In 2015 we have hosted 60 Soundview Live webinars with top business authors and leaders. So I went back to see which were our most popular. You may be surprised by those that made the list – or perhaps not.
Kory Kogon – The Path to Extraordinary Productivity: In this Soundview Live webinar Kory Kogon offers powerful insights drawn from the latest neuroscience and decades of experience and research in the time-management field to help you master your attention and energy management through five fundamental choices that will increase your ability to achieve what matters most to you.
Scott Eblin – Mindfulness Basics to Thrive in a 24/7 World: In this Soundview Live webinar Scott Eblin offers practical insights for the executive, manager or professional who feels like their RPM is maxed out in the red zone. By making the concepts and practices of mindfulness simple, practical and applicable, this event offers actionable hope for today’s overworked and overwhelmed professional.
Daniel Weiser – How to Become an Expert Negotiator: You may be a high-ranking CEO or a first day salesman, a service provider or self-employed. If you face encounters with your partners, clients, suppliers or employees, in which you want them to think differently at the end of the meeting and actually do what you want – this webinar is for YOU. The objective of this Soundview Live webinar with Daniel Weiser is to improve your negotiation skills and to move you one step closer to closing your deal.
Steve Shallenberger – How the BEST Leaders Ignite Energy and Fuel High Performance: In this Soundview Live webinar Steve Shallenberger will help you leverage the 12 principles that propel teams and organizations to the top! These tools and processes drive the kind of innovation that turns good teams and companies into industry leaders – all while living a well-balanced personal life. Steve will provide advice, tools and examples for turning your thoughts into action and bringing out the best in your teams and employees!
Daymond John – The Power of Branding: In this Soundview Live webinar Daymond John tells how four ordinary guys from Queens, New York, rose from street corners to corner offices and became the greatest trendsetters of our generation. He lays it all out on the line- his secrets to success, his triumphs, and his utter failures- to show what it takes to harness and display the power that resides in us all.
Marshall Goldsmith – How to Create Behavior Change that Lasts: In this powerful Soundview Live webinar, bestselling author and world-renowned executive coach Marshall Goldsmith examines the environmental and psychological triggers that can derail us at work and in life. Filled with revealing and illuminating stories from his work with some of the most successful chief executives and power brokers in the business world, Goldsmith offers a personal playbook on how to achieve change in our lives, make it stick, and become the person we want to be.
Ann Herrmann-Nehdi – Unlock the Power of Whole Brain Thinking: Filled with real-world examples and essential charts, exercises, action steps, and strategies, this Soundview Live webinar shows you how to rethink your business, prepare for the future, realign your goals, and reinvigorate your team — by putting your whole brain to work.
Neel Doshi & Lindsay McGregor- How to Build the Highest Performing Cultures: In this Soundview Live webinar Neel Doshi and Lindsay McGregor explain the counter-intuitive science behind great cultures, building on over a century of academic thinking. They share the simple, highly predictive new measurement tool—the Total Motivation (ToMo) Factor—that enables you to measure the strength of your culture, and track improvements over time.
Not surprisingly, six of the eight top events are about improving personal skills, rather than focusing on the business. Webinars are the perfect venue for personal development and that may have been their main attraction this year. If you had a favorite Soundview Live webinar this year, let us know by commenting on this blog.
We’re finishing out 2015 with three great titles that demonstrate innovative business thinking it the areas of personal resilience, the collaborative economy and conversational intelligence.
Peers Inc by Robin Chase
A co-founder of Zipcar, Robin Chase, introduces the collaborative economy in which companies and governments are using the Internet’s ability to facilitate collaboration by leveraging expertise, assets and resources outside their sphere of control. A revolutionary transformation is occurring between companies and people. The new paradigm is called Peers Inc.
by Dennis K. McCormack, George S. Everly, Jr., Douglas A. Strouse
Personal resilience is the ability to bounce back in the wake of adversity. The authors share a set of five core factors that protect successful people against psychological distress and emotional injury. These factors that act like psychological body armor can actually help a person to grow stronger.
Judith E. Glaser presents a framework for understanding how conversations trigger different parts of the brain. By deciphering the neuroscience, Glaser offers strategies for learning conversational intelligence and developing the conversation skills that propel individuals, teams and organizations toward success.
