Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone To Take Action
Author: Simon Sinek
Amazon Bestsellers Ranking:
#8 in Leadership & Motivation
Start With Why, presented by Simon Sinek, is among the best leadership books to illustrate a new theory of success. Sinek compares successful people and ties them to a common motivation as the driver behind their excellent leadership.
Sinek argues the drive that steered leaders like Steve Jobs and the Wright brothers was not profit. It was their ability to answer the question, “Why?” He demonstrates how defining the underlying motivation can inspire an organization to achieve great heights.
Whether you want to inspire or be inspired, this book provides many stories and examples about great leaders and why they were so influential.
The inspiring, life-changing bestseller by the author of LEADERS EAT LAST and TOGETHER IS BETTER.
In 2009, Simon Sinek started a movement to help people become more inspired at work, and in turn inspire their colleagues and customers. Since then, millions have been touched by the power of his ideas, including more than 28 million who've watched his TED Talk based on START WITH WHY -- the third most popular TED video of all time. Sinek starts with a fundamental question: Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and.
employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over?
People like Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won't truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.
START WITH WHY shows that the leaders who've had the greatest influence in the world all think, act, and communicate the same way -- and it's the opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be led, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.
Getting Past No: Negotiating In Difficult Situations
Author: William Ury
William Ury presents solid strategies for when you find yourself up against an adversarial negotiating partner. Whether you’re facing hostile behavior, deceit, or imbalance of power, Ury teaches how to remain calm get past it. He shows you how to determine what your opponent truly wants, and use that to move towards an agreement.
His highly actionable advice will help you become a more effective negotiator, even in the toughest situations. If you're looking for the best books to learn business, be sure to include Getting Past No to sharpen your negotiating skills.
We all want to get to yes, but what happens when the other person keeps saying no? How can you negotiate successfully with a stubborn boss, an irate customer, or a deceitful coworker?In Getting Past No, William Ury of Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation offers a proven breakthrough strategy for turning adversaries into negotiating partners. You’ll learn how to:
• Stay in control under pressure
• Defuse anger and hostility
• Find out what the other side really wants
• Counter dirty tricks
• Use power to bring the other side back to the table
• Reach agreements that satisfies both sides' needs
Getting Past No is the state-of-the-art book on negotiation for the twenty-first century. It will help you
deal with tough times, tough people, and tough negotiations. You don’t have to get mad or get even. Instead, you can get what you want!
Breaking Through Barriers to Cooperation
Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.–Daniele Vare, Italian diplomat
We all negotiate every day. Much of our time is spent trying to reach agreement with others. We may try to negotiate in a cooperative spirit but frequently we find ourselves frustrated. We want to get to yes, but often the answer we get back is NO.
Think of a typical day: Over breakfast you may get into an argument with your spouse about buying a new car. You think it's time, but your spouse says, "Don't be ridiculous! You know we can't afford it right now." You arrive at work for a morning meeting with your boss. You present a carefully prepared proposal for a new project, but your boss interrupts you after a minute and says: "We already tried that and it didn't work. Next item."
During your lunch hour you try to return a defective toaster-oven, but the salesperson refuses to refund your money because you don't have the sales slip: "It's store policy."
In the afternoon you bring an already-agreed-upon contract to a client for his signature. You have trumpeted the deal to your associates and made the necessary arrangements with manufacturing. But your client tells you: "I'm sorry. My boss refuses to okay the purchase unless you give us a fifteen percent discount."
In the evening you need to return some phone calls, but the line is tied up by your thirteen-year-old. Exasperated, you say, "Get off the phone." The teenager shouts down the hall, "Why don't you get me my own phone line? All my friends have them!"
Each of us faces tough negotiations with an irritable spouse, a domineering boss, a rigid salesperson, a tricky customer, or an impossible teenager. Under stress, even nice, reasonable people can turn into angry, intractable opponents. Negotiations can bog down or break down, consuming our time, keeping us awake at night, and giving us ulcers.
Broadly defined, negotiation is the process of back-and-forth communication aimed at reaching agreement with others when some of your interests are shared and some are opposed. Negotiation is not limited to the activity of formally sitting across a table discussing a contentious issue; it is the informal activity you engage in whenever you try to get something you want from another person.
Think for a moment about how you make important decisions in your life–the decisions that have the greatest impact on your performance at work and your satisfaction at home. How many of those decisions can you make unilaterally and how many do you have to reach with others–through negotiation? Most people I ask this question answer: "I have to negotiate almost all of them." Negotiation is the pre-eminent form of decision-making in personal and professional life.
It is also increasingly the most important means of making decisions in the public arena. Even if we aren't personally sitting at the table, our lives are affected by the outcome of negotiations. When talks between the school board and teachers' union break down and the teachers go on strike, our children end up staying home from school. When negotiations between our business and a potential purchaser fall through and the business goes bankrupt, we may lose our jobs. When discussions between our government and its adversaries come to naught, the result may be war. In sum, negotiations shape our lives.
We may all be negotiators, yet many of us don't like to negotiate. We see negotiation as stressful confrontation. We see ourselves faced with an unpleasant choice. If we are "soft" in order to preserve the relationship, we end up giving up our position. If we are "hard" in order to win our position, we strain the relationship or perhaps lose it altogether.There is an alternative: joint problem-solving. It is neither exclusively soft nor hard, but a combination of each. It is soft on the people, hard on the problem. Instead of attacking each other, you jointly attack the problem. Instead of glowering across the table, you sit next to each other facing your common problem. In short, you turn face-to-face confrontation into side-by-side problem-solving. This is the kind of negotiation Roger Fisher and I described more than a decade ago in our book Getting to Yes.
Joint problem-solving revolves around interests instead of positions. You begin by identifying each side's interests–the concerns, needs, fears, and desires that underlie and motivate your opposing positions. You then explore different options for meeting those interests. Your goal is to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement in an efficient and amicable fashion.
If you are looking for a promotion and raise, for example, and your boss says there's no money in the budget, the negotiation doesn't stop there. It becomes an exercise in joint problem-solving. Your boss inquires about your interests, which may be to pay your children's tuition and to grow in your job. You brainstorm together about how to satisfy these interests while staying within the budget. You may end up agreeing on a new set of responsibilities, a tuition loan from the company, and the promise of a raise next year to pay back the loan. Your basic interests are satisfied; so are your employer's.
