Review: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

NeverSplitTheDifference_LgNever Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Never Split the Difference, a new book on negotiation, presents an alternative to Getting to Yes, the classic text by Roger Fisher and William Ury of Harvard. For author Chris Voss, the use of rational tools and techniques is not the most effective approach for negotiations. Instead, the key to success, especially in very dangerous negotiations, is tactical empathy, which he describes as “emotional intelligence on steroids.”

As reflected in the title of his book, Voss, the former lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, did not develop his theories on negotiation in the halls of academia. An education that began as a beat cop on the mean streets of Kansas City continued as he joined the FBI and eventually traveled the world as the agency’s chief negotiator in the most dangerous situations. Somewhat surprisingly, one of the most valuable lessons he learned was not in a jungle negotiating with ruthless terrorists, but in the streets of Pittsburgh.

A drug dealer had kidnapped the girlfriend of another drug dealer. As Voss listened to the tapes of the two drug dealers talking, he heard the aggrieved dealer ask the kidnapper, “Hey, dog, how do I know she’s alright?” The kidnapper paused and then said, “Well, I’ll put her on the phone.”

Already an experienced negotiator, Voss recognized the power of that question. It was the prototype of what he would eventually call the “calibrated question,” a highly impactful tool because it gives the other side a sense of control even if they are doing what you want them to do. If the drug dealer had said, “Put her on the phone!” the other dealer would either have refused — because he didn’t want be controlled — or demanded
something in return. When responding to the question, “How do I know she’s alright,” the kidnapper feels in control because he is making the decision to put the hostage on the phone.

Calibrated questions reflect the philosophy of emotional intelligence on steroids. Never Split the Difference is filled with compelling, often harrowing stories that further illustrate the empathy-based techniques and approaches that Voss advocates.

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How Companies Can Overcome the Pitfalls of Globalization

Global Vision by Robert Salomon

In an increasingly interconnected world, managers frequently turn to global markets as a means of achieving profitability and growth targets despite accumulating evidence that globalizing is fraught with risk. In the last 20 years alone, high-profile companies like Tesco, IKEA, AES and Walmart (among others) have been hobbled by globalization.

Global Vision offers a lens through which to view globalization in a new and compelling way, helping managers understand the risks associated with globalization while equipping them with the necessary tools to overcome those risks. Author Robert Salomon defines country institutions across political, economic and cultural dimensions and demonstrates how to measure them so that managers can estimate the risks that institutional differences pose to global companies. Global Vision will help unlock the mysteries of globalization using a framework and a tool –– Global Acumen –– that managers can immediately apply to successfully navigate globalization’s institutional hazards.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• How to assess institutional distance.
• How to make better-informed, smarter globalization decisions.
• How to select the appropriate mode of entry into foreign markets.
• How to optimally structure your global operations.

Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

DeepWorkDeep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. In short, deep work is like a super power in our increasingly competitive 21st-century economy. And yet, most people have lost the ability to go deep –– spending their days instead in a frantic blur of email and social media, not even realizing there’s a better way.

In Deep Work, author and professor Cal Newport flips the narrative on impact in a connected age. Instead of arguing distraction is bad, he instead celebrates the power of its opposite. Dividing this book into two parts, he first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. A mix of cultural criticism and actionable advice, such as the claim that most serious professionals should quit social media and that you should practice being bored, Deep Work is an indispensable guide to anyone seeking focused success in a distracted world.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• Why deep work is valuable, rare and meaningful.
• Strategies to help you learn to embrace deep work.
• What it means to embrace boredom.
• To determine the true value of social media in your work and life.

Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance

CommittedTeamsCommitted Teams: Three Steps to Inspiring Passion and Performance is based on a deceptively simple philosophy: set a direction, try to stay on track and make adjustments when necessary. Easy to do? Hardly –– especially when the typical workday is time-crunched, stressful and deadline-driven.

Drawing on research done at the Wharton School of Business, the authors reveal how to deliver results under these tough conditions. Committed Teams will help you gain buy-in for shared objectives, assign roles to the right people and establish norms for effective collaboration. Whether your team aims to execute a strategy, produce breakthrough innovations, collaborate across global boundaries or launch a new venture, this how-to guide offers the pragmatic advice you need. This game-changing book provides the tools for aligning every member of your team behind a motivating vision, making team meetings efficient and productive, and closing the gap between stated goals and actual behaviors.

If you want to be competitive in a demanding, fast-paced work environment, you need to rely on a high-performing team. Committed Teams is the indispensable resource for creating one.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• To establish goals, roles and norms in your organization.
• To adopt an observer’s mindset and solve problems.
• To bridge key gaps between saying and doing.
• To establish and strengthen culture in different types of teams –– even virtual teams and startups.

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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