Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Never Fear; Never Quit

Never Fear, Never Quit (Expect a Miracle)
A Story of Courage and Perseverance

Date Review Posted:  January 29, 2013
Authors:  Joe Tye
Release Date:  May 1997
Web Site (as applicable):  http://www.joetye.com
Related Blog (as applicable):  http://tinyurl.com/avqaqjh  Can’t imagine not receiving Joe Tye’s Spark Plug emails; highly recommend you subscribe
Rating:  CCCCC  (A case could be made that I would only review the best of the best because if while reading a book it does not hold my interest, I would not finish it and therefore would not review it.)

Format:  Inspirational Novel

Reason For Reading THIS book:  I do not recall the event that linked me with Joe Tye and that is my loss because the relationship built over the years with Joe has been indeed priceless.  I have read and re-read everything Joe has written and especially this book, Never Fear, Never Quit (Expect A Miracle). 

Number Of Times I Have Read This Book:  Too many times to remember.  It is a good story with a great message.

Brief Summary of Content:   Never Fear, Never Quit is a small book in size but a HUGE book in content and value.  It is written as a story (novel) but the messages come across loud and clear.  Without going into the story of the book, the following paragraphs are from just the Note to the Reader and sums it up better than I could paraphrase:

“Rafe (the name of the one of the characters in the book who “leads the way” so to speak) is faith.  Faith that there is meaning in all life; including your own.  That no one who is trying to do what is right will be allowed to labor unaided.  Faith, that although adversity may at first seem to weaken and hurt you, it will eventually strengthen and heal you.  That when you are ready to learn, teachers will appear.  That in the darkest moment, the light is not long in coming.”

“Rafe will be there when you hit bottom and you’ll know you’ve hit bottom when Rafe appears.  You’ll know it’s Rafe by this:  The serendipity is too amazing to believe it’s a coincidence.  Something is about to happen that was meant to be, something that is truly miraculous.”

Just in case you-know-who is reading this, here is the origin and definition of the word “serendipity.”  Word History: We are indebted to the English author Horace Walpole for the word serendipity, which he coined in one of the 3,000 or more letters on which his literary reputation primarily rests. In a letter of January 28, 1754, Walpole says that "this discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word." Walpole formed the word on an old name for Sri Lanka, Serendip. He explained that this name was part of the title of "a silly fairy tale, called The Three Princes of Serendip: as their highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of...."

Definition: 1. The faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident.  2. The fact or occurrence of such discoveries.  3. An instance of making such a discovery.
The story is about how we oftentimes see only one course of action and fail to see the various alternatives and choices that actually are there in front of us if just become more aware of what really is in front of us.  When you are aware of all of the choices, you can make more wise and beneficial decisions.
The following quote from the book captures the essence of the message:
Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision.
Perseverance is making that decision every day.

Who Should Read the Book?  This book is literally for everyone.  For business and for personal life.  For adults, for children.  You will not regret giving this book to your children.  It would be especially valuable for you-know-who!  Makes for a great gift.

CHAPTERS:  I think a lot can be learned by just looking at the chapter titles.  Here are the chapters of this book:

Chapter 1        Caring Is the Root of Courage
Chapter 2        Fear Attacks Only Weakness, So Confront It (Fear) with Strength
Chapter 3        Fear Is a Prison from Which Action Wins Freedom
Chapter 4        Any Harm Violence Can Do, Fear Can Do
Chapter 5        Give Fear a Name and It Becomes Just a Problem
Chapter 6        Fear Creates Enemies, Courage Creates Friends
Chapter 7        Fear Gets Lost in the Big Picture
Chapter 8        Fear Is Many Tomorrows, Courage Is One Today
Chapter 9        Fear Is a Reaction, Courage Is a Decision
Chapter 10      With Faith Fear Becomes an Ally
Chapter 11      Stick To Your Purpose
Chapter 12      Give Yourself Permission
Chapter 13      Dream Emotionally, Think Rationally
Chapter 14      Accept Adversity and It Becomes a Teacher
Chapter 15      Obstacles Are What You See When You Take Your Eyes Off Your Goals
Chapter 16      Don’t Go It Alone
Chapter 17      A Lucky Coin Is What You Make Of It
Chapter 18      Take Your Purpose Seriously
Chapter 19      Commitment Is The Foundation Of Perseverance
Chapter 20      Miracles Are Made to Be Shared

Final Test:  Would I read the book again?  ABSOLUTELY!  Would I give it as a gift?  I already have.  It makes for a wonderful gift because (1) it has a tremendous message and (2) it is small enough that people might actually read it.  If that were to happen, you and Joe Tye may have changed the life of the reader forever.