If you’re a Soundview subscriber, check out your new titles in your online library today. And if not, click on a title to purchase it; or perhaps now is the time to Subscribe and get these great titles and much more to strengthen your business skills.
Preparing For The Unexpected
The information age is also the age of acronyms. Our friends and colleagues make us LOL. Or we might affix a humble IMHO to our suggestions. If there is one acronym that probably best defines the hypercompetitive, dynamic world of business today, however, it is VUCA.VUCA, as Pamela Meyer explains in her book The Agility Shift, stands for “volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.” In other words, companies need to prepare for the unexpected because the unexpected is coming.
However, how does one prepare for the unknown, the uncertain, the ambiguous? According to Meyer, the answer is to shift mindsets and strategies from the status quo and complacency to agility and entrepreneurialism.
This is no easy task for many companies who have been successful doing what they’ve always done and operating in the world of the past. Success will not last, however, if companies do not become more agile. Studies show that agile companies are “more profitable, sustainable and innovative,” she explains. The real reason to pursue agility, however, goes beyond bottom line results. The “core dynamics” (interacting and interconnecting) of a shift to agility, she writes, “are the key to your ability to create and experience meaning, purpose and happiness.” Meyer puts meaning, purpose and happiness at the center of the agility shift because “it is essential to fostering and sustaining the level of engagement, commitment and creativity you need to respond effectively when the unexpected hits.”
The Relational Web
The agility shift, Meyer explains, is a shift in mindset from “the false comfort of a plan to achieving a state of readiness to find opportunity in the unexpected.” Such a state of readiness begins with a resource that already exists in most companies: the “Relational Web.” Agility exists, according to Meyer, when individuals, teams and organizations weave a strong Relational Web.
According to Meyer, a Relational Web is much more than another term for social networks. For example, in addition to active relationships with friends, colleagues and acquaintances, an individual’s Relational Web would include extended and/or inactive relationships; skills, knowledge and talent; other sources of ideas; knowledge and expertise; tangible and intangible resources.
Tangible and intangible resources can include anything from capital and raw materials to the brand reputation of the organization for which the person works.
Agile Shift Dynamics
The interconnections, relationships and resources of a Relational Web are not, in themselves, sufficient to ensure agile leaders, teams and organizations. Individuals and organizations must also adopt a mindset, strategy and practices that lead to what Meyer calls “the five agility shift dynamics”: relevance, responsiveness, resilience, resourcefulness and reflection.
Agile organizations are relevant, which means that they have a clear sense of purpose — a “why” for everything they do. Relevance, Meyer writes, aligns purpose and values with the success of the organization. The result is a workforce and leadership that is engaged and committed: an important requirement for agility.
Agile organization are also responsive: They don’t react to events out of fear or to protect or defend themselves but respond to take advantage of new opportunities, writes Meyer. Agile organizations are also resilient, able to “regroup, reorganize and renew in response to a significant disruption,” she writes, and resourceful — taking full advantage of resources. Finally, agile organizations are able to reflect on new developments, understanding which are relevant to their organizations, and demand a response.
An international consultant and professor, Meyer fills her book with case studies and precise how-to steps gathered under “Making Shift Happen” subheads. Thus, one of the Making Shift Happen practices for resilience is to “designate understudies” (a former theater director and producer, Meyer draws metaphors and stories from her show-business career). To designate understudies means to have redundant vital systems to ensure that the organization is not left short when the unexpected happens. Exploring best practices and the mindset for agility for individuals, teams and organizations, The Agility Shift offers practical and timely advice for managers and employees dealing with the challenges of the age of VUCA.
As promised, here are the other 15 titles that made our Best Business Book of 2015 list, including our December titles that were just released over the weekend.
The New IT by Jill Dyche – Jill Dyché provides a new business model for building and strengthening the role of IT. By using field-tested techniques to align your IT department with your corporate objectives, you can leverage the power of technology across the entire company.
Design to Grow by Linda Tischler & David Butler – David Butler and Linda Tischler share the successes and failures of Coca-Cola as this large, global company learned to use design to create both scale and agility.
