Emotional Intelligence 2.0

(Post originally appeared on my other site, www.MinMarketing.com)

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

In today’s fast-paced world of competitive workplaces and turbulent economic conditions, each of us is searching for effective tools that can help us to manage, adapt, and strike out ahead of the pack.

By now, emotional intelligence (EQ) needs little introduction—it’s no secret that EQ is critical to your success. But knowing what EQ is and knowing how to use it to improve your life are two very different things.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 delivers a step-by-step program for increasing your EQ via four, core EQ skills that enable you to achieve your fullest potential:

1) Self-Awareness
2) Self-Management
3) Social Awareness
4) Relationship Management

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 is a book with a single purpose—increasing your EQ.

Emotional Intelligence is one of those concepts that is often thrown about in the entrepreneur space. Gary Vaynerchuk in particular often talks about EQ and self-awareness. Emotional Intelligence is a key skill for any entrepreneur, leader, or anyone aspiring to rise high in their career to have. If you’re not sure what Emotional Intelligence is or are looking for a primer on the subject, this book is a fabulous introduction.

Emotional Intelligence 2.0 covers four core competency areas with strategies you can use for individual improvement. This is one book you will probably want to purchase if you intend to read it because it gives you a passcode to take their Emotional Intelligence assessment. You can see your benchmark EQ score and then you’ll have the opportunity to take it again later to see your improvement after you’ve had the chance to work on some of the skills.

The four EQ skills covered in this book are Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management. Two skills that are more focused on the self and two that are more focused on your interactions with other people. Each skill then has 15-17 short strategies for you to use to increase your skill level.

The book doesn’t go particularly deep in any one area, but is a great place to start from if you’re working on improving your EQ. It’s a slim book that will be an essential part of your entrepreneur library as you can easily pick it up at any time to check in on how you’re doing with your EQ skills.

The Storyteller’s Secret

(Post originally appeared on my other site, www.MinMarketing.com)

The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch On and Others Don’t by Carmine Gallo

How did a Venice Beach T-shirt vendor become television’s most successful producer? How did an entrepreneur who started in a garage create the most iconic product launches in business history? How did a timid pastor’s son overcome a paralyzing fear of public speaking to captivate sold-out crowds at Yankee Stadium, twice? How did a human rights attorney earn TED’s longest standing ovation, and how did a Facebook executive launch a movement to encourage millions of women to “lean in”?

They told brilliant stories.

In The Storyteller’s Secret: From TED Speakers to Business Legends, Why Some Ideas Catch on and Others Don’t, keynote speaker, bestselling author, and communication expert Carmine Gallo reveals the keys to telling powerful stories that inspire, motivate, educate, build brands, launch movements, and change lives. The New York Times has called a well-told story “a strategic tool with irresistible power” – the proof lies in the success stories of 50 icons, leaders, and legends featured in The Storyteller’s Secret: entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Sara Blakely, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Sheryl Sandberg; spellbinding speakers like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Bryan Stevenson, and Malala Yousafzai; and business leaders behind famous brands such as Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, Wynn Resorts, Whole Foods, and Pixar. Whether your goal is to educate, fundraise, inspire teams, build an award-winning culture, or to deliver memorable presentations, a story is your most valuable asset and your competitive advantage.

In The Storyteller’s Secret, Gallo explains why the brain is hardwired to love stories – especially rags-to-riches stories – and how the latest science can help you craft a persuasive narrative that wins hearts and minds. “The art of storytelling can be used to drive change,” says billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson. And since the next decade will see the most change our civilization has ever known, your story will radically transform your business, your life, and the lives of those you touch. Ideas that catch on are wrapped in story. Your story can change the world. Isn’t it time you shared yours?

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I’ve always believed that stories are powerful. That’s why I became a writer and later got interested in marketing. I believe marketing and writing have a lot in common – they both deal with the art of telling a good story and communicating ideas to other people. I did a talk on marketing last year and I mentioned how when I hire marketing people, one of the things I look for is writing skill. Because if you’ve made it through 13 years of compulsory education plus however many years you spent in college and you still can’t write well, I’m not going to be able to fix that. I can teach you to Facebook and to Instagram and to design email blasts. But if all the teachers who came before me couldn’t turn you into a writer, why do I think I’ll be any more successful?

