management to the Rescue.

If you are skeptical about the previously mentioned hierarchy, a “flat” structure can clear up the uncertainty in next to no time. Army, for instance, derives from Armada (Spanish) which stands for a group of battleships moving towards the enemy.

In other words, Flat Army has a symbolic meaning that unlike other concepts, strongly relies on team efforts. Constructing a system around a single goal is a unique way of inviting all the parties to play a part in accomplishing the mission.

The Flat Army’s approach entails integration and relatedness as the core principles which propels the organization. This new form of management links all layers of the corporation and helps them to work in the spirit of mutual understanding and togetherness.

There’s not a single person on this planet who doesn’t want to be a part of a harmonious working environment. Being in tune with the corporate mission, and being able to apply The Flat Army Strategy to the full extent requires:

  • Trust
  • Authenticity
  • Understanding
  • Open-Mindset
  • Expertise

All these things come into play when an execution of a task is underway. Leaders must present collaboration and dialogue as the backbone of the organization.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is perhaps the role model of this new leadership ideology that we are trying to convey. As a mentor and a person to be idolized as far as connected leadership is concerned, he stresses out the importance of sharing critical info and data with his subordinates when the time is right.

In addition, he lays out 15 attributes that display the effectiveness of the Flat Army Approach. Connected leaders must not only abide by the ground rules but also look for a way to improve them:

  1. Trusting” – Don’t feed your vanity and allow others to express their opinion. Reward them for making mistakes, as long as they are within the context of planned improvements.
  2. Involving” – Don’t put anyone on the side, and double-check that everyone has a role to play. Destroy all the shallow obstacles that are preventing the employees to seize the day.
  3. Empathizing” – Don’t be overly critical and focus on the growth of the organization. Applying the reward-punishment system is not only outdated but highly ineffective as well.
  4. Developing” – Pave the way with vision and intentions that incite the employees to develop and grow as professionals.
  5. Communicating” – This is not a one-way street, but a dialogue that lowers the chances for any misunderstanding to occur due to unclear instructions.
  6. Analyzing” – Don’t draw conclusions single-handedly; allow others to gauge the level of your competence to see whether the analysis is accurately presented.
  7. Deciding” – Take into account the consequence and rewards of your decision-making. Stay flexible, and prepared to adapt if such thing is required.
  8. Delivering” – Don’t rush into making split-second decisions. When you ran into trouble, dive into thorough investigation and devise a plan to overcome the situation you are facing.
  9. Cooperating” – Sprinkling a dose of enthusiasm and positivity is the embodiment of a successful cooperation. Don’t become a loner; it sends negative vibes to the Universe.
  10. Clowning” – You don’t need us telling you that people who love their jobs and are relaxed cannot fit into the group of underachievers. Raising the morale of your employees is as critical as formulating a long-term strategy.
  11. Coaching” – Mentor your subordinates, provide guidance and give them feedback. This is the recipe for having motivated and highly creative associates around you.
  12. Measuring” – Don’t forget to use “quantitative business metrics,” for the purpose of measuring the level of achievement.
  13. Exploring” – Get out of your comfort zone, and put a weight on all your options. Take the burden off your shoulders by understanding the surroundings.
  14. Adapting” – We can’t emphasize enough on how important it is to remain flexible at all costs.
  15. Bettering” – There’s no such thing as perfection. Never settle for anything less than utter dedication and friendliness. Work to improve that atmosphere.

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“Flat Army Quotes”

Employee Engagement: The state at which there is reciprocal trust between the employee and leadership to do what's right however, whenever and with whomever. Click To Tweet By collaborating more effectively, organizations have become healthier and more productive. Click To Tweet Trust is not merely saying you trust someone. Trust is about actually acting in a trusting manner. Click To Tweet Open Leadership: the act of engaging others to influence and execute a coordinated and harmonious conclusion. Click To Tweet A disengaged or not-engaged employee is toxic. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

In our humble opinion, Flat Army is a manager’s hidden gem, something that can psyche him/her up for the battles to follow.

