How Great Leaders Change Their Minds to Change the World

As a leader, changing your mind has always been perceived as a weakness. Not anymore. In a world that’s changing fast, successful leaders realize that a genuine willingness to change their minds is the ultimate competitive advantage. Drawing on evidence from social science, history, politics and more, business consultant Al Pittampalli reveals why confidence, consistency and conviction are increasingly becoming liabilities — while humility, inconsistency and radical open-mindedness are powerful leadership assets.
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In Persuadable, you’ll learn why being persuadable yields accuracy, agility and growth. But Pittampalli doesn’t just explain why you should be persuadable. Distilling cutting edge research from cognitive and social psychology, he shows you precisely how by outlining seven key practices: consider the opposite, update your beliefs incrementally, kill your darlings, take the perspective of others, avoid being too persuadable, convert early and take on your own tribe.Through clear and compelling descriptions and stories, you’ll learn exactly how to practice the art of persuadability. Rife with actionable advice, Persuadable is an invaluable guide for today’s datadriven, results-oriented leader.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:

  • Why persuadability is especially suited for today’s business environment.
  • The seven practices of persuadability and strategies for using them.
  • Why it’s often better to persuade your own tribe before you try to convert others

Review: Driven to Delight by Joseph A. Michelli

Speed Review: Driven to DelightFor most of its storied history, Mercedes-Benz has been a very product-focused company, and with good reason. The brand was built on the quality and durability of its luxury cars. In the last decade of the 20th century, however, a few upstart brands started challenging Mercedes-Benz in its luxury space.

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These luxury upstarts, such as Toyota’s Lexus and Honda’s Acura, didn’t have the history of Mercedes-Benz, but they were willing to offer something more: unbeatable customer service. For example, Lexus dealers were required to sign a covenant that included the statement, “Lexus will treat each customer as we would a guest in our home.”

When Steve Cannon moved from vice president of marketing to CEO on January 1, 2012, he decided that Mercedes-Benz USA would battle to be the best of the luxury car manufacturers in customer service. As recounted in Driven to Delight, by Joseph A. Michelli, a consultant who worked closely with the Mercedes-Benz USA leadership and author of books such as The Zappos Experience, The Starbucks Experience and the best-selling Prescription for Excellence, Mercedes-Benz USA has met the challenge. First, a Map It wasn’t, of course, an easy journey. Unlike Lexus and others who were starting from scratch, Cannon had to overcome the entrenched product-focus mindset at the heart of the company.

Another challenge, as described by Michelli, is that most of the leaders and employees who would need to buy in and implement a new customer-focused mindset were not employees of Mercedes-Benz USA; they were employees of the more than 300 Mercedes-Benz dealerships in the U.S. Part of the customer service issue, in fact, came from this structure. Customers would find excellent service in one Mercedes-Benz dealer, and then find in another dealership that, as one patron explained, employees almost expected customers to be grateful for the opportunity to buy a Mercedes-Benz. To begin moving in the direction he wanted, the company had to understand where it was and where it needed to go. Eventually, a map would be created that showed….

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Make the Promise You’ll Deliver with this No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing

As indicated by its name, the goal of direct response marketing is to elicit an immediate response from prospects. The opposite would be mass marketing, in which prospects are — perhaps and eventually — motivated to check out a product at the store after seeing the product’s (or the store’s) television commercial an ad nauseum number of times. Unlike the disengaged television viewers impatiently enduring commercials, social media prospects are somewhat active and some kind of connection to the seller. No wonder, as Kim Walsh-Phillips writes in No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, that “nothing has proven to give a higher ROI than social media marketing. Dollar for dollar, day in and day out, over and over again — you get the idea.”

Social media consultant Walsh-Phillips and co-author Dan Kennedy, a well-known, direct-response copywriter, combine to offer specific how-to advice on social media marketing. Their advice is generously illustrated with real-world examples, often reproduced in the book. The first lesson of the book, and one that the authors emphasize throughout the book, is that business is about money. It’s not about tweets, followers and any other social media metric about which too many businesses get excited.

“Let profit be the true measure,” writes Walsh-Phillips in the introduction, while Kennedy later notes that “you can’t go to the bank and deposit likes, views, retweets, viral explosions, social media conversations or brand recognition.” To help their readers make money, the authors offer a wide array of recommendations, often organized into concise but comprehensive lists.