Anyway.

When I saw The Storyteller’s Secret on display in an airport window, I knew I had to buy it and read it. I didn’t even look up any reviews, I just snapped a picture of it and when I next went to buy something on Amazon, I added it to my cart and started reading the book the same day it showed up at my house.

What makes this book interesting is not that it’s particularly ground-breaking or earth-shattering. I’ve read enough self-improvement and business books over the last 2.5 years to realize that a lot of the same stories end up in the pages of different books. But the repetition doesn’t make them any less powerful. And it doesn’t make me feel any less motivated because I’ve heard that story before. So in that way, even though the The Storyteller’s Secret features the stories of people like Steve Jobs and John Lasseter (read Jobs’ biography last year), Malala (been following her story since the news first broke), and Martin Luther King Jr., an inspiring story is still an inspiring story. And The Storyteller’s Secret contains over 37 of them, succinctly summarized, categorized, and broken down to include a key “takeaway” at the end of each chapter. Plus, the storyteller’s toolkit at the end of the book is an invaluable resource that can help you get back on track if you’re struggling to tell a story that really and truly connects with your audience.

If you don’t yet understand the power of story in marketing and selling your brand, pick up The Storyteller’s Secret. This will be a book you keep on the shelf for years to come, to pick up when you need a moment’s inspiration.

Remember: Anyone who tells you words don’t have power and words don’t matter is a fool. Words can start movements or change the tide of war. And if words can do those things, just imagine what they can do for your brand…

Captivate

(Post originally appeared on my other site, www.MinMarketing.com)

Captivate: The Science of Succeeding With People by Vanessa Van Edwards

As a human behavior hacker, Vanessa Van Edwards created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. And she’s cracked the code. In Captivate, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on how to captivate anyone–and a completely new approach to building connections.

Just like knowing the formulas to use in a chemistry lab, or the right programming language to build an app, Captivate provides simple ways to solve people problems. You’ll learn, for example…

– How to work a room: Every party, networking event, and social situation has a predictable map. Discover the sweet spot for making the most connections.
– How to read faces: It’s easier than you think to speed-read facial expressions and use them to predict people’s emotions.
– How to talk to anyone: Every conversation can be memorable–once you learn how certain words generate the pleasure hormone dopamine in listeners.

When you understand the laws of human behavior, your influence, impact, and income will increase significantly. What’s more, you will improve your interpersonal intelligence, make a killer first impression, and build rapport quickly and authentically in any situation–negotiations, interviews, parties, and pitches. You’ll never interact the same way again.

I first came across Vanessa Van Edwards via a Self-Made Man podcast interview she did with Mike Dillard. If you’re curious, you can listen to that podcast here. I was immediately taken both by Vanessa’s easy storytelling style and the captivating information she was relaying. I purchased Captivate the moment I finished the podcast.

I was not disappointed in reading this book. Captivate is an engaging and interactive read. Not only does Vanessa relate what she’s learned in an easy-to-digest (and apply!) way, she also encourages you to take quizzes and other actions to enrich your reading experience.

During the course of the book, you will learn 14 powerful ways to hack human behavior. The book is divided into three sections, meaning that no matter what your profession or personal social challenge, you’re sure to get something of value from the book. Whether you’re the type of person who has to meet a lot of new people or someone who’s trying to enrich their existing relationships, Captivate is a must read.

I can already see that this is a book that will stay on my shelf and that I’ll revisit time and again. There’s so much good stuff, it would be impossible to really get everything out of the book on a first read. I think an appropriate way to start applying the knowledge of Captivate in your own life is to pick one behavior hack at a time to focus on learning and internalizing. Each chapter features a “Challenges” section with ideas for putting each behavior hack into action. I am looking forward to trying these in my own life!

The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

A young woman walks into a laboratory. Over the past two years, she has transformed almost every aspect of her life. She has quit smoking, run a marathon, and been promoted at work. The patterns inside her brain, neurologists discover, have fundamentally changed.
 