Next Review:  The Little Gold Book of YES!Attitude by Jeffrey Gitomer

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sacred Cows Make The Best Burgers

Developing Change-Ready People and Organizations

Date Review Posted: 
Release Date:  2008
Related Blog (as applicable): 
Rating:  CCCCC  (A case could be made that I would only review the best of the best because if while reading a book it does not hold my interest, I would not finish it and therefore would not review it.)

Reason For Reading THIS book:  The title caught my eye.  Are you not sometimes attracted to a book because of the title, author and/or cover?  In this case I was and I did not regret reading it.  The title was really catchy especially given my time working the U. S. Government where sacred cows not only abound, they roam the range freely.

Number Of Times I Have Read This Book:  TWO

Brief Summary of Content:   A Sacred Cow is something that is consciously or unconsciously protected through its continued use.  All organizations, families and individuals have their own versions of Sacred Cows that continue on through time and in many if not most cases, long beyond their usefulness.  In some cases no one will even admit that the practice serves some useful purpose.  The book helps you to identify the various types of Sacred Cows while having fun doing so and then how to eliminate them.  There are numerous famous examples of corporations that have had Sacred Cows and how some have eliminated them and how some of the Sacred Cows helped to eliminate the companies.  It also points out that people sometimes prohibit new and fresh ideas from being incorporated into a business because of tired, worn out procedures, reports, and practices and a “it has always been done that way” mentality.

A huge light bulb went off when “moving in” with the customer was discussed.  Become your customer, think like your customer, find out what the customer likes and dislikes about your company, product and/or service and then think outside the box on how to satisfy the customer’s desires and hot buttons.  What sets you and your company apart from all other similar companies?

Do you penalize mistakes?  Quote:  1 plus 1 equals 4.  1 mistake, one time = forever!  That inhibits creative thinking if everyone is afraid to try something new.  Is that what you want in your company?

My favorite part of the book discussed discovering how to find the Sacred Cows in your organization.  Just listen to the paragraph headings and you will quickly understand why:  Hunting (Cows); Sacred Cow Hunts; No-Bull Campaigns; An Organization of Hunters; Hunting In Posies; Customer Hunters; Rounding Em Up; Sacred Cows in Plain Sight; Invisible Cows; What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You; Locking Horns; Starve Your Cow; and Selling the Boss.  Take the test, Change-Readiness Scale test to see how you measure up to making changes within your company.

Who Should Read the Book?  Anyone in business whether with a corporation or self-employed.  Maybe especially the self-employed because you may not be aware that Sacred Cows even exist in your own business and do have the luxury of someone else pointing them out to you.

CHAPTERS:  I think a lot can be learned by just looking at the chapter titles.  Here are the chapters of this book:

Chapter 1        Cows and Gatekeepers
Chapter 2        The Paper Cow
Chapter 3        The Meeting Cow
Chapter 4        The Speed Cow
Chapter 5        The Expert Cow
Chapter 6        The Cash Cow
Chapter 7        The Competitive Cow
Chapter 8        The Customer Cow
Chapter 9        The Low Price Cow
Chapter 10      The Quick-Reactor Cow
Chapter 11      The No Mistakes Cow
Chapter 12      The Downsizing Cow
Chapter 13      The Technocow
Chapter 14      The Team Cow
Chapter 15      The Work-Till-You-Drop Cow
Chapter 16      Cow Hunting
Chapter 17      Building The Change-Ready Environment
Chapter 18      Turning Resistance Into Readiness
Chapter 19      Motivating People To Change
Chapter 20      Developing Change-Ready Traits
Chapter 21      The Change-Ready Zone
Chapter 22      Change Ready Review

Final Test:  Would I read the book again?  ABSOLUTELY!

Next Review:  Never Fear, Never Quite (Expect a Miracle), A story of Courage and Perseverance by Joe Tye.