Joint problem-solving can generate better results for both sides. It saves time and energy by cutting out the posturing. And it usually leads to better working relationships and to mutual benefit in the future.
Five Barriers to Cooperation
Skeptics are quick to point out that all this is easy to say, but hard to do. The principles of joint problem-solving, they say, are like marriage vows of mutual support and fidelity: They no doubt produce more satisfying relationships, but they are hard to apply in the real world of stresses and strains, temptations and tempests.
At the start, you may try to get your opponent to tackle the problem jointly, but instead you may find yourselves in a face-to-face confrontation. It is all too easy to get drawn into a ferocious emotional battle, to fall back into the familiar routine of adopting rigid positions, or to let the other side take advantage of you.
There are real-world barriers that get in the way of cooperation. The five most common ones are:
Your reaction. The first barrier lies within you. Human beings are reaction machines. When you're under stress, or when you encounter a NO, or feel you are being attacked, you naturally feel like striking back. Usually this just penetrates the action-reaction cycle that leaves both sides losers. Or, alternatively, you may react by impulsively giving in just to end the negotiation and preserve the relationship. You lose and, having demonstrated your weakness, you expose yourself to exploitation by others. The problem you thus face in negotiation is not only the other side's difficult behavior but your own reaction, which can easily perpetuate that behavior.
Their emotion. The next barrier is the other side's negative emotions. Behind their attacks may lie anger and hostility. Behind their rigid positions may lie fear and distrust. Convinced they are right and you are wrong, they may refuse to listen. Seeing the world as eat-or-be-eaten, they may feel justified in using nasty tactics.
Their position. In joint problem-solving, you face the problem and attack it together. The barrier in the way is the other side's positional behavior: their habit of digging into a position and trying to get you to give in. Often they know no other way to negotiate. They are merely using the conventional negotiating tactics they first learned in the sandbox. In their eyes, the only alternative is for them to give in–and they certainly don't want to do that.
Their dissatisfaction. Your goal may be to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement, but you may find the other side not at all interested in such an outcome. They may not see how it will benefit them. Even if you can satisfy their interests, they may fear losing face if they have to back down. And if it is your idea, they may reject it for that reason alone.
Their power. Finally, if the other side sees the negotiation as a win-lose proposition, they will be determined to beat you. They may be guided by the precept "What's mine is mine. What's yours is negotiable." If they can get what they want by power plays, why should they cooperate with you?
Getting past no requires breaking through each of these five barriers to cooperation: your reaction, their emotion, their position, their dissatisfaction, and their power. It is easy to believe that stonewalling, attacks, and tricks are just part of the other side's basic nature, and that there is little you can do to change such difficult behavior. But you can affect this behavior if you can deal successfully with its underlying motivations.
The Breakthrough Strategy
This book lays out a five-step strategy for breaking through each of these five-barriers–the strategy of breakthrough negotiation.
An analogy from sailing will help explain this strategy. In sailing, you rarely if ever get to your destination by heading straight for it. In between you and your goal are strong winds and tides, reefs and shoals, not to speak of storms and squalls. To get where you want to go, you need to tack–to zigzag your way toward your destination.
The same is true in the world of negotiation. Your desired destination is a mutually satisfactory agreement. The direct route–focusing first on interests and then developing options that satisfy those interests–seems straightforward and easy. But in the real world of strong reactions and emotions, rigid positions, powerful dissatisfactions and aggressions, you often cannot get to a mutually satisfactory agreement by the direct route. Instead, you need to navigate past no by tracking–taking an indirect route.
The essence of the breakthrough strategy is indirect action. It requires you to do the opposite of what you naturally feel like doing in difficult situations. When the other side stonewalls or attacks, you may feel like responding in kind. Confronted with hostility, you may argue. Confronted with unreasonable positions, you may reject. Confronted with intransigence, you may push. Confronted with aggression, you may escalate. But this just leaves you frustrated, playing the other side's game by their rules.
Your single greatest opportunity as a negotiator is to change the game. Instead of playing their way, let them have your way–the way of joint problem-solving. The great home-run hitter Sadahara Oh, the Japanese equivalent of Babe Ruth, once explained his batting secret. Oh said that he looked on the opposing pitcher as his partner, who with every pitch was serving up an opportunity for him to hit a home run. Breakthrough negotiators do the same: They treat their opponents as negotiating partners who are presenting an opportunity to reach a mutually satisfactory agreement.
As in the Japanese martial arts of judo, jujitsu, and aikido, you need to avoid pitting your strength directly against your opponent's. Since efforts to break down the other side's resistance usually only increase it, you try to go around their resistance. That is the way to break through.
Breakthrough negotiation is the opposite of imposing your position on the other side. Rather than pounding in a new idea from the outside, you encourage them to reach for it from within. Rather than telling them what to do, you let them figure it out. Rather than pressuring them to change their mind, you create an environment in which they can learn. Only they can break through their own resistance; your job is to help them.
Their resistance to joint problem-solving stems from the five barriers described above. Your job as a breakthrough negotiator is to clear away the barriers that lie between their NO and the YES of a mutually satisfactory agreement. For each of the five barriers, there is a corresponding step in the strategy:
Step One. Since the first barrier is your natural reaction, the first step involves suspending that reaction. To engage in joint problem-solving, you need to regain your mental balance and stay focused on achieving what you want. A useful image for getting perspective on the situation is to imagine yourself standing on a balcony looking down on your negotiation. The first step in the breakthrough strategy is to Go to the Balcony.
Step Two. The next barrier for you to overcome is the other side's negative emotions–their defensiveness, fear, suspicion, and hostility. It is all too easy to get drawn into an argument, but you need to resist this temptation. Just as you've regained your mental balance, you need to help the other side regain theirs. To create the right climate for joint problem-solving, you need to defuse their negative emotions. To do this, you need to do the opposite of what they expect. They expect you to behave like an adversary. Instead, you should take their side by listening to them, acknowledging their points and their feelings, agreeing with them, and showing them respect. If you want to sit side by side facing the problem, you will need to Step to Their Side.
Step Three. Now you want to tackle the problem together. This is hard to do, however, when the other side digs into their position and tries to get you to give in. It's natural to feel like rejecting their position, but this will only lead them to dig in further. So do the opposite. Accept whatever they say and reframe it as an attempt to deal with the problem. For example, take their position and probe behind it: "Tell me more. Help me understand why you want that." Act as if they were your partners genuinely interested in solving the problem. The third step in the breakthrough strategy is to Reframe.