Marketers at Procter & Gamble study videos of people making their beds. They are desperately trying to figure out how to sell a new product called Febreze, on track to be one of the biggest flops in company history. Suddenly, one of them detects a nearly imperceptible pattern—and with a slight shift in advertising, Febreze goes on to earn a billion dollars a year.
 
An untested CEO takes over one of the largest companies in America. His first order of business is attacking a single pattern among his employees—how they approach worker safety—and soon the firm, Alcoa, becomes the top performer in the Dow Jones.
 
What do all these people have in common? They achieved success by focusing on the patterns that shape every aspect of our lives.
 
They succeeded by transforming habits.
 
In The Power of Habit, award-winning New York Times business reporter Charles Duhigg takes us to the thrilling edge of scientific discoveries that explain why habits exist and how they can be changed. With penetrating intelligence and an ability to distill vast amounts of information into engrossing narratives, Duhigg brings to life a whole new understanding of human nature and its potential for transformation.
 
Along the way we learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. We visit laboratories where neuroscientists explore how habits work and where, exactly, they reside in our brains. We discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.
 
At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
 
Habits aren’t destiny. As Charles Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

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I really love books like these, where the authors have managed to dig up a series of fascinating stories that they utilize to illustrate their points. It really elevates what could be a dull read into something captivating.

The Power of Habit is divided into three parts: The Habits of Individuals, The Habits of Organizations, and The Habits of Society. But it really feels like the book is divided into two parts. The first four chapters illustrate how habits work in the brain and how they can be changed or altered (or not). The last five chapters are really a further study of habits with a focus on practical applications.

The most powerful section of the book though is the appendix. It’s in the appendix that the author takes times to illustrate the how of changing or creating habits – in eleven pages. Luckily The Power of Habit isn’t very long or I suspect many a reader would be frustrated that they picked up a book to figure out how to transform their habits and had to wade all the way through to the end to get an answer.

But The Power of Habit is more than an instructive book. It’s a persuasive book that argues that though we may be “creature of habit” we alone have the power to change our habits and our destinies. Which brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from East of Eden:

But the Hebrew word, the word timshel—‘Thou mayest’— that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open. That throws it right back on a man. For if ‘Thou mayest’—it is also true that ‘Thou mayest not.

And that, truly, is the core of what The Power of Habit is about. When you understand your habits, you have the freedom to control them.

Chasing Relevance

Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage And Maximize Next-Generation Leaders in the Workplace by Dan Negroni

There are more than 83 million millennials in the United States, representing 36% of our workforce. By 2025, that number will grow to 75%. If millennials are not your employees yet, they will be soon-as well as your biggest customers. Our ability to attract, train, manage and retain this next generation of leaders is critical to the future success of our businesses. But a huge and damaging connection, communication, and understanding gap exists between non-millennials and millennials in our workplaces. Why? Because millennials are not a problem that needs to be fixed, they are an opportunity that needs to be embraced. We must all find relevance in bridging the gap to create next-generation leaders in all of us by: – creating powerful, authentic relationships – promoting behavior that creates a culture of openness, delivering value and shared purpose – teaching real-deal skills and increasing individual accountability to drive sustained results

That’s what Chasing Relevance is about: being better leaders by guiding those millennials and letting them guide us, having everyone be their best self by caring enough to connect. The choice is clear: we need to care more about millennials by pushing ourselves to be better leaders, coaches, and mentors. Because we love them, we need them and we want them to succeed. It’s time to stop chasing relevance and make it happen.

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Perhaps because I’m a millennial, I don’t understand how anyone could manage their employees (let alone their millennials) in ways other than through the strategy outlined in Chasing Relevance. Yet they do because I’ve lived it, I’ve seen it, and I keep seeing it.

This was a truly fantastic read! 36% of the American workforce is millennials, yet people are still writing articles about how millennials are the worst generation (like this*). It’s a refreshing change of pace to read a book that talks not only about what’s great about millennials, but how to do better in the workplace whether you’re a manager of millennials or millennial employee.

Even if you somehow don’t have any millennial employees (and you haven’t been avoiding hiring them), you can use the tools and techniques in this book. Because the strategy in Chasing Relevance is really a better, more productive way to manage a business and be in a workplace. Period.

