What if the two qualities that could make you more compelling are in direct competition with each other? This is the case, according to communication consultants John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut. In their book Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential, the pair provide evidence from social science and their own consulting practice that strength and warmth form a powerful combination for professionals. Their book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
The conflict between strength and warmth provides the basis for one of the most interesting communication books in recent memory. Strength, the authors note, is the trait that “gets things done.” It can be associated with words like action, impact and take-charge. Of the two qualities, leaders can readily identify with strength.
It is the importance of warmth that may offer a challenge to traditional leadership thinking. Neffinger and Kohut make one of the most coherent arguments yet for the importance of what is often dismissed as the need to be liked. When the authors describe warmth as encompassing concepts including empathy, familiarity and love, executives should avoid the urge to recoil and instead dive deep into why warmth is a critical complement to strength in achieving greater levels of influence.
After defining strength and warmth and their importance to each other, Compelling People helps you through the nonverbal and verbal communication techniques that signal both qualities. With concepts such as “the circle” and “yes momentum” Neffinger and Kohut offer a valuable resource that is worthy of being called compelling.
There is a tendency among some executive readers to file certain subjects under the label of “soft skills.” Quietly, however, these alleged soft skills drive everything from sales to customer relationships to brand identity. They also drive book sales, as Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul™ series can attest. After achieving sales of more than 125 million copies, one may wonder what else Canfield can offer readers. The answer comes in his team-up with executive mentor and coach Dr. Peter Chee. The pair wrote Coaching for Breakthrough Success to provide leaders with a repeatable set of principles to fire the three cylinders of coaching success: heart, mind and energy. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Canfield and Chee divide their work into three parts. The first part provides leaders with a set of 30 coaching principles. The principles cover a variety of aspects of the role and skillset of a coach, including bolstering your coaching spirit, establishing and maintaining relationships and trust, and using accountability to drive accomplishments. All of the principles are meant to build the solid foundation the authors refer to as “the heart of a coach.”
The second part provides readers with the “mind” that accompanies the heart of a coach: the Situational Coaching Model. This section builds a critical level of flexibility that is absent from other “one-size-fits-all” methods of coaching. The authors describe six paradigms that can be applied to a variety of situations. The third part of the book focuses on the “energy” of a coach in the form of the Achievers Coaching Techniques. Readers should view the techniques as a self-assessment and roadmap to keep your coaching efforts on a steady, measurable path.
The sum total of Coaching for Breakthrough Success is a more focused method that executives can easily apply to business. Don’t short sell soft skills. They may make the difference in your next step on your career path.
As far as obvious statements go, Richard Koch penned one of the best in any business book when he wrote, “Work is overwhelming.” Fortunately, he sets the hook he baited for readers by following his statement with the news that work doesn’t have to be so taxing. In The 80/20 Manager: The Secret to Working Less and Achieving More, Koch takes Vilfredo Pareto’s principle that a small number of events create the majority of effects and applies it to the world of productivity. Koch’s book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
Koch is renowned for bringing the connection between focused effort and results to the masses in the million-selling book The 80/20 Principle. Despite that book’s high sales figures, he recounts the basics of the principle for readers in The 80/20 Manager. Koch provides a business context when he explains why not all revenue should not automatically be labeled good for a company. This blind devotion to revenue, in Koch’s words, “drives the worst and most palpably absurd blunders in the business world.”
To keep managers from falling prey to this problem, Koch provides 10 ways to enable leaders to put the thrust of their efforts into the “20” to get the “80” in return. Executives should note that the 10 ways are not steps in a process. They are to be taken a la carte at the author’s direction. Koch writes, “Being brilliant at one of the 10 ways will take you an awful lot further than being competent at all 10.” Each of the ways Koch describes, whether it’s developing a questioning mind, becoming a “superconnector” or piercing your work through simplification, is well-crafted and can be quickly applied by readers.
The 80/20 Manager is a welcome companion to Koch’s previous work and will generate results for executives.
A leader’s skill set is like the set of knives used by a master chef. The wielder can only perform at his or her best if the tools stay sharp. Now available from Soundview are three new Soundview Executive Book Summaries that will help you maximize success, become a better coach and navigate the complexities of being more compelling.
by Richard Koch
The 80/20 Manager by Richard Koch. Bestselling author Richard Koch demonstrates how managers can be much more efficient and effective by applying the 80/20 Principle – the idea that just 20 percent of our time, effort and key decisions generate 80 percent of our success. The 80/20 Manager can help managers to focus on the issues that really matter, ask the right questions, find the right connections and realize meaningful achievement for their businesses and themselves.
by Jack Canfield and Dr. Peter Chee
Coaching for Breakthrough Success by Jack Canfield and Dr. Peter Chee. Jack Canfield, coauthor of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and Dr. Peter Chee offer a practical guide of 30 principles that every coach needs to succeed. Learn how the Coaching Principles representing the heart of a coach, the Situational Coaching Model representing the mind of a coach, and the Achievers Coaching Techniques representing the energy of a coach can build upon each other to empower people to achieve breakthrough success.
by John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut
Compelling People by John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut. What makes some people irresistible and others forgettable? John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut introduce us to two qualities – strength (the root of respect) and warmth (the root of affection) – and they detail the signals that broadcast each of these. Drawing on the latest social science and the authors’ own work, Compelling People reveals the basic framework we use to judge each other and what we can do to earn both respect and affection.
Human history has seen certain occupations lifted to a pedestal during a particular era. What explorers were to the Age of Discovery and artists were to the Renaissance, entrepreneurs now occupy places of highest esteem in today’s global marketplace. However, MIT professor and serial entrepreneur Bill Aulet takes a different view of the start-up. In his book Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup, he’s not looking to knock down the entrepreneur’s pedestal but instead raise the masses to the same level. This practical guide to bootstrapping your business is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.
If you’re currently entrenched in a large organization and thinking of striking out on your own, you might want to consult Aulet’s book before you start courting venture capital. Disciplined Entrepreneurshipdelivers compact doses of truth alongside the questions you need to answer to rapidly start and grow a business. Aulet is not afraid to take a hammer to some rock-solid myths, such as the belief that an entrepreneurial venture is commonly the work of a lone hero CEO.
The 24 steps in Disciplined Entrepreneurshipare grouped into six themes. Each set of steps answers one of six questions: Who is Your Customer, What Can Your Customer Do For You, How Does Your Customer Acquire Your Product, How Do You Make Money Off Your Product, How Do You Design & Build Your Product, and How Do You Scale Your Business? All of the steps reinforce Aulet’s overarching theme that entrepreneurship can be taught. None of the questions can be properly answered without the reader first answering the question that Aulet suggests every would-be entrepreneur answer: What can I do well that I would love to do for an extended period of time.
If you are able to answer that question, you’ve taken an important first step. Disciplined Entrepreneurship will help you put the right foot forward on all 24 steps that follow.