One of their early offerings, for example, lists the six rules for effective marketing:

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How to Earn and Keep Customer Loyalty

Today’s buyers –– empowered by the Internet, assured by the enormous choice in every segment of commerce and capitalizing on the acute vulnerability of sellers struggling in this current selling climate –– have taken control of the entire purchase progression

The confluence of technology and choice described in Robert H. Bloom’s The New Experts, started customer loyalty down the slippery slope –– ultimately, customer loyalty died. Buyers no longer care which seller they buy from –– which gives buyers all the power. But buyers do care about fulfilling their needs and making the best purchase decision –– and that is how you can win them over at four critical customer moments.

The Four Moments That Count

1. The Now-or-Never Moment –– your first brief contact. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of your prospects’ initial contact with your company.

2. The Make-or-Break Moment –– the lengthy transaction process. Most leaders know from experience that far too many transactions fall through at the Make-or-Break Moment, the extended period of consideration, negotiation and decision to purchase.

3. The Keep-or-Lose Moment –– the customer’s continued usage. This is the period when your buyer is actually using your business’s products or services. It is important to nourish and maintain your relationship with a customer while that current customer is using, consuming, enjoying and relying on the product or service he or she purchased from you. Maintaining performance is essential at this moment.

4. The Multiplier Moment –– repeat purchase, advocacy and referral. Your Multiplier Moment is your conversion of a one-time customer into a repeat customer and an advocate and referral source for your company. Customers’ repeat purchases from your firm and enthusiastic recommendations of your firm will produce transactions that require far less investment and will create far more profitable revenue. This is why your business must sustain its performance long after the completion of the transaction and throughout your pivotal Multiplier Moment.
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Stop Fighting Human Nature and Increase Your Performance, Engagement and Influence

Selfish, Scared and Stupid examines the psychology behind why even the best ideas sometimes fail. Gregory and Flanagan help businesses design their organizations for reality rather than perfection and offer strategies to head off unprecedented levels of disengagement within and outside the business. They answer baffling questions around why the public sometimes fails to engage despite overwhelming data suggesting otherwise, why so many new products end up on clearance shelves, and why so many great salespeople often fall short of their monthly targets.

Selfish, Scared and Stupid is built on the idea that businesses must return to a more human engagement methodology in order to succeed. It is an informative read for anyone interested in improving influence, growing business reach, improving sales figures or understanding the complexities of human behavior.

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Master Personal Transformation, Seize Opportunity and Thrive in the Era of Endless Innovation

In Disrupt You!, Jay Samit, a digital-media expert who has launched, grown and sold startups and Fortune 500 companies alike, describes the unique method he has used to invent new markets and expand established businesses. He reveals how specific strategies that help companies flourish can be applied at an individual level to help anyone achieve success and lasting prosperity –– without needing to raise funds from outside investors. Incorporating stories and anecdotes from innovators and disruptive businesses, Samit shows…

 

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Our Declining Abilities as Humans

In the early years of cellphones, the younger generation’s affinity for texting might have been seen as another generation-gap marker. Almost surreptitiously, however, the cellphone has become much more than just the new way of doing things for a new generation. As eloquently documented in psychoanalyst Sharon Turkle’s new book, Reclaiming Conversation, the cellphone — and, more specifically, the smartphone — has dramatically shifted the core element at the heart of human society: human relationships. The havoc wreaked by the cellphone is not generation-specific because all generations are guilty.

Turkle encapsulates the problem as one of losing both the desire and even the ability of conversation. We avoid face-to-face conversations, or even phone conversations, in favor of texting or email.

Granted, texting or email can, in the right circumstances, be more efficient. And indeed, the efficiency argument is one that underpins much of the enthusiasm for the smartphone. As revealed through the many interviews Turkle conducted in her research for the book, the generation that grew up with cellphones is perplexed as to why anyone would prefer a live conversation that one cannot edit or control (you must respond immediately). This apparent efficiency, however, is insidious, because “Human relationships,” she writes, “are rich, messy and demanding. When we clean them up with technology, we move from conversation to the efficiencies of mere connection (author’s emphasis). I fear we forget the difference. And we forget that children who grow up in a world of digital devices don’t know that there’s a difference.”

Pilots in a Cockpit

In her disturbing book, Turkle details the negative impact of moving from conversation to “mere connection.” It ranges from the end of imaginative and creative daydreaming — with a phone always handy, any spare second is filled with trolling through apps or checking Facebook — to the inability of being empathetic to others — which requires eye contact, listening and attending to someone — to even the inability of being true to one’s self. Today, unfettered journal entries have been replaced by carefully constructed positive posts on Facebook.