Chasing Relevance is divided into two parts. The first is about making over yourself to be a better employee or manager. The second is about the B.R.I.D.G.E. theory of getting over generational gaps to boost employee morale, retention, and productivity. It’s important to take the time to work through each section of the book. The first part is very interactive and requires you to do some external thinking beyond just processing what you’re reading. The second part is a 6-step process that you will probably need to tackle piecemeal, especially if the concepts are really foreign to how you manage and interact with others.

As a millennial, I will say this book is completely spot-on. The six steps of B.R.I.D.G.E. are how I manage and also how I like to be managed. I’m not saying I’m naturally perfect at this because I’m a millennial. I’m a human and I struggle to be better in certain areas – particularly with I, D, and G. But I firmly believe this is the best way to get the most out of people. All other methods are problematic pretenders that have no place in the modern workplace.

*Yes, I did deliberately choose an article from Breitbart

Click here to buy: Chasing Relevance: 6 Steps to Understand, Engage and Maximize Next Generation Leaders in the Workplace

Mindset

By Carol Dweck

Dweck explains why it’s not just our abilities and talent that bring us success—but whether we approach them with a fixed or growth mindset. She makes clear why praising intelligence and ability doesn’t foster self-esteem and lead to accomplishment, but may actually jeopardize success. With the right mindset, we can motivate our kids and help them to raise their grades, as well as reach our own goals—personal and professional. Dweck reveals what all great parents, teachers, CEOs, and athletes already know: how a simple idea about the brain can create a love of learning and a resilience that is the basis of great accomplishment in every area.

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I think self-help is a horrible name for a really great category. Self-help implies that there’s something that needs fixing. I think self-improvement is a much, much better way to describe this collection of (for the most part) research-based books that aim to help us make changes in our own life.

In the last year of reading more self-improvement books, there are a few people whose names have come up over and over. Whose research or writings have apparently been fundamental to this whole school of success psychology. Carol Dweck is one of these. One of the first podcasts I ever listened to last winter featured a discussion with Carol Dweck and her research on resilience and grit.

Finally, I got my hands on her foundational work, Mindset. It’s a small, thin book and not at all difficult to read or understand. One thing I did really like was the structure of the book. After the topic and core research findings were introduced, there are a few chapters that are built on applying the mindset principles in more focused situations: business, sports, parenting, and personal relationships.

 

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

By John Maxwell

Are there tried and true principles that are always certain to help a person grow? John Maxwell says the answer is yes. He has been passionate about personal development for over fifty years, and for the first time, he teaches everything he has gleaned about what it takes to reach our potential.

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This book is a great introduction to the topics that make up the keys to success, growth, and happiness. But it’s also just that: an introduction. Each chapter on each of the fifteen principles is really no more than 30 pages at the most.

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth are as follows:

  1. The Law of Intentionality: Growth Doesn’t Just Happen
  2. The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
  3. The Law of the Mirror: You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
  4. The Law of Reflection: Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up With You
  5. The Law of Consistency: Motivation Gets You Going–Discipline Keeps You Growing
  6. The Law of Environment: Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings
  7. The Law of Design: To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies
  8. The Law of Pain: Good Management of Bad Experiences Leads to Great Growth
  9. The Law of the Ladder: Character Growth Determines the Height of Your Personal Growth
  10. The Law of the Rubber Band: Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You Are and Where You Could Be
  11. The Law of Trade-Offs: You Have to Give Up to Grow Up
  12. The Law of Curiosity: Growth is Stimulated By Asking Why?
  13. The Law of Modeling: It’s Hard to Improve When You Have No One, But Yourself to Follow
  14. The Law of Expansion: Growth Always Increases Your Capacity
  15. The Law of Contribution: Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others

Maxwell recommends that you tackle the book a chapter at a time, giving yourself time to process, reflect, and implement. I would take that a little further and say that these fifteen laws provide fifteen separate topics for further reading and research.  There are many other great books that deal with one or a few of these topics at greater depth like Presence, Drive, Rejection Proofand Good to Great.