Make use of it by diving into its essence.

You won’t regret it!

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Lean UX PDF Summary – Jeff Gothelf

Lean UX PDF Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience

You know what lean methodology is, but not sure how to apply its principles in your design & development firm?

Enter Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden to give you a lesson or two in “Lean UX.”

Who Should Read “Lean UX”? And Why?

O’Reilly’s “Lean Series” – edited by none other than Eric Reis – brings us a new title: “Lean UX.”

Obviously, designers and developers should benefit the most from reading – and applying – the content of this book.

However, project and program managers should find interesting advice here as well.

About Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden
Jeff Gothelf

Jeff Gothelf is an author, designer, and Agile practitioner.

A sought-after international speaker, he is one of the world’s leading voices on topics such as Agile UX and Lean UX.

Together with Josh Seiden, he has co-authored one more book, “Sense & Respond.”

Josh Seiden is an author and UX designer.

He is the founder and past CEO of the Interaction Design Association and is currently a principal at NEO.

Prior to this role, he has held the positions of product design at Liquidnet, and design leader at Cooper.

“Lean UX PDF Summary”

The lean methodology has been stirring up quite a buzz ever since it was first introduced by Eric Ries in his 2011 bestselling book, “The Lean Startup.”

In the meantime, O’Reilly Media has published a series of related books – such as Ash Maurya’s “Running Lean” or Yoskovitz and Croll’s “Lean Analytics” – and quite a few companies have explicitly adopted the lean methodology in their ways of working, General Electric and Dropbox probably the most famous names of the bunch.

Some other companies implicitly use lean business models and practices, since, well, in many cases it is reasonable to use them.

Amazon, for example, makes updates, on average, 5 times in a minute – and what is “lean” if not shortening development cycles through experimentation and iterative product releases?

Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden claim that it’s about time we translated Eric Ries’ vision more methodically in the terminology of user experience design.

It’s only appropriate that we start off with Gothelf’s and Seiden’s disclaimer:

Lean UX is not a set of rules. Instead, it’s an approach that you adopt.

And just like Ries’ lean startup methodology had a precursor in Taiichi Ohno’s lean manufacturing system of the 1990s, Lean UX can firmly plant its roots in the history of the design thinking method, whose five main principles (learning from people, finding patterns, using design principles, making things tangible, and iterating relentlessly) serve as more than just an inspiration for Lean UX.

Its definition?

In the words of the authors,

[Lean UX is] the practice of bringing the true nature of a product to light faster, in a collaborative, cross-functional way.

We work to build a shared understanding of the customers, their needs, our proposed solutions, and our definitions of success.

We prioritize learning over delivery to build evidence for our decisions.

Next, Gothelf and Seiden go over the numerous principles on which Lean UX is more specifically based, and these are all, in turn, organized into three groups:

#1. Principles to Guide Team Organization

A Lean UX team is a small, dedicated, collocated and problem-focused team.

This means that its few members (never more than 10) should collaborate closely and share a similar focus, related to one specific problem.

Also – and this is very important – a Lean UX team should be cross-functional which would grant it just enough autonomy: all Lean UX teams should be self-sufficient and empowered.

#2. Principles to Guide Culture

The Lean UX culture of your company starts with you labeling everything as an assumption until proven otherwise by the Lean UX process. This will allow you to move from a state of doubt to a state of certainty through actual work, instead of through a debate.

Since “Lean UX measures progress in terms of explicitly defined outcomes,” these become more important than outputs. As opposed to outputs (features and services), outcomes are meaningful and measurable changes in customer behavior.

Having your outcome in mind should help you remove waste (i.e., anything that doesn’t lead to the outcome) and, moreover, reach a shared understanding.

Because Lean UX is always about the team and never about the rock stars, gurus and ninjasthey usually create poisonous work environment.

