March 14th, 2012

Book Review – Reviving Work Ethic

Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration … Thomas Edison

I recently read an Executive Book Summary of Reviving Work Ethic by Eric Chester.  it was an interesting read and gave me a few take-aways to ponder.

The book comes about as the culmination of research into the Millennials and how to harness all of their positive attributes, and re-instill a commitment to an “old fashioned” (my words) work ethic. 

Eric suggests that our society has created a different set of expectations amongst the younger workers who have seen the lottery winners, the dot commers and other “start ups” who got rich quick.  They have been schooled in an environment where failure was not possible and their “self esteem” was all important. 

Having said that, the Pew Research Centre produced a report suggesting that Millennials are confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change in addition to being the first “always connected generation”.

How can we as employers, bosses and business owners harness all of those great qualities and bring back a commitment to a work ethic that will bring the best out in this next generation? 

First Chester defines work ethic as … knowing what to do and doing it.  It is marked by an individual’s positive attitude, reliability, professionalism, initiative, respect, integrity and gratitude.

Chester defines a matrix with the desired quadrant being for employees who (a) know what to do and (b) do it.  the GOAL for all leaders is to move people to this quadrant.  of course anyone who is a leader today understands the challenge here, and how do you motivate people to actually do what they are supposed to do?

Chester’s solution is to look hard at the seven attribute of work ethic and mentor, coach, reward, train and set a good example to encourage people to adopt positive work habits.

1.  Positive attitude.  Some people are positive by nature others not so much … but developing a positive work environment and setting the right tome is critical.

2.  Reliability.  people need to understand WHY this is important to your organization AND they need to see it applied consistently.  Leaders cannot treat themselves differently, or play favorites … if you want your team to be reliable then they ALL need to be reliable!

3.  Professionalism.  Once again it is about education … why is it important to dress the part, to act professional and to operate in a professional manner.  Establishing the norm, setting the example and working with the team to achieve this state is the job of the leader but ultimately just becomes the way the team operates!

4.  Initiative.  A tough one because you need to trust people to do what you expect of them and recognise when people go “above and beyond”.  Hold up the good examples, reward them and and let everyone know that is the expectation.

5.   Respect.  We all want and need rules and boundaries but this generations does not respond well to fear.  The best way to motivate them to respect the rules is to tell them why those are the rules, explain the need and set the right example yourself.  As a leader you can’t expect your team to operate at a higher level than you, so if you don’t follow the rules then you are telling them the rules don’t really matter!

6.  Integrity.  Studies suggest that this generation by and large sees cheating and lying as acceptable … ouch!  Leaders need to explain what is acceptable and not within their particular environment, and WHY.  The why is very important to get buy-in and once again the leader needs to set the tone.  If the leader is cheating on expenses, or not putting in the hours then the team will just assume that is OK. 

7.  Gratitude.  This generation needs to understand the need for gratitude … which may be obvious to some, but it will not be obvious to all.  they have been given “a lot” without a need to show gratitude, but developing this trait will help them to appreciate their achievements and to have a better chance of working their way to success.

This next generation workforce has tremendous potential, if they can develop the strong work ethic of former generations.  It requires a big commitment from today’s leaders, a significant effort in mentoring, teaching and setting the right example … but this needs to happen if our Western society is to retain its prominence on the world stage.

Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price which all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile … Vince Lombardi

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Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Want to know where Canada’s hot jobs are?   Visit the Eagle Job Centre!
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January 5th, 2011

Book Review – Slow Down, Sell Faster

I am giving full credit to Jim Estill for this blog entry … and it was recommended by my good friend Jim Stechyson.  It’s nice when other people do the heavy lifting for a blog entry every now and then!

Jim Estill writes a blog I like to read, devoted to leadership, time management, personal development and life.  He reads a ton of business books and is very generous in sharing his opinions on them.  In this particular entry Jim reviews Slow Down, Sell Faster written by Kevin Davis.

Jim’s comments include input from HotelInteractive …

Slow Down emphasizes what we all know – knowledge is key. Seek first to listen. understanding a customers’ needs helps sell way more than prematurely pitching.

It is a good book. Well written. I would consider it a must read for anyone selling big ticket products particularly in a B2B environment.

