|Digital List Price:||$29.99|
|Print List Price:||$30.00|
Save $14.04 (47%)
Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Live Life For All It’s Worth
Thank God for death. If it weren’t for death, we’d probably all wait forever and never get to the point. But because we don’t have all day, so to speak, life grows urgent. If we want to get to the heart of it, we do have to get to it, and not waste time fiddle-diddling or complaining. I remind myself of this as-yet non-negotiable item in life’s contract whenever I feel less than excited to be, say, standing in line at the supermarket or upside down awaiting still another prostate biopsy.
To live life for all it’s worth, to die knowing you gave and got all you could, that’s really worth figuring out how to do, don’t you think?, and sooner rather than later. Not just to live life for much of what it’s worth or most of what it’s worth, but for all it’s worth. Everyone wants to do that. Or come as close as they can.
Before I say more, I feel obliged to provide you with another image to displace your image of me upside down waiting for my prostate biopsy, so think of this one instead: think of yourself, heading into work. How do you feel? Or, think of yourself, heading home. How do you feel? Or think of yourself, waiting for your biopsy. How do you feel?
The message of this book is that you can and should feel great to be alive in all those moments and all others. Even if times are hard, as long as you are living life to the fullest, you are in love with life. And if you are in love, you feel great, even when you are in pain.
- ASIN : B004CFAZYA
- Publisher : Harvard Business Review Press; 1st edition (January 13, 2011)
- Publication date : January 13, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 501 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 229 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #141,475 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Brain science has made surprising discoveries, such as the fact that the brain can change throughout life, (neuroplasticity) and about the oddly neglected psychological state called happiness. We know that “no pain, no gain” is not strictly correct. Excellence occurs in direct proportion to “necessary suffering”, but in inverse proportion to “unnecessary suffering”.
The author, Hallowell has practiced as a psychiatrist for 25 years and as an instructor at the Harvard Medical School. He has gathered some important insights from brain science and has compiled a useful guide to how to draw the most out of one’s staff. His five-part guide is easy to follow and implement, and firmly based on good theory and hard facts.
The five parts are interconnected so if a problem occurs at any point, you should look back to see if the previous steps are still intact, or were correct in the first place. The most common mistake managers make when a person is not performing, is to urge or threaten them to get them to work harder. The mistake is not having created the conditions that will lead workers to want to work harder.
So, let’s go to the beginning. Hallowell’s first step is “Select” - put people into the right jobs in the right environments so that their brains light up. It is the manager’s task to select a task that she is good at, something she likes to do, and something that adds value to the project or organization. If you fail to do this step correctly, all that follows will be affected.
“Working the wrong job is like marrying the wrong person: it will involve lots of hard work but few happy days,” Hallowell explains. A person can’t will himself to work diligently, and a manager can’t motivate employees who are in the wrong place in the company.
To assist in selecting the right person, Hallowell offers a useful do-it-yourself interview questionnaire. (But then you probably do have access to one of these.) Far more interesting is his introduction to a less known insight – your employees’ ‘conative’ style. The word ‘conation’ derives from the Latin ‘conari’, to try. This is a natural, inborn, style of solving problems and initiating actions.
Does she need to be specific and gather lots of data before starting? Is he a is a natural multitasker who easily adapts? Does she follow though to the end of a task? How do your people naturally try to do their work? (See Kathy Kolbe’s free online Conative style test.)
Hallowell’s second step to having a staff member work well is “Connect”. There is no end of forces that disconnect people in the workplace from each other, and from the mission of the organization. Positive connections are the most powerful fuel for peak performance. Connection is the bond an individual feels with another person, group, task, place, idea, or anything else that makes one feel attached, loyal, excited, inspired or willing to make sacrifices for the sake of that connection.
Disconnection is one of the chief causes of substandard work in the modern workplace, Hallowell asserts. Without the invigoration of connection, the brain shrivels and life sags - and yet it is thoroughly preventable!
Data gathered over 70 years on the lives of 268 men (known as the Gant or Harvard Men study,) is one of the best pieces of research on what makes for a full and successful life. The conclusion? “The only thing that really matters in life are your relationships with other people.”