Finally, Lean UX is also about a company’s permission to fail; this permission inspires experimentation and contributes to ultimate greatness.

#3. Principles to Guide Process

All processes should be chunked up in small units, or batches; this mitigates risk in that it allows for changing course at almost all times without ever going too far.

In addition, all processes should be based on the idea of continuous discovery, i.e., doing research “on a frequent basis and a regular rhythm.”

Speaking of research: since it should be user-centered, you should GOOB! If you still don’t know what you should do, it would be only fair on our part to add that GOOB is Steve Blank’s fancy way of saying get out of the building.

Externalizing your work is a must: the earlier it gets to the public, the earlier you know which changes you should make.

This is closely related to the fifth process-guiding principle, i.e., staying away from over-analysis: “there is more value in creating the first version of an idea than spending half a day debating its merits in a conference room.”

Finally, getting out of the deliverables business means shifting from documenting processes to achieving desirable outcomes.

Now that you know the principles of Lean UX design let’s see how you can put them into practice in our “Key Lessons” section.

Key Lessons from “Lean UX”

1.      Drive Your Vision Through Outcomes and Collaboration
2.      Lean UX Is All About MVPs and Feedbacks
3.      Integrate and Support Lean UX: The 10 Rules

Drive Your Vision Through Outcomes and Collaboration

Lean UX begins with a concern for the outcome – and going straight for it!

So, no deliverables, definitions, and “requirements”; just assumptions and results.

After determining your hypotheses (based on the outcome) – create multidisciplinary teams and proto-personas of your potential buyers.

Then, chunk up the project into small batches and start externalizing as soon as possible, so that you can move from assumptions to facts, from doubt to certainty.

Don’t worry about the details: everything will come in its place in time.

Lean UX Is All About MVPs and Feedbacks

Testing your hypotheses means building MVPs, i.e., minimum viable products.

You don’t need to design the perfect weekly newsletter if you want to test the hypothesis whether a weekly newsletter will increase your market share!

Just design a simple sketch and/or design it online using the simplest possible wireframes.

If it works – you’ll do it better as soon as possible.

If it doesn’t – why waste time and energy to design a cutting-edge weekly newsletter when you can use it for something else?

That’s basically how feedback helps: every iteration is better than the last one because you have more and more info on what should make it perfect.

Integrate and Support Lean UX: The 10 Rules

To integrate, adjust and optimize Lean UX, it’s good if you follow these 10 simple rules:

#1. You can’t be a prophet: test your ideas and assumptions.
#2. Focus on outcomes, not deliverables.
#3. Break down silos by creating cross-disciplinary teams.
#4. Everybody should collaborate with everybody: teams should be physically together or, if necessary otherwise, use collaborative online tools. Work is no place for ninjas, gurus and rock stars.
#5. Small problems should be handled by small teams.
#6. Big Design Up Front is a myth – and it may cost you a lot of money; so don’t worry about appearances.
#7. Start with notes and sketches and experiment!
#8. Improve and iterate constantly.
#9. Consider the perspective of the others.
#10. Communicate.

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“Lean UX Quotes”

Collaborative design is still a designer-led activity. It’s the designer’s responsibility to not only call collaborative design meetings but to facilitate them, as well. Click To Tweet

Focus on maximizing two factors: increasing collaboration between client and agency, and working to change the focus from outputs to outcomes. Click To Tweet

MVPs help us test our assumptions – will this tactic achieve the desired outcome? – while minimizing the work we put into unproven ideas. Click To Tweet

The most effective way we found to rally a team around a design direction is through collaboration. Click To Tweet

If you want your stakeholders – both those managing you and those dependent on you – to stay out of your way, make sure that they are aware of your plans. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Lean UX” has a lot to offer – from applying lean principles to improve UX (as the subtitle of its first edition looks like) to designing great products with agile teams (as the second edition of the book is subtitled).