From a review on Hotelinteractive’s site:

1. Avoid talking too soon about your solution. That tactic only gives your competitors an edge because the customer is likely in the middle of the buying process. Essentially, you reach the end of your sales process just as the customer arrives at the point when they start comparison shopping. To sell more and to sell faster, slow down your sales conversations. Get your customers to talk more about their needs, problems and opportunities. That knowledge will help you create a greater urgency for them to take action.

2. Don’t just dance with the one who brought ya! Most major purchasing decisions these days are made by a team of people. You can hit a lot of speed bumps if all your knowledge comes from only one contact. Get to a second and third decision-maker as quickly as you can in the process. Identify all the decision-makers on the complex buying team. Ask your contact, “What other key people should I talk with to gather more information about these problems and needs?”

3. Always seek to identify a second customer need. Why? The first need is the most understood by your customer, while the second need is typically not. Also, the first need may have been identified by your competitor, so by identifying a second need you have a chance to re-define the customer’s solution requirements in your favor.

4. Go down the corporate ladder before going up. Have you been taught to get to executive-level decisions makers as quickly as you can? That’s not bad advice… unless you go there with nothing interesting or important to say about the customer’s business. Going down the organizational chart to talk to users about their challenges and needs can give you insights that will help you deliver a more compelling message to executives.

5. If you are brought into the customer’s buying cycle late in the game, try to diagnose a need that your competitors have missed. That will help you go from laggard to leader in the customer’s eyes.

6. Don’t “pitch” differentiators that have no connection to customer needs. Pick your top five differentiators, and first raise the problems those differentiators solve when you talk to a prospect. See where you get a strong reaction. For a differentiator to become a competitive advantage it must be connected to a customer problem.

7. Know at least three reasons why your customer should buy from you. These reasons must be connected to explicit customer needs. Otherwise, you have no right to ask for the customer’s business.

8. Keep in close contact with the customer, especially when they are in a comparison mode. If you are asked to deliver a proposal or presentation, the odds are high that the customer is asking other suppliers as well. Talk to your sponsor ahead of time to see if anything has changed. Immediately after a presentation, schedule another appointment with your sponsor.

9. Help your customer define realistic expectations. Ask them: “Six months from today how will you know this decision was a success?”

10. Measure the success of a sales call based on what actions the customer takes afterwards, not by what you did during the meeting. When planning a sales call, then, ask yourself “what specific action do I want my prospect to take after this meeting, and by when?”

11. Convert intangible customer criteria into tangible criteria. You cannot make a case that some feature or capability of your solution is tied to a customer need if you don’t know how that need is defined.

“It’s becoming harder and harder to differentiate yourself based on what you sell because products and services are becoming increasingly alike,” Davis said. “Today’s most successful salespeople and organizations know they need to stand out based on how they sell. Salespeople who slow down each sales conversation end up spending more time with each prospect. Now, when relationships are so important to sales success, having a higher quantity and quality of time with each customer is going to result in higher sales.”

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)

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December 1st, 2010

Book Review – Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect … John C. Maxwell 

There are a million business books and every now and then I find one that resonates … this is one of those!  It would be easy to be put off by Maxwell’s assertion that it is effective communication, really connecting with people, that is the secret to success.  In my experience I would suggest that effective communication is ONE of the key factors to success.  However I do agree this is a very important topic and Maxwell has some very effective messages. 

One key message is that this is a skill like any other and so it can be learned, and also like any skill practice will bring improvement.  It is also a skill that is as important with friends and family as it is in business. 

Some ideas from the book: 

