Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Zen Golf


Zen ( YOU Fill In The Blank)
By Dr. Joseph Parent

Date Review Posted:  February 18, 2013
Authors:  Dr. Joseph Parent
Release Date:  June 2002

  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:  If I had listed the actual title of the book a lot of people who have gotten this far would go no further because they don’t play golf.  That would be a HUGE mistake.  The title of the book is actually Zen Golf – Mastering The Mental Game. 

It could just as easily been entitled, Zen Life; or Zen Business; or Zen Selling; or just about Zen anything because the principles discussed by Dr. Parent apply to all of these and more but especially “life”, not just golf

Reason For Reading THIS book:  I am a golfer so when I saw the title of the book, it intrigued me.  After I read the book, I immediately purchased the book on CD.  At the time I taught a lot of real estate classes and the principles contained in the book aided me tremendously in my teaching skills.  As stated above, it could and does apply to just about any business or anyone’s life in general.

Number Of Times I Have Read This Book:  Three times plus listened to the CD several times while traveling.

Brief Summary of Content:   Zen Golf is only 200 pages in length.  I say this because I usually list the title of each chapter to pique interest.  However, there are too many, 78 in all, to list.  Each chapter can stand alone in regards to content; you don’t need to read one to read another.  The following are a few examples, most are not self-explanatory:

Empty Your Cup (personal favorite; great for teachers)
Four Kinds of Students (personal favorite; great for teachers)
Thinking Outside the Box (personal favorite; great for teachers)
Cover the Roads with Leather
How Big Is Your Mind?
You Are Not Your Thoughts
Basic Goodness
Unconditional Confidence
Clearing the Interference
The vividness of the Moment
Bacon and Eggs Breakfast (personal favorite, great for teachers)
More Curious Than Afraid
Avoid the Anyways
Dive Under the Waves
Cool, Calm and Collected
Listen to Your Intuition
Cultivating and Strengthening Awareness
Synchronizing Body and Mind
Give Up Control to Get Control
You Produce What You Fear
Can You Put A Cat In A Box
To Care or Not to Care
How to Make a Flower blossom
Pebbles in the Bowl
Untie the Sandbags
Fire Your Evil Caddie (I especially like this one)
Accentuate the Positive
Uplifted Body, Uplifted Mind
You Can’t Stop The Waves, but You Can Learn to Surf
Why Are You Still Carrying Her?  (Another personal favorite)
Gentle, Inquisitive, Fearless

About the book:  What did I learn from it?  About 90% of the book is NOT about golf at all, it is about life in general and your attitude towards it.  Dr. Parent opens your mind to be more aware about what you are thinking and how to think better thoughts to help you achieve whatever it is you want to achieve.  Even the 10% that is related to golf could just as easily apply to sales, management, teaching, research, etc.

The best part is that Dr. Parent reinforces his points with stories and examples you will not soon forget.  When faced with a situation in my real estate business I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have instantly recalled a story from the book that helped me to respond as compared to react to the situation.

Who Should Read the Book?    Everyone!  Not just golfers!

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Leaving A Legacy

Leaving A Legacy, By Jim Paluch

Date Review Posted: 
Authors:  Jim Paluch, JP Horizons
Release Date:  1998

  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 first read Leaving A Legacy more than 10 years ago.  I read 5 Important Things by Jim Paluch as well as Growing Dreams.  Each one led me to read the next one; they are that good.

Number Of Times I Have Read This Book:  Reading it for the third time but this time it is special.  When I first read the book, the lesson was not as personal as it is this time.  In fact I feel like Paluch is teaching me personally.  It is the story of a young boy who takes a life-lesson from an old-timer with the lesson being helping others especially in your outward years when you are loaded with life’s experiences.  It is about making a difference.  Now that I turned 68 and without the intent of bragging, I have read upwards of 1000 books. It is I who is getting to be an old-timer and whose brain is loaded with experiences and knowledge and the question becomes what am I going to do with that wisdom that I have collected over 68 years.  That is what this book is all about; leaving a legacy.  Of course you can leave a good legacy, you can leave a bad legacy or those who follow may have a hard time even knowing you were on the planet.  The choice is yours; this book will help you to think about what others will say about you in years to come.  The first two reads were very good.  This time reading the book really struck home!

Brief Summary of Content:   I was going to write a brief summary but when you read the Forward written by none other than Mark Victor “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Hansen, I could not improve upon that perfection.  Therefore Hansen’s Forward is repeated here as your encouragement to include this book in your personal library and to read it more than once.  You definitely will not regret it.  After reading it, I think you will agree it should be a gift given to your children and grandchildren.