Ask any achiever for the key to their success, and they will most often refer to a person who believed in them, and drew out of them more than they knew they had.
This step, seeing that your people have real connection with other people (NOT digitally intermediated), requires the most skill and patience from managers. The results will make the effort worthwhile.
Research by Tom Rath and the Gallup organization published in 2007, showed that having a best friend at work is a major predictor of superior performance.
Disconnection at work is often caused by managers who rule by pressure and fear, which lobotomizes their people.
A good place to start with the connection step is simply to notice and acknowledge people.
“If you treat employees as if they make a difference to the company, they will make a difference to the company.”
The third step is “play”—imaginative engagement—a phenomenally productive yet undervalued activity of the mind.
Play stimulates the amygdala, a group of neurons deep within the brain, that helps regulate emotions and exerts a beneficial effect on the prefrontal cortex in the brain. This is the executive part of the brain which performs the functions of planning, prioritizing, scheduling, anticipating, delegating, deciding, analysing and so on.
“So, play is good for business, and not being able to play hurts business,” Halloway explains. Is your environment as “playful” as possible in your circumstances?
The fourth step is “Grapple and Grow”. This involves deliberately creating conditions where people want to work hard and are making progress at tasks that they understand are important, even when they are challenging.
All the above leads to the fifth step, “Shine”. Doing well feels very good and giving recognition and noticing when a person is doing well, is critical. Creating a culture that helps people ‘shine’, inevitably becomes a culture of self-perpetuating excellence.
According to a 2005 Harris Interactive survey, 33% of the 7,718 employees surveyed believed they had reached a dead end in their jobs, and 21 % were eager to change careers. Only 20% felt passionate about their work.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Read this book and find out how to do it.
Readability Light -+--- Serious
Insights High --+-- Low
Practical High +---- Low
*Ian Mann of Gateways consults internationally on leadership and strategy and is the author of the recently released ‘Executive Update.
Hallowel likes using similes and buzzwords far too much, obscuring the substance of the content and leaving it apparently superficial. There are gold nuggets in his book, and he refers to literary authorities to assist his subjects, but the book reads more like a motivational speaker's presentation... or worse: like a snake-oil salesman's pitch. This is a pity, because an engineer like myself need to know how to get the most out of my subordinates and colleagues and there seems merit to most of what he writes about.
The style of the book is the biggest problem I have though, but if you can ignore the floral embellishments and buzzwords, then you could really get some value out of it. The final two chapters especially were worthwhile for me.
The process presented by Dr. Hallowell, called the Cycle of Excellence, does not address a single key idea as the basis for peak performance. It is a combination of many ideas while drawing upon the latest research from diverse disciplines. It is a process that he have created and honed over the past 25 years as a doctor, practicing psychiatrist, author, consultant, and instructor at the Harvard Medical School.
Hallowell's cycle consists of five steps (Select, Connect, Play, Grapple & Grow, and Shine), with each chapter explaining one of them and concluding with few pages listing valuable, concrete suggestions on how to implement the explained concept.
What's unique in this book and in the Cycle of Excellence is the bringing together of the five steps, each one of which is not new in itself, but taken together create a new and powerful approach to bring out the best in people.
I highly recommend this book for managers and CEOs who want their companies to thrive even in difficult times!
This was a book I reviewed for a marketing course as an example of good packaging of an idea which could be repackaged to directly address a range of readers. This book focused on management applications, but could be tweaked for educators, coaches, or anyone dealing with individuals and a group dynamic. It's like a basic cookie recipe which could be adapted to chocolate chips, sprinkles, decorator frosting, peanut butter, etc. ;-)
A welcome light read in a densely text-booked semester. ;-) Enjoy!!!
Top reviews from other countries
Toutefois, quelques mois après la lecture, je réalise m'être souvent inspiré des exemples et outils dans le cadre de mon métier managérial, et avec succès. Les conseils de Ned Hallowell ne sortent peut-être pas d'un laboratoire, mais ils ont le mérite d'adresser le manque de réflexion autour de notre orientation professionnelle.