  1.  You need to know when you have “connected” with people … its not always evident.  So some of the things to look for are:
    1. Extra effort.  People go the extra mile for you.
    2. Unsolicited appreciation.  They say nice stuff!
    3. Unguarded openness.  They demonstrate trust.
    4. Increased communication.  They open up.
    5. Enjoyable experiences.  They clearly feel good.
    6. Emotionally bonded.  A deeper connection is evident.
    7. Positive energy.  You and they get energy together.
    8. Growing synergy.  Together you are more effective than individually.
    9. Unconditional love.  OK!
  2. Connecting is all about others!  It should be all about them.  You will want to answer, in some way the three questions they will have:
    1. Do you care for me?
    2. Can you help me/
    3. Can I trust you?
  3. Connecting goes beyond words.  According to a UCLA study what we say only accounts for 7% of what is believed by our audience.  The way we say it accounts for 38% and what others see accounts for 55%.  So you need to connect on four different levels:
    1. What people see … connect visually.  Are you dressed appropriately, are you what they expect?
    2. What people understand … connect intellectually.  You need to be empathetic to their situation, understand their pain and be able to talk from that same place.
    3. What people feel … connecting emotionally.  People will feel your attitude, your energy … positive or negative.  “The exact words you use are less important that the energy, intensity and conviction with which you use tem”.
    4. What people hear … connecting verbally.  The words are important, as is the tome, inflection pace etc.  you want your audience to really hear your message … whether an audience of one or a larger group.
  4. Here are some suggestions from Maxwell about how you can improve your skills in this area.  If you can get your head around these “life rules” you will be a long way to becoming a great communicator …
    1. I will choose to spend time wit others.
    2. I will LISTEN my way to common ground.
    3. I will be interested enough in others to ask questions.
    4. I will think of others and look for ways to thank them.
    5. I will let people into my life.
    6. I will care about people.
    7. I will think of myself less so I can think of others more.
    8. I will move from my world to theirs.
  5. Some ideas on keeping communication simple …
    1. Talk to people, not above them
    2. Get to the point.
    3. Repeat your point .. several times.
    4. Say it clearly.
    5. Say less.
  6. Some thoughts on creating a good communication experience … of particular interest if presenting to a group.
    1. Take responsibility for your listeners.
    2. Communicate in their world.
    3. Capture their attention from the start.
    4. Activate your audience.
    5. Say it so it sticks.
    6. Be visual.
    7. Tell stories.

For me the lessons of this book are applicable when trying to improve networking skills, when talking with clients and co-workers … and can easily be translated into home life too.  Overall one of the better business books I have almost read … as I have mentioned many time before, I subscribe to Executive Book Summaries from Soundview.  I find their 8 page book summaries to be an excellent way to learn from a lot of business book with a limited amount of reading time invested.

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
Have you tried Eagle’s (very cost effective)VirtualRecruiter service?

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April 14th, 2010

Book Review – The Checklist Manifesto

The Checklist Manifesto … by Atul Gawande

I won’t even pretend to have read this book, however a friends sent me a link to the review by Harvey Schater in the Globe and Mail. It was an interesting review and I may well pick up the book because I really believe in the power of LISTS, whether they are To Do Lists or CheckLists.

I have blogged many times about the use of “To Do lists” in time management, one I wrote in 2008 was called Time Management Tips. the premise of checklists is similar, in that it organises your thoughts and ensures you get stuff done … BUT different in that it is designed more around a process, than a number of unrelated tasks.

Gawande is a doctor who gives some compelling reasons why, particularly as our world gets ever more complex, checklists are a way to ensure that things get done.

As a former aircraft mechanic we had checklists for everything, any inspection that was done involved a number of steps and the checklist ensured that those steps were taken.

Imagine if the “mental checklist” in your car mechanics head did not include tightening the wheel nuts after putting your Summer tires on! Gawande’s contention is that in an ever more complex world critical things can be missed and a well conceived checklist is a great way to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Checklists might ensure:

> all of the steps necessary in signing up a new client are completed correctly … avoiding embarrassment later.
> you have all of the things you need for your wilderness camping trip … it would be a little annoying to find you forgot a critical item when you arrive in the middle of nowhere.
> all of the correct safety checks have been made before you jump out of a plane … hopefully WITH a parachute!
> you continue to have inventory in your store when you need it.

There are a million uses for checklist … maybe it is a simple way to relieve stress in your world.

March 30th, 2010

Book Review – Derailed

Book ReviewDerailed. Five Lessons Learned From Catastrophic Failures of Leadership … by Tim Irwin

This is a book that focuses in on the failures of six high profile leaders, and what was the cause of their failure. The people profiled here (and I NEVER want to be profiled in this way!) are …

Robert Nardelli at Home Depot;
Carly Fiorina at HP;
Durk Jager at Procter & Gamble;
Steven Heyer at Starwood Hotels & Resorts;
Frank Raines at Fannie Mae; and
Dick Fuld at Lehman Brothers.

I felt that there were a few overriding themes through these failures …

The first was incredible arrogance and mega-egos. I don’t think would be a shock to anyone, in fact I don’t think you can get into one of those positions unless you have a pretty healthy opinion of yourself! Perhaps, understanding that fact, it is important for strong leaders to recognise that they need checks and balances and that they need to have the right governance surrounding them.