Leaving A Legacy
By Mark Victor Hansen

The wisdom of the ages is found in books like Leaving A Legacy, and since wisdom is something we never seem to have enough of there is always a grateful sign when we can lay a book down and know a little more about ourselves.  Wisdom comes when all the knowledge we store in our mind mingles and assimilates with actual experiences to become “magically” transformed into real life applications.  And so, a life changing book can be full of all the things we already know, but need to be reminded of over and over again.  When it becomes your personal quest to build a better you and to break through the barriers that may be blocking your highest potential, then the reading of a single book can often become a turning point and a catalyst for your future.

The classic motivational books are written with the similar purpose of the ancients passing tales from one generation to the next, sharing stories of what they’ve learned in life with the hopes of helping another.  They tell about the things that matter in living successful lives…of building our belief systems, nurturing a positive attitude, understanding our individual potential, valuing the importance of honesty and character, and most importantly, learning to appreciate and add to the lives of those around us.

It is the helping of others that sustains life and gives us purpose, and we don’t have to look far to find a cause we can commit ourselves to.  Whether it’s the need to reforest the earth, feed a hungry world, revitalize our schools, help the American Red Cross replenish its supply of blood, or battle against illiteracy, we can all feel compelled to help in some way.

When you begin to read this wonderful book called Leaving A Legacy, it first appears that its cause is to appreciate the value of our “old people,” this group of individuals that should be revered and looked to for their wisdom, rather than forgotten or set aside by our society.

The biggest message we learn from this book, however, is that growing older is not a curse, but a blessing, and if you take the wisdom that comes with all of life’s experiences and use it to improve yourself and those around you, then each of us, young and old, can truly “flower.”  The real cause behind Leaving A Legacy is that everyone possesses the knowledge to make a difference in the world, and all that we know becomes wisdom bearing beautiful fruit when we have the courage to take action.

Whether you are seventeen or seventy, I challenge you to take the wisdoms found in this book, in other books, and most importantly found in your life and the lives surrounding you, and allow them to motivate you to take action for the betterment of humanity.

Mark Victor Hansen
Co-author, New York Times #1 Best-selling
“Chicken Soup for the Soul” series

And from the book:  Do you know what a legacy is?  It is the passing on of wisdom.  It is caring enough to take action, to do something and make a difference.  We leave a legacy by caring enough about the people who may not even be born yet, to use our wisdom in a way to make the world better because we were here.  We can leave a legacy.  No one is too you and no one is too old to apply the wisdom established through this foundation.  We must use our own lives to make a difference in our country, our job, our family, and even our own well being and self-esteem.

I am not sure just how macho it is to admit that at times it was difficult to read this book through the tears that seem to well up in my eyes, probably because of the glare, but they were there.  I found this book to be a very emotional read.  Probably because I felt like Paluch was talking not only to me but about me as well. I would like to think that writing this book review is in keeping with my own life's mission, to help people to do what they do to do it better.  By doing so I hope I am working on leaving a positive legacy of my own.

WANT LESSONS FROM THE BOOK?  Email me at JimBrown@gymbeaux.com and insert Legacy in the subject line and I will send you the lessons learned from the book.

Who Should Read the Book?    Everyone but especially teenagers and those approaching their retirement years.

Final Test:  Would I read the book again?  ABSOLUTELY AND I AM!  Would I give it as a gift?  ABSOLUTELY!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Outwitting The Devil

Outwitting The Devil, The Secret to Freedom and Success
By Napoleon Hill

Date Review Posted:  February 12, 2013
Authors:  Napoleon Hill, edited and annotated by Sharon Lechter
Release Date:  2011  BUT WRITTEN IN 1938

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:  I have never read a book quite like this one.  It entails a practice described by Napoleon Hill as his “Invisible Counselors Technique”.  This technique involves being able to clear one’s mind and possibly going into a trance where Hill would be counseled by people of his choosing, dead or alive.  In this book, Hill interviews the Devil.  It is an amazing technique that will hold you spell-bound to reading this book.  You find yourself asking the question, “how does he know?”  To get a better understanding of this technique, go to this YouTube site for a brief video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xK8Aeet4VYE&feature=youtu.be  If you were to learn to use this technique, it would most assuredly change your life.

Reason For Reading THIS book:  It was recommended by Bob Burg (Endless Referral fame).  Anything Bob Burg recommends is excellent.  Also listened to an interview conduct by Bob Burg with the author, Lisa Earle McLeod.   www.BobBurg.com

Number Of Times I Have Read This Book:  Once but intend to read it again; next time with a hi-liter.

Brief Summary of Content:  

This is a story about Napoleon Hill’s life and how he came to writing the book he is most known for “Think and Grow Rich” which has become the benchmark for self-improvement books ever since.  It did not come easily.  In fact it took 25 years to get to print.  This is his story and how he overcame obstacles and his own destructive thought process and how he had to develop a new mindset for success. 

