Do You Have Rookie Smarts?

For many years now, I have considered my greatest strength as an employee to be my experience. As young people join our company, I can tell them about our history of 36 years in the summary business and all that we’ve learned over the years. But these days, things are just moving way too fast for experience to be enough!

Liz Wiseman, in her book Rookie Smarts, has it right when she makes the point that “In a time of constant change, success depends on seeing the world through rookie eyes”. Wiseman explains why we are often at our best when we are doing something for the first time—and how to reclaim and cultivate this curious, flexible, youthful mindset called “Rookie Smarts”.

Fortunately for those of us who’ve been around for a while, Wiseman also identifies a brand of leader she calls a “perpetual rookie”. Despite years of experience, they retain their rookie smarts, thinking and operating with the mindsets and practices of these high-performing rookies.

Whether you are a true rookie looking to stand out at work, or a seasoned veteran who needs to keep up your game, Wiseman’s words are for you. So we’ve invited Liz to join us for our Soundview Live webinar How to Retain Your Rookie Smarts on November 5th.

I’ll certainly be listening in, and I would invite you to join me. If you’re a Soundview subscriber, you can attend the webinar Free as always. If you’re not yet a subscriber, you may want to consider subscribing now. For the cost of just two webinars, you’ll have a year of book summaries and can attend our weekly webinars free as well.

New Summaries to Transform Your Business

Today in the United States, entrepreneurship and innovation are driving economic growth. Creativity, entrepreneurs and innovation are all important. Entrepreneurs have a passion for business and focus on their products. To develop these products, they need to apply creativity and innovation to their processes. Learn how ideas, talents, and skills are developed and transformed into commercial and social ventures with these three new Soundview Executive Book Summaries.

The_Responsible_Entrepreneur

by Carol Sanford

The Responsible Entrepreneur by Carol Sanford

Responsible entrepreneurs seek to transform industries, requiring them to think and do beyond what is require of business leaders. Carol Sanford provides the frameworks to build a business and to evaluate and direct investments to create the greatest benefit for all stakeholders. She presents the four archetypes for entrepreneurs to use to learn how to grow their businesses. The Responsible Entrepreneur is not just for entrepreneurs or investors, but anyone who wants to make a difference in their organization.

How_the_World_Sees_You

by Sally Hogshead

How the World Sees You by Sally Hogshead

To set yourself apart from the crowd, you must develop your own personal brand. Sally Hogshead gives you the tools to describe your personality’s highest value to others in How the World Sees You. You will be able to create better relationships, grow your business, and become more valuable once you understand how to leverage how the world sees you at your best. How the World Sees You will guide you to make a great first impression always.

 

Overfished_Ocean_Strategy

by Nadya Zhexembayeva

Overfished Ocean Strategy by Nadya Zhexembayeva

When resources are depleting rapidly, businesses need to make resource scarcity, also referred to as the overfished ocean, their top strategic consideration. In Overfished Ocean Strategy, Nadya Zhexembayeva shows how businesses can find new opportunities in what were once considered useless by-products and develop ways to rapidly refine these new business models. She offers five essential principles that define the Overfished Ocean Strategy, along with several examples of how companies across the globe are implementing this strategy effectively.

Find the Sideways Path to Success

It takes 10 years of hard work and persistence to become an overnight success. Or so says the conventional wisdom. But if you’re going to insist on paying your dues, writes Shane Snow in the book Smartcuts, move to the slow lane because there are people who are going to pass you by. In his book, New York-based journalist Snow insists that the smartest people are the ones who refuse to follow the traditional paths to success. Snow uses examples from a wide range of domains, including entertainment, medicine, sports, politics and history, to prove that anyone can propel their way to success in a fraction of the time that others will take.

The secret of Smartcuts (which Snow explains lead to “sustainable success achieved quickly” not the “rapid but short-term gains” of shortcuts) is lateral thinking: knowing how to scramble sideways rather than steadily climbing the ladder of success. Even most presidents of the United States didn’t become president by slowly moving up from political offices to more important political offices until they reached the most powerful political office in the world. Instead, it often took just a couple of bounces from careers in such non-political arenas as acting (Ronald Reagan), the military (Dwight Eisenhower) or academia (Woodrow Wilson) to reach the White House.

Shorten, Leverage or Soar

In his book, Snow identifies nine patterns of lateral thinking, which he divides into three classes evocatively entitled: “shorten,” “leverage” and “soar.”

Instead of gamely following the prescribed path to a destination, some people deliberately shorten the path.

There are, Snow explains in the first part of the book, three ways to do so: “hacking the ladder,” which involves climbing a career ladder in unconventional ways; “training with masters,” which requires developing deep relationship with mentors; and “rapid feedback,” through which ambitious people constantly receive and act on feedback to what they are doing.