The damage of the age of the cellphone impacts everything we do. In the workplace, for example, employees turn on their screens and put on large earphones to block out the rest of the world — resembling pilots in a cockpit, according to one manager. It is not that the employees want privacy or solitude. In fact, the fear of solitude is one of the major changes wrought by the smartphone; people are never alone and never want to be alone. As a result, even the simple assignment of working on a project is unfathomable to younger employees; they need to work in groups.

Turkle is not anti-technology. She does not pine for a past that has disappeared. Instead, she compellingly describes how we are becoming unnecessarily diminished in our abilities as humans. The answer is not to reject technology but to use it properly. “We can become different kinds of consumers of technology, just as we have become different kinds of consumers of food,” she writes. Reclaiming Conversation is an important book, one that hopefully will be read and talked about — or at least posted about extensively on social media so that its vital message can break into the millions of cockpits that now make up our society.

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Get a sneak peek at February’s reviews

Take a look at the selections Soundview has chosen for February’s reviews.


RECLAIMING CONVERSATION

The Power of Talk in a Digital Age
by Sherry Turkle

In her disturbing book, Turkle details the negative impact of moving from conversation to “mere connec-tion.” It ranges from the end of imaginative and creative daydreaming — with a phone always handy, any spare second is filled with trolling through apps or checking Facebook — to the inability of being empathetic to others — which requires eye contact, listening and attending to someone — to even the inability of being true to one’s self.

 

GOOD PROFIT

How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies
by Charles G. Koch

In his new book, Good Profit, Koch introduces a management frame-work called Market-Based Management, or MBM, which consists of five elements: Vision, Virtue and Talents, Knowledge Processes, Decision Rights, and Incentives.

 

 

 

MILLENNIALS WHO MANAGE

How to Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become a Great Leader
by Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart

While past studies and books might focus on Millennials in their role as future leaders, a new book declares that the future has arrived. Millennials Who Manage: How to Overcome Workplace Perceptions and Become a Great Leader, by Chip Espinoza and Joel Schwarzbart, is written for and not about Millennial leaders and managers.

 

 

 
SERIAL WINNER
5 Actions to Create Your Cycle of Success
by Larry Weidel

In his book, Serial Winner, Weidel argues that anyone can be a winner — and not just a winner but a serial winner, the type of person who wins over and over.

 

 

 

 

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How to Prevent Bullying in the Workplace

IF YOU GO: 
Bullying in the Workplace
Date: Wednesday, January 20th
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Andrew Faas

Bullying in the workplace destroys careers, lives, family units, organizations, and communities. Many organizational cultures condone and even encourage bullying. Most people who are targeted and or are bystanders do not report for fear of retaliation. Amazingly, many who are targeted are unaware that what they are going through is bullying.

In this Soundview Live webinar, Bullying in the Workplace, author Andrew Faas provides comprehensive and provocative insight into the dynamics, impacts, and costs of bullying in the workplace and answers how it can be prevented and stopped. Faas asserts that everyone has a role to play and challenges the reader to take action.

You Will Learn:

  • What culture has to do with bullying.
  • About the dynamics of bullying.
  • How to effectively deal with bullying.
  • Important advice for the bullied and the bully.

Register today for this informative webinar!

 

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How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People Without Burning Them Out

What key question do managers and supervisors at Marriott Hotels ask their employees each day, enabling them to maintain a turnover rate that is one-third of the industry standard? Why are there more than 500 “co-presidents” at a software firm that has twice been recognized as the best place to work in Minneapolis? Why does a burgeoning healthcare consultancy firm in Philadelphia ban its people from sending business-related emails after 6 p.m. and on weekends?

The answer to these intriguing questions –– along with many others –– can be found in Eric Chester’s On Fire at Work. Chester reveals the seven cultural pillars that today’s leading employers focus on to attract and retain top talent: compensation, alignment, atmosphere, growth, acknowledgment, communication and autonomy. On Fire at Work is a practical field guide that leaders in any organization can implement to build more than an engaged workforce, but rather a workforce that’s on fire!

In this summary, you will learn:

• The seven cultural pillars used to attract and retain top talent.
• What sparks on-fire commitment to a job.
• Five ways to ensure core value alignment.
• The Four Ps of Recognition and Reward.

Look for the full-length summary in your Soundview library. Not a Soundview subscriber? Click here to sign up!