Here is the kicker, so to speak.  Outwitting The Devil was written in 1938 but was not published until 2011.  Why?  Because Hill’s wife and later his family were concerned about the adverse reaction the book may garner.  If you read the book you will understand why the concern.  What Hill wrote about in 1938 applies maybe even more so to today than it did in 1938.  Hill, in this interview with the Devil, compels the Devil to tell the truth.  The interview covers a lot of subjects that may be considered taboo to a lot of people and if you are of a different thinking, may even upset you and it will make you question some of your long-standing beliefs.  Subjects like Religion, Education, Public Schools, and personal agendas regarding these subjects.  Nonetheless, you need to take into account that this was written in 1938 and the premonition and understanding of issues then is uncanny as to how they apply to our time over 70 years later.  As I read the book, I had to keep reminding myself that it was written 70 years ago and not today.

If all of the adverse situations that arise throughout the world and our own lives are believed to be attributable to the Devil or devil-like activities, then the answers provided by the Devil as to how to overcome these causes will astound you.  Again, you will have to keep asking yourself, did he actually interview the Devil or was this a very vivid imagination at work. 

The book, at least for me, provided reason as to why the world is as it is at this moment in time – in chaos and more importantly, who is responsible for the chaos; the answers will surprise and shock you.

The book in one word – WOW!

Who Should Read the Book?    Everyone! 

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

Chapter 1:  My First Meeting with Andrew Carnegie

Chapter 2:  A New World Is Revealed to Me

Chapter 3:  A Strange Interview with the Devil

Chapter 4:  Drifting with the Devil

Chapter 5:  The Confession (of the Devil) Continues

Chapter 6:  Hypnotic Rhythm

Chapter 7:  Seeds of Fear

Chapter 8:  Definiteness of Purpose

Chapter 9:  Education and Religion

Chapter 10:  Self-Discipline

Chapter 11:  Learning from Adversity

Chapter 12:  Environment, Time, Harmony, and Caution


Afterward by Michael Bernard Beckwith

Reflection by Sharon Lechter

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

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Selling With Noble Purpose

SELLING WITH NOBLE PURPOSE:  How To Drive Revenue And Do Work That Makes You Proud
By Lisa Earle McLeod

Date Review Posted:  February 5, 2013
Authors:  Lisa Earle McLeod
Release Date:  2013

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:  Identifies problem areas in sales, sales training and management.  Provides examples of companies that either are the benchmark or the example of what not to do.  Then provides you with solutions to the issues discussed.

Reason For Reading THIS book:  It was recommended by Bob Burg (Endless Referral fame).  Anything Bob Burg recommends is excellent.  Also listened to an interview conduct by Bob Burg with the author, Lisa Earle McLeod.   www.BobBurg.com

Number Of Times I Have Read This Book:  Once but intend to read it again.

Brief Summary of Content:  

“A Noble Sales Purpose (NSP) is the difference between a merely effective sales force and one that’s truly outstanding.”

“Those who center their business on improving people’s lives have a growth rate triple that of their competitors, and they outperform the market by a huge margin.”

“A noble purpose engages people’s passion in a way that spreadsheets don’t”

“Top performers are driven by purpose, but their company leadership almost never discusses any purpose beyond making money.”

“When you emphasize short-term profit over long-term customer satisfaction, employees get the message loud and clear.”

“How will this customer be different as a result of doing business with us?”

Applying one of the main principles of the book to that which I am familiar, real estate, I can’t tell you the number of times I have heard real estate agents repeat what they have been taught over the years, “buyers are liars”.  I have also heard buyers and sellers repeatedly say, “he or she is only in it for the money.”   Doesn’t one comment support the other?   

If there is one golden nugget that you should take away from this book it is simply answering this question:   “How will the customer be different as a result of doing business with us (me)?”  Well Pilgrim, how WILL the customer be DIFFERENT?  Can you answer the question? From the book, “When you’re focused on making a difference to customers, sales are less likely to come down to price.”

I can’t over state how important I believe this book is to every sales person and every person who owns and/or manages a business.  Remember, everyone is in sales in one form or another.

Who Should Read the Book?    Anyone in sales but then are we all not in sales?  Whether you own a business, are in management, or you are in sales this book is for you.  If you are an independent contract involved in selling you are in ownership, management, and sales; this book is especially for you.  This book will help you treat your business as a business with the primary focus being on meeting the customers’ needs as compared to sales quotes and spreadsheets.