Step Four. While you may now have engaged the other side in joint problem-solving, you may still be far from reaching a mutually satisfactory agreement. The other side may be dissatisfied, unconvinced of the benefits of agreement. You may feel like pushing them, but this will only make them more resistant. So do the opposite. In the words of the Chinese sage, "build a golden bridge" from their position to a mutually satisfactory solution. You need to bridge the gap between their interests and yours. You need to help them save face and make the outcome look like a victory for them. The fourth step is to Build Them a Golden Bridge.
Step Five. Despite your best efforts, the other side may still refuse to cooperate, believing they can beat you at the power game. You may be tempted at this point to escalate. Threats and coercion often backfire, however, and lead to costly and futile battles. The alternative is to use power not to escalate, but to educate. Enhance your negotiating power and use it to bring them back to the table. Show them that they cannot win by themselves but only together with you. The fifth step is to Use Power to Educate.
The sequence of the steps is important. You cannot defuse the other side's negative emotions unless you have controlled your own. It is hard to build them a golden bridge unless you have changed the game to joint problem-solving. This does not mean that once you have taken one step, you have completed it. On the contrary, you need to keep going to the balcony throughout the negotiation. As the other side's anger and frustration resurface, you need to keep stepping to their side. The process is like a symphony in which the different instruments join in sequentially and then play their parts throughout.
Breakthrough negotiation can be used with anyone–an irascible boss, a temperamental teenager, a hostile co-worker, or an impossible customer. It can be used by diplomats trying to stave off a war, lawyers trying to avoid a costly court battle, or spouses trying to keep a marriage together.
Because every person and every situation is different, you will need to marry the five breakthrough principles with your own knowledge of the particulars in order to create a strategy that works for you. There is no magic recipe that will guarantee your success in every negotiation. But with patience, persistence, and the breakthrough strategy, you can maximize your chances of getting what you want in even the most difficult negotiations.
The chapters that follow explain the five breakthrough steps and present specific techniques for carrying them out, illustrating their application with concrete examples. First, however, you will find a prologue about the key to effective negotiation: preparation.
Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If
Your Life Depended On It
Authors: Chris Voss & Tahl Raz
This is an easy-to-read and engaging book that will put you in a better position for negotiating in any situation. Voss invites you into his head and shares the techniques he used during his career as an FBI agent.
This book is a must read for those who need a competitive edge during high-stakes business negotiations. hacktheentrepreneur.com
A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations - whether in the boardroom or at home.
After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI's lead international kidnapping negotiator.
Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss' head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: in saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles - counterintuitive tactics and strategies - you, too, can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal lives.
Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for:
buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.
Extreme Ownership: How US Navy SEALs Lead And Win
Authors: Jocko Willink & Leif Babin
This book is a tactical success manual written by two former US Navy SEALs. Jocko Willink and Leif Babin served as part of an elite combat task force and developed a leadership training program based on their experiences.The authors outline the principles and mindsets that help teams win, not only in combat, but in business, family, and personal life. Extreme Ownership teaches leaders to take responsibility for their teammates, foster teamwork, and lead to win.
"These guys are intense. And they bring that same fire to their narration in the audiobook. Listen to these insanely competent SEAL officers tell you exactly how to make a team successful through their firsthand experiences in business and combat." (The Hustle)
An updated edition of the blockbuster best-selling leadership audiobook that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life.
SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser, their mission was one many thought impossible: help U.S. forces secure Ramadi, a violent, insurgent-held city deemed “all but lost.” In gripping, firsthand accounts of heroism, tragic loss, and hard-won victories, they learned that leadership - at every level - is the most important factor in whether a team succeeds or fails. Willink and Babin returned home from deployment and instituted SEAL leadership training to pass on their harsh lessons learned in combat to help forge the next generation of SEAL leaders. After leaving the SEAL Teams, they launched a company, Echelon Front, to teach those same leadership principles to leaders in businesses, companies, and organizations across the civilian sector. Since that time, they have trained countless leaders and worked with hundreds of companies in virtually every industry across the U.S. and internationally, teaching them how to develop their own high-performance teams and most effectively lead those teams to dominate their battlefields.
Since it’s release in October 2015, Extreme Ownership has revolutionized leadership development and set a new standard for literature on the subject. Required listening for many of the most successful organizations, it has become an integral part of the official leadership training programs for scores of business teams, military units, and first responders. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win. amazon.com
The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More, And Change The Way You Lead Forever
Author: Michael Bungay Stanier
Amazon Bestseller Ranking:
Michael Bungay Stanier provides detailed strategies to help anyone become a more effective leader. The Coaching Habit is a unique approach to leadership, encouraging managers to ask questions instead of offering advice. And it provides the key questions to ask to get the best performance from every member of your team.With scientific research and stories from his extensive experience in training managers around the world, Bungay Stanier has created a must-read for anyone in a position of leadership.
In Michael Bungay Stanier's The Coaching Habit, coaching becomes a regular, informal part of your day so managers and their teams can work less hard and have more impact.
Drawing on years of experience training more than 10,000 busy managers from around the globe in practical, everyday coaching skills, Bungay Stanier reveals how to unlock your peoples' potential. He unpacks sevenessential coaching questions to demonstrate how--by saying less and asking more--you can develop coaching methods that produce great results.
Get straight to the point in any conversation with The Kickstart Question
Stay on track during any interaction with The Awe Question
Save hours of time for yourself with The Lazy Question, and hours of time for others with The Strategic Question
Get to the heart of any interpersonal or external challenge with The Focus Question and The Foundation Question
Finally ensure others find your coaching as beneficial as you do with The Learning Question
A fresh innovative take on the traditional how-to manual, the book combines insider information with research based in neuroscience and behavioural economics, together with interactive training tools to turnpractical advice into practiced habits. Witty and conversational, The Coaching Habit takes your work--and your workplace--from good to great.
Coaching is an art and it's far easier said than done. It takes courage to ask a question rather than offer up advice, provide and answer, or unleash a solution. giving another person the opportunity to find their own way, make their own mistakes, and create their own wisdom is both brave and vulnerable. In this practical and inspiring book, Michael shares seven transformative questions that can make a difference in how we lead and support. And he guides us through the tricky part - how to take this new information and turn it into habits and a daily practice." --Brené Brown, author of Rising Strong and Daring Greatly
''Michael Bungay Stanier distills the essentials of coaching to seven core questions. And if you master his simple yet profound technique, you'll get a twofer. You'll provide more effective support to your employees and co-workers. And you may find that you become the ultimate coach for yourself.''
- Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human and Drive
''It takes courage to ask a question rather than offer up advice, provide an answer or unleash a solution. In this practical and inspiring book, Michael shares seven transformative questions that can make a difference in how we lead and support.''
- Brené Brown, author of Rising Strong and Daring Greatly
''This book is full of practical, useful and interesting questions, ideas and tools that will guide any leader trying to be better.''
- Dave Ulrich, co-author of The Why of Work and The Leadership Code
''Michael's intelligence, wit, articulateness and dedication to the craft of coaching shine forth in this brilliant how-to manual for anyone called to assist others. Even after four decades of my own experience in this arena, The Coaching Habit has provided me with great takeaways.''
- David Allen, author of Getting Things Done
''A sharp, habit-forming leadership manual.''
''Bungay Stanier writes with verve, effectively incorporating humor, surprise, and parables.''
''The book tailors its organization and length to time-pressed readers, who can finish it easily in a couple of hours or in 15-minute increments.''
''The Coaching Habit is a succinct and practical handbook for getting the best from others and yourself.''
- Nir Eyal, author of Hooked
''Concise and compelling''
- Bob Sutton, author of Scaling Up Excellence
''Amid a sea of coaching books that drone on with the same old, overused conceptual frameworks, there is a gem of hope. The Coaching Habit is a treasure trove of practical wisdom that takes a timeless pursuit--to turn every manager into a coach--and breaks it down into a simple set of everyday habits. If you are ready to take your leadership to the next level, you need this book.''
- Jessica Amortegui, Senior Director Learning & Development, Logitech
''There are many coaching books out there that end up on the bookshelf half read. Michael Bungay Stanier's The Coaching Habit engages you from start to finish. A simple read that is bold and direct, relatable and real, this book will change the way you communicate with colleagues at work and family at home. If you want to read one book on coaching that will resonate with you quickly and that is not overwhelming, choose this one.''
- Johanne McNally Myers, VP Human Resources, Tim Hortons
''Among a plethora of books, studies and op-ed pieces about the importance of coaching and how to execute this most critical of development interventions well, it's easy to understand why students and practitioners of the craft feel confused or overwhelmed by the array of approaches, frameworks and systems extolled as ''the right way.'' Michael Bungay Stanier has expertly cut through this confusion with his new book in a manner that is simple to understand, realistic in its intention and ultimately effective to apply. I believe this book will establish itself as a powerful and useful toolset for the professional coach, the student learner and the people manager alike.''
- Stuart Crabb, Director Learning & Development, Facebook
''This is not just a book; this is the voice in your head, the person that sits on your shoulder--guiding you to greatness. Being a great coach is more than skill; it's a mindset, a way of being. Michael has a remarkable way of delivering that message through artful storytelling, practical examples and proven techniques. A must-have book for the coach who truly wants to make a difference.''
--Sinéad Condon, Head of Global Performance Enablement, CA Technologies
''Where others can overcomplicate the purpose and practice of coaching, Michael Bungay Stanier provides a practical and unintimidating approach to this essential habit of great leaders. He succinctly articulates the research behind the art of respectful inquiry and its role in fostering an authentic partnership among colleagues who are committed to doing meaningful work together. The Coaching Habit is a thoroughly enjoyable read that immediately inspired me to adopt new habits.''
- Dana Woods, CEO, American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
'The magic of leadership occurs in daily conversations. With The Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stanier gives managers an extremely simple yet powerful tool (just seven questions!) to help them coach their teams to greatness, each and every day.''
- Andrew Collier, Head of Leadership Development, Nestlé
''Fantastic . . . and Where was this book when I needed it?'' are the first thoughts popping into my head after reading this book. I ve read countless books on leadership and coaching over my career but few brought it all together like Michael Bungay Stanier's. I love the concepts of keeping it simple and practice, practice, practice, which are key to building your coaching habit. Michael makes what some leaders see as complex a simple process, whether you are an experienced or new people leader. Definitely a must-read book.''
- Monique Bateman, SVP, TD Bank Group
''The Coaching Habit is the essence of practical coaching for busy managers. No filler, no abstract theory, no tedious stories. Just everyday, practical tools so that you can coach in ten minutes or less.''
- Melissa Daimler, Head of Learning & Organizational Development, Twitter
''Bungay Stanier has it right. We are creatures of habit, and from our habits we create ourselves, our lives and the world around us. The Coaching Habit is a manual for applying the power of habit to the power of coaching to accomplish more with and through others. Do not read this book. Practice it. Apply it. Keep it on your desk and build your coaching habit.''
-Michele Milan, CEO Executive Programs, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
#1 NewYork Times Bestseller
Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss
What Matters Most
Authors: Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen & Roger Fisher
The authors of this book have discovered practical ways to make hard conversations easy. They can help you stop avoiding confrontation, and instead, learn the skills to discuss emotionally charged topics calmly.
In Difficult Conversations, the authors share their research on easing into difficult discussions without being defensive. The book is full of examples of real-life scenarios in which we find ourselves needing these skills.If you want to learn about conflict resolution or boost your negotiation and listening skills this book is for you.
We attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day-whether dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client. From the Harvard Negotiation Project, the organization that brought you Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success. you'll learn how to:
·Decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation
·Start a conversation without defensiveness ·
Listen for the meaning of what is not said ·
Stay balanced in the face of attacks and accusations·
Move from emotion to productive problem solving amazon.com
Whether you're dealing with an under performing employee, disagreeing with your spouse about money or child-rearing, negotiating with a difficult client, or simply saying "no," or "I'm sorry," or "I love you," we attempt or avoid difficult conversation every day. Based on fifteen years of research at the Harvard Negotiation Project, Difficult Conversations walks you through a step-by-step proven approach to having your toughest conversations with less stress and more success.