The second thing that jumped out at me was those leaders who caused a significant change (for the worse) in their company’s culture were setting themselves up for failure. People join a company and stay there because they like to work there … changing a corporate culture can be a good thing, but it needs to be done carefully without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The third thing that jumped out was that these people were all incredibly competent in some area or areas of their jobs, but nobody is that good at everything. It is important not to let your weaknesses drag you down … so you need to plug those gaps perhaps by trying a little harder in those areas, but also by surrounding yourself with complementary skills AND trusting their judgement.

Certainly for Lehman Brothers and Fannie Mae the economic meltdown was a major factor in the demise of their leaders. The question remains whether they were a part of the cause … or were they caught in its destructive path. Either way their job was to steer their companies in the right direction and that didn’t happen.

Irwin suggests that there is a predictable process that occurs over time, before the “derailment”. He talks about the following Stages;

Stage 1. A failure of self awareness (or awareness of others). Empathy did not factor much in the character of these people.
Stage 2. Hubris … Pride before the fall. These people generally felt that they were the “centre of the universe”.
Stage 3. Missed Early Warning Signals. There were plenty of signs that things were not going so well in all of these companies … but no-one took on the leaders.
Stage 4. Rationalizing. Even when it is clear to the leader that they are in trouble, they will rationalise themselves into thinking they can fix it.
Stage 5. The Derailment. The author was particularly hard on these leaders because he felt that even as they left office, they did not do so with dignity which further hurts their companies in addition to their own credibility.

As the book suggests, the author cites five lessons to be learned.

Lesson 1. Character trumps competence. I would have suggested it a little differently … you have to be good at what you do, you ALSO have to have the strength of character to be humble when necessary.
Lesson 2. Arrogance is the mother of all derailers. It was there in spades with these guys it appears.
Lesson 3. Lack of self awareness seems to be a key factor with all of these leaders.
Lesson 4. We are always who we are … especially under stress. I guess the author is suggesting that these leaders demonstrated their character under stress and were lacking.
Lesson 5. Derailment is not inevitable … but unless there is intervention it is probable.

There are some interesting parts to the book, but some of the conclusions are a little bit of a stretch. To my mind, arrogant overbearing CEOs exist in spades and don’t implode, because they have good governance, because of circumstances, because of their management team. He might just have easily have suggested these were high profile failures, the details are interesting but it generally comes down to a huge ego with no way of keeping it in check.

August 24th, 2009

The Sony EReader .. very cool!

This isn’t a book review … but it is a “book reader” review! I will state up front I am not being paid for this!

I recently bought a Sony Ereader … I have to admit that I was the second person in our house to own one, my wife bought hers a couple of days before me. We researched what was available and the major competition (Amazon’s Kindle) is not available in Canada, however its proprietary nature means we would likely have settled on the Sony anyway.

I like to read … typically I choose to read novels, but I also end up reading a fair bit of business literature too. Since buying this ereader my book consumption has increased a lot … a good thing!

I subscribe to Executive Book Summaries and every month receive another two or three 8-page book summaries, but sometimes it can be months before I actually play “catch up” with those. Thus I can end up with a file full of paper in my briefcase that invariably gets carried around with me from city to city. Not any more … I just load them on the EReader.

My modus operandi for reading novels was to read a bit each night before bed, and it might take me quite a while to get through a book. When on vacation I would read a couple or three books in a week.

The convenience of the ereader has me reading a lot more … if I have a few minutes of down time in the evening I am reading again. In the time I have had the device I have read two novels, in just a couple of weeks. Which is a big increase in my reading again.

It can hold 150 books which means there are always plenty available to read, no more running out of reading material while on vacation in a foreign country or while on a several hour flight!

I thought I would miss the familiarity of reading an actual book, but not at all! The ereader is compact and easy to hold/read. In fact I find it easier than a substantial novel when reading in bed!

I wondered if the print would be easy to read … it has 3 different sizes of print and I was even able to read while exercising this morning … something I usually can’t do!

I was curious about the battery life and how is it charged … a charge can last up to a week and it is a standard USB connection to your computer.

So I am very pleased with this purchase … this is a thumbs up for the Sony Ereader.

Check them out!

June 12th, 2009

More Malcolm Gladwell … and Charities.

I was at an event last night sponsored by the United Way here in Ottawa, and it featured Malcolm Gladwell as guest speaker … more on Malcolm in a minute.