All in all, a great introduction to UX (even if you have not been introduced so far) and an even better manual for those who are stuck in a less systemic UX approach, which, ironically, means also much more rigorous and more prone-to-failure approach.

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How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary

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

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

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

“How Complicated is Your Company?”

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

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

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

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

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

Jaap Backx

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

Donat Wunderlich

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

“How Complicated Is Your Company? PDF Summary”

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

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

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

Its definition?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In conclusion,

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

Key Lessons from “How Complicated Is Your Company?”

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

Productivity Is Stifled by Excessive Complicatedness

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

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

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

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

Complicatedness Can Be Found in Eight Dimensions

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

The Simplified Four-Step Simplification Solution

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

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

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

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

#4. Implementation. Now, apply the interventions.

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“How Complicated Is Your Company? Quotes”

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

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

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

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

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

Our Critical Review

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

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

And, somehow, we are not convinced that complicatedness is “the underlying cause” for the economic decline.

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Woo, Wow, and Win PDF Summary

Woo, Wow, and Win PDFService Design, Strategy, and the Art of Customer Delight

Everybody wants to please the customer nowadays.

The point is – to delight him!

Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell give the full details in “Woo, Wow, and Win.”

Who Should Read “Woo, Wow, and Win”? And Why?

By its own profession, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is a thorough investigation of the “what, why and how of service design and delivery.”

Consequently, it’s a book which specifically targets the service sectors.

So, if you are in retail or banking, health care or other public services – do consult this book and try employing the strategies it offers.

About Thomas A. Stewart and Patricia O’Connell

Thomas A. StewartThomas A. Stewart is the Executive Director of the National Center for the Middle Market at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

A summa cum laude Harvard graduate, Stewart is a respected management thinker, ranked #17 in European Foundation for Management Development’s “Thinkers 50” list in 2005.

He has authored two more books: the 1997 seminal classic, “Intellectual Capital” and the 2003 “The Wealth of Knowledge.”

Patricia O’ConnellPatricia O’Connell is a writer and the president of Aerten Consulting.

In addition to this one, she has co-authored (with Neil Smith) one more book: “How Excellent Companies Avoid Dumb Things.”

“Woo, Wow, and Win PDF Summary”

For all intents and purposes, Disney is the paragon of customer service.

And Thomas A. Stewart could only back this claim when he arrived, exhausted after a long flight, at a Walt Disney World hotel in Orlando, Florida.

He couldn’t wait to go to his casita to lie down a bit, so he was more than grateful to see how much the front-desk clerk was professional and how quickly he was able to register.

And then came the problems: in the absence of markings and employees, Thomas Stewart wandered for more than 20 minutes around the hotel in an attempt to find his room.

This had nothing to do with customer service, though – that part was excellent; however, it had everything to do with customer experience, which almost all companies neglect.

Even though it may seem like they the same thing, customer service and customer experience are pretty different; in fact, even though you’ve read hundreds of books about the former, chances are you haven’t read one about the latter.

Well, “Woo, Wow, and Win” is interested in changing that – in addition to your mindset regarding customer service and experience.

What Walt Disney World lacked in the case just described above was something Stewart and O’Connell dub “service design and delivery,” or SD2, for short.

In the words of Victor Ermoli from the Savannah College of Art and Design:

Service design is a system for developing the relationship between an entity – a bank, a law firm, a health care system, a store, a church – and its customers.

And this system starts with a simple equation:

Ahhh + Ow = Aha

An Ahhh moment is the moment your customers experience something positive enough about your company to instill in them confidence that you are going to provide them with the experience they asked for – and some more.

An Ow moment is the very opposite of an Ahhh moment, i.e., the moment when your customers realize that “something is broken.” True, they may complete the deal – and may even come back – but the bittersweet feeling guarantees that they will never recommend you.