Leverage, as the name implies, is the process of using some tool or mechanism to propel yourself toward your goals.The three leverage tools that Snow features are “platforms,” which, as with physical platforms, make you stand out and above the rest of the crowds; “waves,” which, if you place yourself in the right location, can be caught and ridden, much as champion surfers know to which spot they should paddle to catch the best next wave; and “superconnectors,” which involves both getting help from the right people but then offering help once you’ve made it.

Snow’s final category of lateral thinking is to soar, which involves finding the way to keep “momentum”; striving for “simplicity” (a surprising element of sustainable success is the ability to focus on what’s important and simplify the rest; even President Obama has suits in only two colors, explaining to one interviewer that he had enough decisions to make); and 10x thinking — a goal that, unlike the incremental 10 percent improvement thinking, requires starting over doing something completely different.

Nearly every page of this book tells another compelling and inspirational story of someone who has been able to smartcut his or her way to phenomenal success. This is a book for anyone who feels that they are not where they want to be — and don’t have the patience (and perhaps the time) to slowly climb the ladder rung-by-rung.

Book Review: Thanks for the Feedback

by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

We receive feedback every day, but often times we resist or dismiss it. Using feedback is crucial for healthy relationships and professional development. In Thanks for the Feedback, Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen explain why getting feedback is important and offer a powerful framework for interpreting comments, annual evaluations, and unsolicited advice that will enable effective learning. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

“Understanding our triggers and sorting out what set them off are the keys to managing our reactions and engaging in feedback conversations with skill,” write Stone and Heen. They identify three triggers that block learning and lead us to become confused or flustered. The first trigger is truth, which is set off by the substance of the feedback. Relationship triggers are the second trigger, which is tripped by the giver of the feedback leading us to switch our focus on the person delivering the message than the feedback. The third trigger is identity, which is when we feel overwhelmed or threatened because feedback has caused our identity to come undone. If you learn to overcome these triggers, you will be able to receive feedback well and use it constructively rather than discard it.

Beyond learning how to effectively receive and use feedback, you will learn how to dismantle distortions and draw boundaries in the face of unrelenting criticism. Furthermore, you will learn how to uncover blind spots so that you can continue to grow with valuable feedback. With Thanks for the Feedback, any professional can develop their career filled with valuable learning to progress to the next level.

How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

START WITH WHY

THE QUESTION TO ASK
Inspiration comes in a variety of forms, but the root of it grows from a fundamental question asked by those who are able to inspire others. The most important question of all, according to leadership expert Simon Sinek, is: Why do we do what we do? Asking this question can mean the difference between a company that makes a profit over the short term and a company that creates long-term financial success. Asking “why” also helps us draw others to us because we all want to understand why things are the way they are.

In Start With Why, Sinek explains that those who remember to answer that question are better able to attract others to their cause and create the inspiration people need to stay loyal and committed. When organizations explore why they exist, they are more likely to inspire their employees to join in their efforts and better able to attract customers to their products.

‘The Golden Circle’
After examining the ways manipulative leaders motivate their people, such as playing the price game, selling through promotions, using fear tactics, playing on insecurities and applying peer pressure, Sinek describes a better path to inspiration: a leadership model he calls “The Golden Circle.”

The Golden Circle is a series of three concentric circles that starts with a circle in the middle that represents why. The next circle represents how, and the outside circle represents what. Sinek writes that every company knows what it does because what simply represents the product or service that the company sells or the job function an employee performs to sell that product or service. How explains how the company is different from other companies. But the why is the most important core that needs to be explored to find inspiration. Sinek explains that the most inspired companies and leaders think, act and communicate from the inside of the Golden Circle and work their way outward.

To describe how inspirational people and companies lead, Sinek holds up examples such as the Wright brothers, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Apple Inc.
A prime example of an innovative company that inspires its employees and customers by starting with why is Apple. Sinek shows how the marketing message that Apple uses to create value begins with an explanation of the underlying differentiator that separates the company from its competitors. Sure, it makes computers, but that message comes after the company states that it believes in challenging the status quo and thinking differently.

Orville and Wilbur Wright
Similarly, Sinek writes, the Wright brothers were able to become the first people to pilot their own flying machine before experts with more resources at their disposal. The Wright brothers started with the passion for flight, which was a far more effective why than the mere ambition for achievement that compelled the Smithsonian’s Samuel Pierpont Langley and his shop of well-educated experts who also strove to be the first to fly. Other people joined Orville and Wilbur Wright’s team because they were inspired by their belief that people could fly. This belief helped the Wright brothers excite their team members to do the hard work that got them off the ground before anyone else in the world.

Stories like this demonstrate Sinek’s theory about the importance of inspiration when leading others. Through lively historical examples that captivate while inspiring, Sinek offers readers a wealth of role models to help them find the inspiration to reach their own goals.