The event last night was specifically for the “major donors” group of the United Way, those people who donate $5,000 or more a year to this cause. I was not raised “with money” and certainly there was nothing spare in our house, in fact there were lots of “things” we went without. For me the concept of “giving” is something I have had to learn over time, and its not that long ago when I would have considered $5,000 a huge sum to give to charity.

As a member of the United Way Major Donor Committee part of my job is to convince people that actually $5,000 isn’t all that much to give … when you earn a good income, and your income only happens because you are a member of our society. It is much the same argument that driving is a privilege … not a right! In the same way I believe charitable giving at a reasonable level should be a given … not something that we must be convinced to do.

I chose to work with the United Way which supports hundreds of charities … but there are many deserving charities to support … I hope everyone who reads this chooses to give what they can!

Back to Gladwell …

If you visit Gladwell’s website you will be treated to summaries of each of his best selling books The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers. I have read Blink and Outliers, indeed I wrote a summary about Outliers just a little more than a month ago. Yesterday I read Gladwell’s summary of Tipping Point and last night had Gladwell sign a copy that I bought at the event.

Gladwell is also a big supporter of charities, which is partly why he agreed to come to Ottawa. One of his New Yorker articles is an enlightening look at the impact on our society of homelessness. The story of Million Dollar Murray is worth a read.

It is impressive to hear someone like Gladwell talk. He didn’t use notes and he was able to recite facts and statistics from memory that always tends to blow my mind. In an effort to do something a little different last night he decided to give three lessons to be learned from the story of Fleetwood Mac. One of the hallmarks of a great speaker for me is their ability to entertain, to get their messages across and if they can surprise you at the same time then its a huge bonus! Gladwell delivered … Fleetwood Mac as a topic for the United Way major donors!

So what were those messages …

1. Sometimes we have an impression that success is an overnight event, entrepreneurs (and bands) suddenly emerge as “stars”. This sets an unrealistic expectation for future entrepreneurs/stars when typically nothing could be further from the truth! Fleetwood Mac were best known for two albums … their first album called “Fleetwood Mac” and “Rumours”. There were something like 16 albums between, hardly an overnight feat!!!

2. Entrepreneurs often head down a path with an idea and think that is what will get them to success, but in reality those paths to success can be “long and winding”. Reality suggests that there will be many twists and turns to the plan before success is realised. For example Fleetwood Mac tried many different genres of music ranging from their original “blues” approach through to a more mainstream “California sound”, as they searched for lasting success. In the same way entrepreneurs often need to modify their plans, adjust their products and services before they find the right formula.

3. Adversity and hard work are often ways to shape success. Battling through the tough times (like the current economy) will make for stronger companies, and that requires a strong work ethic. Success does not come easy! Back to Fleetwood Mac … their guiding light, leader and inspiration (Peter Green) disappeared with a cult just a few years after the band was formed. THAT is adversity … and the band went through many iterations of band members as well as genres before it settled on success. Many years later they fulfilled their promise.

Gladwell’s description of the road to success is definitely one that rings true with anyone who has been there … sometimes it just LOOKS easy!

May 7th, 2009

Book Review – Outliers

Outliers … Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell’s book is primarily about why some people becomes successful, but goes beyond that to explain why certain situations are they way they are … such as why Korean Air went through such a rough period when their crash rate was seventeen times higher than the average (which apparently is one in 4 million flights); or even why Asian people tend to be better at math than Western cultures (no apologies for this generalisation, but you will need to read Gladwell’s book to understand why!) Gladwell’s Outlier theory explains Bill Gate’s success and even explains why the Beatles enjoyed the popularity they did!

Clearly this is a book with a lot detail, and I can’t do it justice in a short book review … this also explains why, despite my predisposition to reading Executive Book Summaries, I actually read Gladwell’s book! (I don’t think there is a summary available for Outliers, although one is available for Blink)

What can I tell you?

I can tell you that one of Gladwell’s theories is that it takes 10,000 hours working at a skill to become an expert … and how you get that experience is often based upon luck, circumstance or a series of events. It might be because of where or when you were born, or maybe a series of events that put you in the right place at the right time and with the right background!