Finally, an Aha moment is the result of your analyses of all Ahhh and Ow moments you’ve noted. An Aha moment, should be followed by an appropriate remedy, and Stewart and O’Connell believe that they have a panacea:

SD2.

It’s based on ten elements and five principles.

The ten elements of SD2 form a neat mnemonic: E10!

They are:

#1. Empathy – put your customers first.
#2. Expectation – understand what you are expected to deliver and what you can realistically deliver.
#3. Emotion – never take the customer’s emotions out of the equation.
#4. Elegance – take a lesson from Steve Jobs’ book: make everything clean and simple.
#5. Engagement – include your customers in the design.
#6. ExecutionDon’t be a politician: deliver on your promises.
#7. Engineering – your products and services should always demonstrate technical excellence.
#8. Economics – don’t exaggerate with your prices.
#9. Experimentationtest and innovate.
#10. Equivalence – may your customers be happy as much as you and vice versa.

The five principles of SD2 are the following:

#1. The Customer Is Always Right – Provided the Customer Is Right for You
Basically, the first principle boils down to THIS: focus on your most valuable customers. Don’t spend any of your time on retaining demanding clients.

#2. Don’t Surprise and Delight Your Customers – Just Delight Them
Surprises are fine for birthday parties; but not for customer service. Simply meet the expectations of your customer over and over again.

#3. Great Service Must Not Require Heroic Efforts on the Part of the Provider or the Customer
Your goal is to provide service which is “efficient, effective, scalable and, if not error-proof, error-resistant.” Which means: minimal effort with maximum results. Think of the intuitiveness “designed into an iPad” – that’s great service.

#4. Service Design Must Deliver a Coherent Experience Across All Channels and Touchpoints
“Wherever and however you choose to play, you must play well.” It’s pointless to have a great telephone customer service, but a bad online platform.

#5. You’re Never Done
SD2 is a cycle. Constantly check your service against its 10 elements and improve wherever possible.

Key Lessons from “Woo, Wow, and Win”

1.      In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha
2.      Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2
3.      Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design

In Service Design, Ahhh + Ow = Aha

Your customers experience either ahhh or ow moments in relation to the products you offer.

The former are a signal of positive experience and should inspire you to improve in the same direction.

The latter indicate trouble, and you should correct the areas which have caused them.

Analyzing the ahhhs and ows results in your aha moment.

Make Yourself a Report Card Using the 10 Elements of SD2

Give yourself a score on a zero-to-four scale in each of these 10 categories and see how well your service ranks on an SD2 scale: empathy, expectation, emotion, elegance, engagement, execution, engineering, economics, experimentation, equivalence.

A score about 30 means that you’re doing a good job; but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t improve until you score 4 in each of the categories.

Always Heed the Five Principles of Service Design

No matter what you do, always adhere to these five principles:

#1. Focus all your energy on your most valuable customers.
#2. Delight your customers by meeting all their needs – don’t surprise them even if you think it’s for the better.
#3. Always aim for minimum effort on the part of your customers – and try to achieve this with minimum effort on the part of your employees as well.
#4. Be coherent – offer the same quality of service across all checkpoints.
#5. You’re never done: always modernize and improve.

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“Woo, Wow, and Win Quotes”

Service design presents an exciting opportunity to explore something that is new to management thinking, new to business practice, new to many business leaders. Click To Tweet

Companies that apply the principles of service design will create…strategic strength. Click To Tweet

The three foundational questions of strategy – where to compete, what to sell, how to win – are inextricably bound up with design. Click To Tweet

What are you doing about your customer capital? Are you growing it, or are you living off it? Are you actively managing it or letting it fend for itself, like money in a checking account? Click To Tweet

When you make it hard for employees, they take shortcuts – and customers leave. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Woo, Wow, and Win” may have a somewhat silly title and an unattractive cover, but it’s actually a pretty great manual to have on hand if you are in the service sector.

To quote Steve Case, the author of “The Third Wave,” “Woo, Wow, and Win” is “a roadmap for success in a landscape being rapidly transformed by technology and entrepreneurship.”

