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.

Everybody expects nothing less than a pure brilliance from him.

The information is gleaned from 20th-century philanthropists, medieval reformers, ancient philosophers, personal experience and more.

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 cover topics that seemingly elicit interest from the masses.

It gives us the lowdown on how to behave in mitigating and hostile circumstances, how to discern insults and 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: The 48 Laws of Power, The Art of Seduction, The 33 Strategies of War, The 50th Law and Mastery – strikes again.

“The Laws of Human Nature PDF Summary”

Decluttering your mind seems like a hard work, which in fact, is. However, not having the best mindset in your pocket can backfire on you, and leave you on the brink of emotional destruction. If you are still on the fence, we’ll help you 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 denotes 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 interpreting the extent of the problem or opportunity.

Unfortunately, this is one of those things that we can’t inherit or adopt. It’s a mindset that must be cultivated to tackle the urges to react and favor a more rational attitude.

The Law of Narcissism

To some degree, we all have engraved the narcissist traits within us – some more profound than others. 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 on 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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Powerful PDF Summary – Patty McCord

Powerful PDF Patty McCordBuilding a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility

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

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

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

Stay with us!

Who Should Read “Powerful”? And Why?

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

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

Patty McCordAbout Patty McCord

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

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

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

“Powerful PDF Summary”

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

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

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

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

How can we define this phenomenon?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Power of a Debate and Radical Honesty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Build the Powerful Future by Finding the Right People

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Art of Managing the Employees

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Lessons from “Powerful”

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

Get into the right frame of mind

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

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

Less is more

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

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

Don’t be a narrow-minded prick

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

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

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“Powerful Quotes”

Trust is based on honest communication, and I find that employees become cynical when they hear half-truths. Cynicism is a cancer. It creates a metastasizing discontent that feeds on itself, leading to smarminess and fueling backstabbing. Click To Tweet Are we limited by the team we have not being the team we should have? Click To Tweet Instilling belief in the practice gets easier as managers come on board. The greater the density of great team builders you achieve, the more you can spread the practice organically. Click To Tweet When engineers start to whine about a process you’re trying to implement, you want to really dig into what’s bothering them, because they hate senseless bureaucracy and stupid process. But they don’t mind discipline at all. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

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

We advise you to read this book, page by page to get a good handle on what Patty is trying to convey.

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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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