One of the examples revolves around why Canadian hockey players go on to reach the professional level. Yes … hard work, natural ability and physical attributes all play a part. However it also turns out that 40% of elite hockey players were born in January, February or March; 30% in April, May or June; 20% July, August or September; and only 10% after that! (The theory applies equally to soccer players in the UK … which clearly explains why I never played for Manchester United!) At age 9 or 10, children begin to get streamed into the tiered system, with the bigger, better players going to the higher level teams … which gives them better coaching, more ice time and subsequently the opportunity to “pull away” from their less fortunate hockey friends. The “age cut off” is January 1, so most of the bigger, better children were born early in the year and they can be almost a year older than the December babies! So an accident of birth gives these athletes a significant “leg up” because they achieve the 10,000 hours of expertise much faster than those without the same opportunities.

This is one of those “must read” books, and whether you buy in to Gladwell’s theories or not it is a fascinating subject with lots of interesting stories of people who have become super successful, and an “outlier” theory as to why.

Gladwell is also well known as the author of Blink and The Tipping Point … but he might not be as well known for his New Yorker article, Million Dollar Murray. This article is a great example of the reasoning behind the cause to end homelessness, which I am involved with in Ottawa. I will also recommend you read this short story that explains the needless cost our systems bear because as a society we have not “yet” solved the social issue of chronic homelessness.

March 16th, 2009

Optimism is the Answer!

I have just returned from a week in the Mexican sun … something I can definitely recommend for anyone who has to endure the long Canadian Winters. It was a lazy week … lots of sun and sand, too much to eat and drink, read a couple of novels (not business books) and kept my email activity to a minimum (what can I say? I own the company!).

What a trip like that does for me is to remind me of just how lucky I am to be able to afford such a luxury. Sure I work hard, but so do lots of other people who don’t get to hit the beach … so yes I am lucky!

I like to have motivational books and memorabilia in my office and every now and then I will take a few minutes to remind myself of just how lucky I am. One of those books is called Life’s Little Instruction Book which has “511 suggestions, observations and reminders on how to live a happy and rewarding life”.

You don’t NEED to hit the resort beaches to be happy, we can all operate in a way that will give us a multitude of reasons to be happy, and this book hits on some of them.

The book has some very “interesting” entries … perhaps a reflection of the author?

Don’t pick your teeth in public?
Resist the temptation to buy a boat.
Take a nap on Sunday afternoons.

But there are also a lot of entries that I can relate to … here are just a few.

Be enthusiastic about the success of others.
Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice.
Don’t rain on other people’s parades.
Be courteous to everyone.
Hire people smarter than you.

Then there some that could be personal mantras …

Share the credit.
Do more than is expected.
Read to your children.
Don’t expect money to bring you happiness.

The last entry in the book is interesting …

Call Your Mother!

I do that regularly, and it brings a smile to both our faces!

Our world is in a mess, there is plenty of negativity out there and yet we are told time and again that it is optimism that will “fix” the system. Once optimism returns then all that money “sitting on the sidelines” will come back into the system and we will return to what may be a “new normal”.

It is my belief that in order for us to be optimistic about one area of our lives we need to adopt a general air of optimism … we ALL need to start being thankful for the little things, and to lead our lives in a way that will generate a lot of those “feel good” moments!

January 15th, 2009

Book Review – 1 Piece of Advice

1 Piece of Advice … Patricia Moser-Stern and Barbara Moser

Patricia Moser is a former client of mine who has become a friend. These days she operates her own consultant practice with a specialization in procurement and supply chain. As if that doesn’t keep her busy enough she had a “side project” over the last couple of years to write, in a cooperative effort, the book 1 Piece of Advice.

The front cover tells you that the content has exceptional women from around the globe inspiring you to unlock your potential. The premise, like most good ideas, is simple … the authors contacted some of the most successful women from around the world and asked them to give one piece of advice to women who want to pursue their dreams.

The book has women from all walks of life … among them a Rabbi, an Anglican Bishop, an astronaut, women business leaders and military leaders, a First Nations Chief an environmentalist, a judge and many more.

Each of them gives their piece of advice … and you get to learn a little about them.

The 1 Piece of Advice website allows you to give your piece of advice, and never being short of a word I gave my 2 cents!

In reading through the advice I was really struck by the fact that very little of the advice is gender specific, in fact the advice given applies equally to men … and therefore the content is very relevant to anyone who wants to pursue their dreams. The big difference for women is the knowledge that ALL of these women have been able to do great things in their lives … so anything is possible.

This is a shameless plug for a friend’s book … but I wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t a good book, AND the authors are Canadian, so support your local business and buy a copy!

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