Don’t be afraid to use it.

 

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Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Peter Wilson

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

He is also an author and a mentorship expert.

“Make Mentoring Work PDF Summary”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the three crucial roots:

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

Key Lessons from “Make Mentoring Work”

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

The harder you train, the easier the game

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

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

Discover new forms of leadership

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

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

Explore the depths of the relationship-building process

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

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

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“Make Mentoring Work Quotes”

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

Our Critical Review

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

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

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Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does PDF Summary

Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work... and What Does PDFThe New Science of Leading, Energizing, and Engaging

The good old carrot-and-stick method doesn’t work anymore?

Well, times have changed!

And there’s a new science of leading, energizing, and engaging!

Time to find out “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does.”

Who Should Read “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does”? And Why?

Traditional motivational techniques may have worked in the past, but, to expect them to work still would mean to ignore how much the world has changed over the past several decades.

In “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does,” Susan Fowler urges leaders and managers to move beyond outdated motivational tactics and embrace the new science of energizing.

Start-up entrepreneurs and small business owners will find plenty of advice here as well!

Susan FowlerAbout Susan Fowler

Susan Fowler is a sought-after speaker and motivational trainer, the lead developer of The Ken Blanchard Company’s Optimal Motivation program.

Throughout her career, Fowler has co-authored numerous books, including “Self Leadership and The One Minute Manager” (with Ken Blanchard and Laurie Hawkins), “Achieve Leadership Genius” (with Drea Zigarmi and Dick Lyles) as well as “Leading at a Higher Level” and “Empowerment” (both with Ken Blanchard).

In addition, Fowler also blogs regularly for SmartBrief on Leadership, the Huffington Post, and LeaderChat.

She has coached in over 30 countries.

“Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does PDF Summary”

In a way, there are only two types of motivation.

People are motivated to do something either because they must do it or because they want to do it.

In the former case, it’s all about ambition, rewards, and goal; the motivation of the must-doers is an ego-grounded motivation.

In the latter, the point is to grow, to learn, to excel; the motivation of the want-doers is a values-based motivation.

What science has recently discovered is that the values-based motivation is the only one which actually makes sense in the long run.

Because:

Peak performers are not goal driven. Peak performers are values-based and inspired by a noble purpose.

It took science a long time to reach this conclusion.

Why?

Well, because just a few years after the Second World War, B. F. Skinner – possibly the most influential psychologist of the 20th century – did quite a few experiments with pigeons, investigating phenomena such as superstitions and motivation.

A radical behaviorist, he came to a startling conclusion: you can make a pigeon do absolutely anything if it knows that there’s a reward; in addition, you can visibly inhibit some aspects of its behavior if you punish it by holding back on the food pellets.

What did this mean in terms of motivation at the workplace?

In an idiom (which, coincidentally, dates back to around the same time when Skinner was conducting his pigeon experiments): carrots and sticks.

And for many decades, managers believed that if you reward your employees for their good work and punish them for their bad behavior, you’ll eventually carve out the perfect worker out of them.

The problem is – it doesn’t work that way.

For even when they do, rewards only work in the short term – and cause plenty of problems in the long run.

That is, when there is a lack of money in the company, and you must put an end to the reward program, the reward-oriented employees will start doing a lot less work.

In fact, Drs. Richard Ryan and Edward Deci have demonstrated all but conclusively that real long-term motivation has nothing to do with carrots and sticks – but everything with “hope and promise.”

In other words, most people are already motivated but usually in a much more abstract way than the market would want them too.

Consequently, the job of leaders and managers is practically mission impossible: they need to motivate their employees to do things which may not be aligned with the employees’ inherent motivation.

It’s almost like a Catch-22:

The motivation dilemma is that leaders are being held accountable to do something they cannot do –motivate others.

But, if people are already motivated, how motivated are they?

And is there anything you can do?