You will learn:
-- how to start the conversation without defensiveness
-- why what is not said is as important as what is
-- ways of keeping and regaining your balance in the face of attacks and accusations
-- how to decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation
Filled with examples from everyday life, Difficult Conversations will help you on your job, at home, or out of the world. It is a book you will turn to again and again for advice, practical skills, and reassurance. Goodreads.com
First Break All The Rules
Author: Marcus Buckingham & Curt Coffman
Foreword By Jim Harter
Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its revolutionary study of more than 80,000 managers in First, Break All the Rules, revealing what the world’s greatest managers do differently. With vital performance and career lessons and ideas for how to apply them, it is a must-read for managers at every level.
Included with this re-release of First, Break All the Rules: updated meta-analytic research and access to the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which reveals people’s top themes of talent, and to Gallup’s Q12 employee engagement survey, the most effective measure of employee engagement and its impact on business outcomes.
What separates the greatest managers from all the rest?
They actually have vastly different styles and backgrounds. Yet despite their differences, great managers share one common trait: They don’t hesitate to break virtually every rule held sacred by conventional wisdom. They don’t believe that, with enough training, a person can achieve
anything he sets his mind to. They don’t try to help people overcome their weaknesses. And, yes, they even play favorites.In this longtime management bestseller, Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its massive in-depth study of great managers. Some were in leadership positions. Others were front-line supervisors. Some were in Fortune 500 companies; others were key players in small, entrepreneurial firms. Whatever their circumstances, the managers who ultimately became the focus of Gallup’s research were those who excelled at turning each individual employee’s talent into high performance.Gallup has found that the front-line manager is the key to attracting and retaining talented employees. This book explains how the best managers select an employee for talent rather than for skills or experience, set expectations, build on each person’s unique strengths rather than trying to fix his or her weaknesses, and get the best performance out of their teams.And perhaps most important, Gallup’s research produced the 12 simple statements that distinguish the strongest departments of a company from all the rest. First, Break All the Rules is the first book to present this essential measuring stick and to prove the link between employee opinions and productivity, profit, customer satisfaction and the rate of turnover.First, Break All the Rules presents vital performance and career lessons for managers at every level — and best of all, shows you how to apply them to your own situation. amazon.com
What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful
Authors: Marshall Goldsmith & Mark Reiter
In this book, Marshall Goldsmith and Mark Reiter look at how to avoid stagnation and reach the next level of success.
The book points out some habits and ways of thinking that have a surprising impact on growth. For example, speaking when angry, poor listening skills, and making negative comments can all keep you stuck. On the other hand, cultivating a habit of gratitude and positivity will help you move forward.
America’s most sought-after executive coach shows how to climb the last few rungs of the ladder. The corporate world is filled with executives, men and women who have worked hard for years to reach the upper levels of management. They’re intelligent, skilled, and even charismatic. But only a handful of them will ever reach the pinnacle -- and as executive coach Marshall Goldsmith shows in this book, subtle nuances make all the difference. These are small "transactional flaws" performed by one person against another (as simple as not saying thank you enough), which lead to negative perceptions that can
hold any executive back. Using Goldsmith’s straightforward, jargon-free advice, it’s amazingly easy behavior to change.Executives who hire Goldsmith for one-on-one coaching pay $250,000 for the privilege. With this book, his help is available for 1/10,000th of the price.
Goldsmith, an executive coach to the corporate elite, pinpoints 20 bad habits that stifle already successful careers as well as personal goals like succeeding in marriage or as a parent. Most are common behavioral problems, such as speaking when angry, which even the author is prone to do when dealing with a teenage daughter's belly ring. Though Goldsmith deals with touchy-feely material more typical of a self-help book—such as learning to listen or letting go of the past—his approach to curing self-destructive behavior is much harder-edged. For instance, he does not suggest sensitivity training for those prone to voicing morale-deflating sarcasm. His advice is to stop doing it. To stimulate behavior change, he suggests imposing fines (e.g., $10 for each infraction), asserting that monetary penalties can yield results by lunchtime. While Goldsmith's advice applies to everyone, the highly successful audience he targets may be the least likely to seek out his book without a direct order from someone higher up. As he points out, they are apt to attribute their success to their bad behavior. Still, that may allow the less successful to gain ground by improving their people skills first. (Jan. 2) Publishers Weekly
By now, the CEO as celebrity is old hat. (Just start counting the books from former company heads.) That goes for the executive-recruiter-cum-president-makers. What has yet to be explored--until now--is the celebrity business coach, the individual who helps C-level executives correct flaws, whether invisible or public. A frequent interviewee in major business magazines like Fortune, Goldsmith, with the sage help and advice of his collaborator Reiter, pens a self-help career book, filled with disguised anecdotes and candid dialogue, all soon slated for bestsellerdom. His steps in coaching for success are simple, honest, without artifice: gather feedback from appropriate colleagues and cohorts, determine which behaviors to change (and remember, Goldsmith specifically focuses on behavior, not skills or knowledge), apologize, advertise, listen, thank, follow up, and practice feed-forward. Admittedly, this shrewd organizational psychologist only works with leaders he knows will listen, follow advice, and change--especially considering that he doesn't receive fees until improvements are secure and visible. On the other hand, these are words and processes anyone will benefit from, whether wannabe manager or senior executive. Barbara Jacobs from Booklist
As a guy who has had some success in my life, I especially understood and appreciated what this book taught me. The point of the book is actually the title and subtitle. He states: "The problems we'll be looking at in this book are not life-threatening diseases (although ignored for too long they can destroy a career). They're not deep-seated neuroses that require years of therapy or tons of medication to erase. "More often than not, they are simple behavioral tics 'bad habits that we repeat dozens of times a day in the workplace' which can be cured by (a) pointing them out, (b) showing the havoc they cause among the people surrounding us, and (c) demonstrating that with a slight behavioral tweak we can achieve a much more appealing effect.