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

Chapter 1:  The Great Sales Disconnect
·       What Lack of Purpose Costs a Sales Force
·       Why NSP Makes You Money
·       What’s Gained from Approaching Sales with NSP
·       Hot to Use This Book
·       Reframing the Sales Profession

Chapter 2:  Why Noble Sales Purpose Works
·       The Two Big Human Needs:  Connection and Meaning
·       Why Mission and Vision Aren’t Enough
·       The Google Sale Reframe
·       Now NSP Drives Shareholder Value
·       Shareholders versus Stakeholders

Chapter 3:  Why Profit Is Not A Purpose
·       How Overemphasing Profit Erodes Your Bottom Line
·       The 6 Ps:  Putting Profit into Perspective
·       How NSP Prompts Better Questions

Chapter 4:  The Sales Manager Question That Changes Everything
·       Why Sales Managers Matter
·       How NSP Helps You Close Bigger Deals
·       A Sample NSP Coaching Session

Chapter 5:  How to Create Your Own Nobel Sales Purpose
·       Part 1:  How Do You Make A Different to Your Customers?
·       Part 2:  How Are You Different from Competitors?
·       Part 3:  On Your Best Day, What Do You Love About Your Job?
·       Crafting Your NSP

Chapter 6:  How Fear Flatlines Sales Calls
·       The Lizard Brain
·       Why Shared Commitment Gives You Courage
·       A Lesson in Fear, Part 1
·       The Chilling Effect of Fear-Based Leadership
·       A Lesson in Fear Part 2
·       Why Fears Makes You Fail

Chapter 7:  The Dirty Little Secret About Sales Training
·       The Mindset Difference Betrween Average and Outstanding
·       Five NSP Mindsets That Differentiate Top Performers
·       Selling Skills:  Art or Science?
·       The Ugly Uncomforabelt Truth About Sales Training
·       NSP Mindset #1:  Hold Two Goas In Your Mind at the Same Time
·       NSP Mindset #2:  Sit With Uncertainty
·       NSP Mindset #3:  Think Customer Firest, Preoduct Second
·       NSP Mindset #4:  Create Success for Everyone
·       NSP Mindset #5:  Show Up with Love
·       It takes Courage to Love

Chapter 8:  Creating a Powerful Sales Narrative without Sanitizing Your Stories
Creating a New Organizational Narrative
·       A Case Study in Storytelling
·       Creating NSP Stories
·       Chapter 9:  How Sales Coaching Drives Better Customer Intelligence
·       Five Categories of Critical Customer Information
·       How Information Improves Your Win Rate

Chapter 10:  How to Keep Your Sales Force from Being Sabotaged by Your CRM
·       How CRM Affects Sales Calls
·       Why Computer Screens Are More Powerful Than Sales Managers
·       Analytics Versus Sales Call Behavior

Chapter 11:  The Trojan House:  Using Case Studies to Grab New Markets
·       Celebrating Versus Sharing
·       The Trojan Horse of Sales

Chapter 12:  How to Keep Your Nobel Sales Purpose from Being a Mere Tagline
·       Mistake #1:  Assuming That Sales Calls Are Commercials
·       Mistake #2:  Failing to Flip the Switch in the Marketing-to-Sales Handoff
·       Mistake #3:  Creating Marketing Messages for “Ideal” Customers Instead of Actual Customers
·       Mistake #4:  Creating Marketing Materials That Don’t Match the Sales Cycle
·       Marketing Can’t Play Cyrano for Sales

Chapter 13:  Using Purpose to Eliminate Turf Wars and Silos
·       How Silos Turn into Wars
·       The Cost of Overemphasis

Chapter 14:  How to Keep Internal Projects from Sucking the Soul Out of Your Sales Force
·       How Six Sigma Stripped the Soul Out of a Sales Force
·       Through the Lens of the Customer
·       Purpose as a Touchstone

Chapter 15:  Reframe Your Team’s Internal Talk Track with One Pivotal Behavor
·       Eye Contact
·       Measuring Your Behavior
·       Choosing Your Pivotal Behavior

Chapter 16:  Lose the Boring Slides; Sales Meetings That Inspire Action

Chapter 17:  Inspiring the Many Instead of the Few:  Adding Purpose to Your Incentive Programs

Chapter18:  The Ultimate Litmus Test:  Using Purpose in Interviews to Eliminate Nonperformers

Chapter 19:  Using Nobel Sales Purpose to Demonstrate Value in Proposals and Presentations

Chapter 20:  Acronyms Are Not Enough:  Breathing New Life into Sales Training

Chapter 21:  The Most Critical 10 Minutes:  Precall and Postcall Sales Coaching
·       Before the Sales Call
·       During the Sales Call
·       After the Sales Call

Chapter 22:  Using Your Nobel Sales Purpose in Tough Negotiations

Conclusion:  How to Use Purpose to Make the Rest of Your Life More Meaningful

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