According to Susan Fowler, there are six motivational outlooks, which can be easily illustrated by examining the reaction of six different employees to a routine work meeting:

#1. Disinterested: Employee n. 1 thinks that the meeting was a waste of time.
#2. External: Employee n. 2 thinks that this (like any other) meeting was a venue for him to exercise his power and position; he now expects a reward for being there.
#3. Imposed: Employee n. 3 was under severe pressure to attend the meeting because, well, everybody did; otherwise, he wouldn’t have come.
#4. Aligned: Employee n. 4 believes that he learned one or two valuable lessons at the meeting.
#5. Integrated: Employee n. 5 loved the meeting: he/she sincerely believes in the things discussed during this meeting and would want many more meetings such as this one in the future.
#6. Inherent: Employee n. 6 loves being around people, and meetings are his thing. This one? It was (like all the others) fun and enjoyable!

Now, as is obvious at first sight, the first three motivational outlooks are suboptimal drivers which can physically drain a person. Fowler calls them “motivational junk food.”

The last three motivational outlooks are energetic: they are the “motivational health food.”

Now, someone likes his burgers and Nachos, but others prefer broccoli and spinach. And, if you have a child, you know that it is pretty difficult to motivate it to eat the latter if it likes the former.

Scientific research has discovered that the same is true with motivation as well.

The good news?

Just like children feed themselves better by themselves, employees seem more motivated when they feel that three fundamental psychological needs of theirs are satisfied:

#1. Autonomy: I’m free to choose what you can do;
#2. Relatedness: I care about other people, and they care about me as well;
#3. Competence: I am capable of doing this job – and I am capable of doing it better than many.

So, the way out of the motivation dilemma is quite counterintuitive: instead of trying to motivate your employees to do something, just discover what they are already motivated about.

And, afterward, allow them to do exactly that.

Key Lessons from “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does”

1.      External Motivation Undermines Internal Motivation
2.      The Internally Motivated Live Under an ARC of Freedom
3.      There Are Six Motivational Outlooks – and Only Three Are Good

External Motivation Undermines Internal Motivation

In a nutshell, there are two types of motivation: either you must do something, or you want to do something.

In the case of the former, even though mostly in the short run, external motivation works; however, in the case of the latter, it is, in fact, an impediment.

Why?

Because money and promotions motivate people only to a certain extent; everything after that is intrinsic.

The Internally Motivated Live Under an ARC of Freedom

An internally motivated person will move mountains for you and ask for nothing in return.

The reason is quite simple: the three fundamental psychological needs (autonomy, relatedness, and competence – ARC) are already satisfied in his case.

In other words, when people feel competent to do something, have complete freedom to do it the way they want to and have evidence that their work brings some good in the lives of others – then they’ll do it without any external incentives.

In fact, they may feel these as a sort of an insult:

People who experience ARC are thriving. They do not need something or someone else doing the driving.

There Are Six Motivational Outlooks – and Only Three Are Good

There are six motivational outlooks.

The disinterested, external and imposed are the junk food of motivation, while its health food is the aligned, integrated, and the inherent motivational outlook.

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“Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does Quotes”

The motivation dilemma is that leaders are being held accountable to do something they cannot do – motivate others. Click To Tweet

Misunderstanding what motivation means leads to a misapplication of techniques to make it happen. Click To Tweet

Devoting time and effort to help people shift their motivational outlook pays off in countless ways for them, your organization and you as a leader. Click To Tweet

Leaders are so immersed in five motivation-eroding beliefs that they find it difficult to hear, see, or do something different. Click To Tweet

Motivation is a skill. People can learn to choose and create optimal motivational experiences anytime and anywhere. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

“Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work… and What Does” seems to borrow a lot from Daniel H. Pink’s classic “Drive.”

However, this doesn’t make Susan Fowler’s book obsolete.

Because, what it lacks in originality, it compensates in applicability.

And that is at least as important.

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