"One of the keys to a good business book can be found in the Table of Contents. This book is not different. The four sections are titled: The Trouble with Success; The Twenty Habits That Hold You Back from the Top; How We Can Change for the Better; Pulling Out the Stops. If you go into a bookstore to check this book out, just look at the twenty habits. They were a scary eye opener for yours truly. I used up one hi-lighter on this book and found way more bad habits I have and need to change than I care to admit. The nice thing about this book is that you can identify the flaws you didn't think you had and fix them without anybody knowing you had a problem. Now that is a huge benefit. All in all, this is an important book." -- Jack Covert, Jack Covert Selects, 1800CEOREAD
"Goldsmith has no interest in probing why people behave the way they do. He doesn't try to reshape their personalities. He measures success by the extent to which other people's perceptions of his clients change for the better . . . he teaches them how to apologize for their shortcomings -- 'the most magical, healing, restorative gesture human beings can make,' he writes in his book [What Got You Here Won't Get You There] . . . and then to ask for help in getting better . . . 'It's much harder to change people's perceptions of your behavior than to change your behavior,' he says . . ." -- Barbara Rose, Chicago Tribune
"If you decide to purchase one new book this year I encourage you to make it What Got You Here Won't Get You There. This is the top tier of leadership information available!" -- weLEAD Rating - highly recommended
"The book is written pretty much the way Marshall speaks. It is simple, brutally honest, and humorous. It doesn't try to get fancy. It's economically composed, crafted to be useful. It will appeal to people with no time to waste. Like its author, it's practical and to the point . . . What Got You Here will be required reading for many years to come. -- David Zweig, Senior Editor, World Business Academy Perspectives
"This is a superb book, practical with a rich understanding of human behaviour and how to change. Mr. Goldsmith has endless examples from his work and his own personal failings, and the result is a chance for readers whose companies don't hire him to get the benefit of his expertise." -- Harvey Schachter, Globe and Mail
"What holds you back from achievement? Marshall Goldsmith is an executive coach who has worked with over eighty CEOs in the world's top organizations -- so he's in the perfect position to examine how global leaders overcome self-defeating habits, translating these lessons to the modern condition and everyday man in What Got You Here Won't Get You There. From key beliefs in successful leaders to common behavior flaws, this book translates drawbacks to success, and will find an audience in any general-interest collection where self-improvement is of interest." -- Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review/California Bookwatch
"You'll see the results whether you're a CEO or just getting started." -- BookPage
To Marshall Goldsmith: Thank You for Writing This Book (And We're Not Sucking Up):
Marshall Goldsmith is one of the most successful of corporate America's celebrity coaches -- he typically makes upwards of a quarter-million dollars for a year or so of work with each individual client -- and is also one of the best. ... The beauty of Goldsmith's approach lies not just in the simplicity of his insights, but also in the clarity of his advice. ... Goldsmith has written a leadership manual that could double as a guide to good parenting and marital peace. -- Knowledge@Wharton
About the Author
Marshall Goldsmith is America's preeminent executive coach. He is among a select few consultants who have been asked to work with more than sixty CEOs. His clients have included many of the world's leading corporations. He has helped to implement leadership development processes that have impacted more than one million people around the world. He has a Ph.D. from UCLA and is on the faculty of the executive education programs for Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan. The American Management Association recently named him as one of fifty great thinkers and business leaders over the past eighty years.
3 Million Copies Sold Worldwide
Good To Great: Why one Companies Make The Leap
And Others Don't
Author: Jim Collins
Amazon Bestseller Ranking:
#2 in Systems & Planning
Built to Last, the defining management study of the nineties, showed how great companies triumph over time and how long-term sustained performance can be engineered into the DNA of an enterprise from the verybeginning.
But what about the company that is not born with great DNA? How can good companies, mediocre companies, even bad companies achieve enduring greatness?
For years, this question preyed on the mind of Jim Collins. Are there companies that defy gravity and convert long-term mediocrity or worse into long-term superiority? And if so, what are the universal distinguishing characteristics that cause a company to go from good to great?
Using tough benchmarks, Collins and his research team
identified a set of elite companies that made the leap to great results and sustained those results for at least fifteen years. How great? After the leap, the good-to-great companies generated cumulative stock returns that beat the general stock market by an average of seven times in fifteen years, better than twice the results delivered by a composite index of the world's greatest companies, including Coca-Cola, Intel, General Electric, and Merck.
The research team contrasted the good-to-great companies with a carefully selected set of comparison companies that failed to make the leap from good to great. What was different? Why did one set of companies become truly great performers while the other set remained only good?
Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness -- why some companies make the leap and others don't.
The findings of the Good to Great study will surprise many readers and shed light on virtually every area of management strategy and practice. The findings include:
Level 5 Leaders: The research team was shocked to discover the type of leadership required to achieve greatness.
The Hedgehog Concept: (Simplicity within the Three Circles): To go from good to great requires transcending the curse of competence.
A Culture of Discipline: When you combine a culture of discipline with an ethic of entrepreneurship, you get the magical alchemy of great results. Technology Accelerators: Good-to-great companies think differently about the role of technology.
The Flywheel and the Doom Loop: Those who launch radical change programs and wrenching restructurings will almost certainly fail to make the leap.
“Some of the key concepts discerned in the study,” comments Jim Collins, "fly in the face of our modern business culture and will, quite frankly, upset some people.”
Perhaps, but who can afford to ignore these findings? amazon.com
In what Collins terms a prequel to the bestseller Built to Last he wrote with Jerry Porras, this worthwhile effort explores the way good organizations can be turned into ones that produce great, sustained results. To find the keys to greatness, Collins's 21-person research team (at his management research firm) read and coded 6,000 articles, generated more than 2,000 pages of interview transcripts and created 384 megabytes of computer data in a five-year project. That Collins is able to distill the findings into a cogent, well-argued and instructive guide is a testament to his writing skills. After establishing a definition of a good-to-great transition that involves a 10-year fallow period followed by 15 years of increased profits, Collins's crew combed through every company that has made the Fortune 500 (approximately 1,400) and found 11 that met their criteria, including Walgreens, Kimberly Clark and Circuit City. At the heart of the findings about these companies' stellar successes is what Collins calls the Hedgehog Concept, a product or service that leads a company to outshine all worldwide competitors, that drives a company's economic engine and that a company is passionate about. While the companies that achieved greatness were all in different industries, each engaged in versions of Collins's strategies. While some of the overall findings are counterintuitive (e.g., the most effective leaders are humble and strong-willed rather than outgoing), many of Collins's perspectives on running a business are amazingly simple and commonsense. This is not to suggest, however, that executives at all levels wouldn't benefit from reading this book; after all, only 11 companies managed to figure out how to change their B grade to an A on their own. Publishers Weekly
Start with 1,435 good companies. Examine their performance over 40 years. Find the 11 companies that became great. Now here's how you can do it too. Lessons on eggs, flywheels, hedgehogs, buses, and other essentials of business that can help you transform your company.Iwant to give you a lobotomy about change. I want you to forget everything you’ve ever learned about what it takes to create great results. I want you to realize that nearly all operating prescriptions for creating large-scale corporate change are nothing but myths.
The Myth of the Change Program: This approach comes with the launch event, the tag line, and the cascading activities. The Myth of the Burning Platform: This one says that change starts only when there’s a crisis that persuades “unmotivated” employees to accept the need for change. The Myth of Stock Options: Stock options, high salaries, and bonuses are incentives that grease the wheels of change. The Myth of Fear-Driven Change: The fear of being left behind, the fear of watching others win, the fear of presiding over monumental failure—all are drivers of change, we’re told. The Myth of Acquisitions: You can buy your way to growth, so it figures that you can buy your way to greatness. The Myth of Technology-Driven Change: The breakthrough that you’re looking for can be achieved by using technology to leapfrog the competition. The Myth of Revolution: Big change has to be wrenching, extreme, painful—one big, discontinuous, shattering break. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Totally wrong. Here are the facts of life about these and other change myths. Companies that make the change from good to great have no name for their transformation—and absolutely no program. They neither rant nor rave about a crisis—and they don't manufacture one where none exists. They don't “motivate” people—their people are self-motivated. There’s no evidence of a connection between money and change mastery. And fear doesn't drive change—but it does perpetuate mediocrity. Nor can acquisitions provide a stimulus for greatness: Two mediocrities never make one great company. Technology is certainly important—but it comes into play only after change has already begun. And as for the final myth, dramatic results do not come from dramatic process—not if you want them to last, anyway. A serious revolution, one that feels like a revolution to those going through it, is highly unlikely to bring about a sustainable leap from being good to being great. These myths became clear as my research team and I completed a five-year project to determine what it takes to change a good company into a great one. We systematically scoured a list of 1,435 established companies to find every extraordinary case that made a leap from no-better-than-average results to great results. How great? After the leap, a company had to generate cumulative stock returns that exceeded the general stock market by at least three times over 15 years—and it had to be a leap independent of its industry. In fact, the 11 good-to-great companies that we found averaged returns 6.9 times greater than the market’s—more than twice the performance rate of General Electric under the legendary Jack Welch. The surprising good-to-great list included such unheralded companies as Abbott Laboratories (3.98 times the market), Fannie Mae (7.56 times the market), Kimberly-Clark Corp.(3.42 times the market), Nucor Corp. (5.16 times the market), and Wells Fargo (3.99 times the market). One such surprise, the Kroger Co.—a grocery chain—bumped along as a totally average performer for 80 years and then somehow broke free of its mediocrity to beat the stock market by 4.16 times over the next 15 years. And it didn't stop there. From 1973 to 1998, Kroger outperformed the market by 10 times.
In each of these dramatic, remarkable, good-to-great corporate transformations, we found the same thing: There was no miracle moment. Instead, a down-to-earth, pragmatic, committed-to-excellence process—a framework—kept each company, its leaders, and its people on track for the long haul. In each case, it was the triumph of the Flywheel Effect over the Doom Loop, the victory of steadfast discipline over the quick fix. And the real kicker: The comparison companies in our study—firms with virtually identical opportunities during the pivotal years—did buy into the change myths described above—and failed to make the leap from good to great. jimcollins.com
Alex Ferguson Leading: Learning From Life And My Years At Manchester United
Authors: Sir Alex Ferguson & Sir Michael Moritz
After an astonishing career-first in Scotland, and then over 27 years with Manchester United Football Club- Sir Alex Ferguson delivers Leading, in which the greatest football manager of all time will analyze the pivotal leadership decisions of his 38 years as a manager and, with his friend and collaborator Sir Michael Moritz, draw out lessons anyone can use in business and life to generate long-term transformational success.
From hiring practices to firing decisions, from dealing with transition to teamwork, from mastering the boardroom to responding to failure and adversity, Leading is as inspiring as it is practical, and a go-to reference for any leader in business, sports, and life. amazon.com
Sir Alex Ferguson managed a great football club as Manchester United, but it was he who made this team that great. The first thing that made him so successful was that he followed an advice that he should have been on the sidelines watching and supervising. In this way he was able to see the big picture. He was well aware that the system in a football club is not so complicated as in a high-tech company. Despite his spectacular accomplishments, he's too humble to say that he could be more successful.
I find it funny that he thought swapping shirts were extravagance and told the players that they needed to pay from their pockets for the shirts they would swap. I think this character trait comes from his Scottish genes.This is not just a football book, but also a resource we can draw lessons about our own lives at the same time. The only thing I criticize in the book is the strained effort of the author to draw analogy between the principles and thoughts of Sir Alex and the successful firms in the Silicon Valley. Reader Review on amazon.com
“My Job was make to understand that the impossible was possible, that’s the difference between leadership and management.”Leading’ was a series of anecdotes in management and leadership lessons by Sir Alex Ferguson as he looks back on his tenure as manager of Manchester United for 26 years, leaving the club as one of the most successful sporting clubs in the world. The book is an inspirational guide to leadership, arguably from the greatest football manager of all time. Sir Alex in 38 years of management had won 49 trophies and had helped Manchester United derail many empires, false pretenders and threats on and off the pitch by building a dynasty himself at Old Trafford.Leading’ was structured around a few major and minor themes of Sir Alex’s key traits of leadership. Sir Alex gives his perspective on the key rules of leadership such as discipline, control, teamwork and motivation, but also new trends such as data, global markets and how to deal with failure.The investor Sir Michael Moritz helped Sir Alex write the book and his own epilogue shows how the skills of leadership Sir Alex had shared in the book can help people run a business, teach individuals lead small businesses, families or even help people in their daily routines.Sir Alex takes the reader into a journey of leadership with examples throughout the book. Sir Alex argues “preparation, perseverance, patience and consistency” are the pillars of leadership. Sir Alex demonstrates how a leader should becoming yourself, always listen and ease people, watch and observe as eyes and ears make a huge difference.A key trait of a leader is recognise and channel hunger, however there needs to be discipline, a work rate, drive and conviction. However, in relation to planning, a successful leader needs to have an organisation, preparation in creating a pursuit of excellence and ensuring the attributes of homework are essential for details. For any successful leader, Sir Alex says how teamwork is crucial and having captains who set standards on behalf of him was always essential.Sir Alex argues that leaders should always inspire and motivate people. He stresses that small gestures likes “well done” go a long way as motivation can make a difference to achieve success or experience failure. Sir Alex showed how he would deal different players based on their emotions, background and experience, as examples of how he handled Eric Cantona was different to how he would dealt with members of the class of 92.Sir Alex believed criticism and washing dirty linen in public should be always behind closed doors, as organisations should keep problems within rather than make it public knowledge. Sir Alex once said “there is no harm in losing one’s temper” and he was known for the hairdryer treatment together with his network of spies who used to tell him if his players had misbehaved, yet he ensured that as manager he needed be respected rather than be loved, as a leader he did not need to be with the crowd and at parties, but at least be respected to carry out his instructions and attain success, yet also be respected as a confidante, father-figure and patriarch.
What I found interesting was Sir Alex’s take on the opposition, according to Moritz, great leaders don’t worry or fear about the opposition, rivals or things outside their control. If one is in control of one’s destiny it goes a long way than worrying about Arab princes, Russian Oligarchs or European mavericks.Sir Alex also touches on failure saying “we are all haunted by failure, and we should only give up when we are dead.” He believes that when people have the fear of failure, it automatically gives the hunger to succeed. In 2012, when Sunderland fans celebrated by mocking Manchester united players who had lost the league out to Manchester City who won in a dramatic fashion, rather than wallow in self-pity. Sir Alex told his players “to learn from the defeat and humiliation and come back stronger.” The next season, the same players along with new signing Robin Van Persie were crowned as champions.
As a communications man myself, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Sir Alex’s views on owning the message. Readers were told that a successful leader doesn’t go around giving long speeches, but keeps things to the point, and even sometimes a silence is more powerful than a word. Also communications are essential as it involves in listening and watching as well. Sir Alex hated dealing with the media and one in way to be in control was to control the messaging, show confidence in body language and once in a while play some mind games. However, it is worth noting that a leader who has control is different to a leader who craves power.
Sir Alex throughout his period as manager would often say “no one person is bigger than Manchester United,” as after all graveyards are full of indispensable men. Sir Alex takes time to explain why losing one’s temper is of no practical use if it is done quite often, and carrying a grudge should not take precedence. Any time he dressed down a player, he made sure it was forgotten the next day. Also Sir Alex ensured control meaning he knew his staff, his players and anyone associated with Manchester United holding each member in high esteem.
All in all, ‘Leading’ shows how great leaders are those who embrace audacity, think the unthinkable, not shirking from responsibility and controversy. They hold a sense of the ultimate goal with only two or three major objectives while also having patience to persevere and plan. A perfect leader is unafraid to delegate and refrains from micro-management. During conversations the leader does not dominate, makes important decisions carefully, but refrains from embroiling oneself with minor irritations. For a great leader the achievements of the organisation are paramount than personal glory or fame. The leader watches and listens more, they’re tough but fair, they have no desire of being universally loved, just respected. Finally, when their time does come to leave they relinquish power with grace and don’t sour the life of their successor. All the above are traits according Sir Michael Moritz are the qualities that separate great leaders from leaders.
According to Moritz in the epilogue, after studying Sir Alex he narrowed down two key traits of a great leader: Obsession with their own job, as they can’t do anything else with their own lives until they achieve their objectives, and how to they deal with people, and understanding the characters of the people they lead. Moritz concluded how great leaders have the need to succeed running deep with adversity, never give up attitude, deal with setback reversals, create an atmosphere of “us against the world,” fear of failure, shut distractions, set realistic expectations while communicating to the point. The epilogue by Moritz is really long but you will find there are interesting comparison of Ferguson under Manchester United and Silicon Valley.
A must read for anyone who wants to study leadership, but something without theories and management courses. Hasan Patel
Author: Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, he asks a Gypsy fortune teller in the nearby town about its meaning. The woman interprets the dream as a prophecy telling the boy that he will discover a treasure at the Egyptian pyramids.
Early into his journey, he meets an old king named Melchizedek, or the king of Salem, who tells him to sell his sheep, so as to travel to Egypt, and introduces the idea of a Personal Legend. Your Personal Legend "is what you have always wanted to accomplish. Everyone, when they are young, knows what their Personal Legend is."
Early in his arrival to Africa, a man who claims to be able to take Santiago to the pyramids instead robs him of what money he had made from selling his sheep. Santiago then embarks on a long path of working for a crystal merchant so as to make enough money to fulfill his personal legend and go to the pyramids.
Along the way, the boy meets an Englishman who has come in search of an alchemist and continues his travels with his new companion. When they reach an oasis, Santiago meets and falls in love with an Arabian girl named Fatima, to whom he proposes marriage. She promises to do so only after he completes his journey. Frustrated at first, he later learns that true love will not stop nor must one sacrifice to it one's personal destiny, since to do so robs it of truth.
The boy then encounters a wise alchemist who also teaches him to realize his true self. Together, they risk a journey through the territory of warring tribes, where the boy is forced to demonstrate his oneness with "the soul of the world" by turning himself into a simoom before he is allowed to proceed. When he begins digging within sight of the pyramids, he is robbed yet again, but accidentally learns from the leader of the thieves that the treasure he sought all along was in the ruined church where he had his original dream. Wkikpedia
The story has the comic charm, dramatic tension, and psychological intensity a fairy tale, but it's full o f specific wisdoms well...A sweetly exotic taler for young and old alike- Publishers Weekly
Beneath this novel's compelling story and the shimmering elegance with which it's told lies bedrock wisdom about following one's heart - Booklist
As memorable and meaningful as Saint-Exuprty's The Little Prince - Austin American Statesman
A touching, inspirAble fable - Indianapolis Star
Little poke in the ribs from on high - Detroit Free Press
TheAlchemist is a fabulous success - DerSpiegel (Germany)
A remarkable tale about the most magical of all journeys: the quest fulfilled one's destiny. I recommend The Alchemist to anyone who is passionately committed claiming the life of their dreams - Anthony Robbins, Author of Awaken The Giant Within
An entrepreneurial tale of universal wisdom we can apply to the business of our own lifes - Spencer Johnson, Author of Who Moved My Cheese
An adventure story full of magic and wisdom - Rudolfo Anaya, Author of Bless Me, Ultima
The Alchemist is a beautiful book about magic, dreams, and the treasures we seek elsewhere and then find at our doorstep - Madonna
Paulo Coelho knows the secret of literary alchemy - Kenzaburo Oe, Winner of the Nobel Prize In Literature