Make It Matter by Scott Mautz – Scott Mautz reveals that fostering meaning at work by giving workers a greater sense of significance is the key to motivation and engagement.
The High-Speed Company by Jason Jennings & Laurence Haughton – Jennings and Haughton share strategies and practices demonstrated by businesses with proven records of creating cultures with strong purpose, trust and follow-through.
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz – Ben Horowitz tells it straight as he shares insights gained from developing, managing, selling, buying investing in and supervising technology companies.
Learning to Succeed by Jason Wingard – Corporate learning expert Jason Wingard proposes that to keep ahead of the competition, organizations should shift to embracing learning across the ranks and become dynamic learning organizations.
The Lean CEO by Jacob Stoller – Many companies and CEOs are finding that to do more with less, that they can find solutions in Lean management techniques to deliver sustainable financial results, empower and motivate employees, break down internal silos and build solid partnerships with customers and suppliers.
The Good Ones by Bruce Weinstein – Ethics expert Bruce Weinstein presents 10 crucial qualities associated with high-character employees that can enhance employee satisfaction, client relationships and the bottom line.
The Attacker’s Advantage by Ram Charan – Ram Charan provides proven tools to help leaders embrace uncertainty and develop the skills to be better prepared to lead.
Persuasion Equation by Mark Rodgers – This insightful guide by Mark Rodgers reveals what drives decisions and introduces the persuasion equation –– a powerful combination of factors proven to speed agreement.
Team Genius by Rich Karlgaard & Michael Malone – Rich Karlgaard and Michael S. Malone focus on the critical role of Informal teams within the core of successful companies.
The Achievement Habit by Bernard Roth – Bernie Roth, co-founder of the Stanford d.school, offers a guide for harnessing the power of design thinking to help meet life’s challenges and fulfill goals.
The Four Lenses of Innovation by Rowan Gibson – Rowan Gibson presents an innovation methodology for systematically stretching your thinking, discovering inspiring new insights and producing a portfolio of high-quality ideas and radically new growth opportunities.
Stronger by George Everly, Douglas Strouse & Dennis McCormack – Personal resilience is the ability to bounce back in the wake of adversity. The authors share a set of five core factors that protect successful people against psychological distress and emotional injury.
Peers Inc by Robin Chase – A co-founder of Zipcar, Robin Chase, introduces the collaborative economy in which companies and governments are using the Internet’s ability to facilitate collaboration by leveraging expertise, assets and resources outside their sphere of control.
What 2015 books have you found to be most helpful in your business and career over the past year? Post your choices to the blog.
Prescriptions for Handling Difficult People
Perhaps the most universal challenge faced by any manager or employee at any level of an organization is dealing with difficult and even irrational people. In his new book, Talking to Crazy, psychiatrist Mark Goulston offers a counter-intuitive prescription to dealing with the irrational and the impossible: “Lean into the crazy.” Don’t argue or try to reason with these people, he writes. Instead, treat them as if they are rational, show them that you are not a threat and then “move them” to sanity.
His prescription is based on what he calls the “Sanity Cycle,” which consists of six steps: “see that the other person is acting crazy”; “identify the other person’s M.O.” (such as extreme emotion, hopelessness, manipulation or martyrdom);“deal with your own crazy”; “go to the other person’s crazy”; “show that you are not a threat”; and “move the person to a sane place.”
The Man in the Pickup
In the opening chapter of his book, Goulston tells a startling personal story of road rage gone right that illustrates the Sanity Cycle in practice. After one of the worst professional days of his life, a preoccupied Goulston cut off the same person, a very large man in a pickup, twice. The second time, the man blocked Goulston’s car, emerged from his pickup truck in a rage, and started screaming and pounding on the window of the car. Goulston lowered the window and said, “Have you ever had such an awful day that you’re just hoping to meet someone who will pull out a gun, shoot you and put you out of your misery? Are you that someone?” Before long, the stunned other driver was trying to comfort Goulston, explaining to him that life really wasn’t that bad.
This story is an example of the “belly role” — one of the many techniques that Goulston offers his readers. The belly role is named after the habits of animals that indicate their submission to other dominant animals by lying on their backs and showing their bellies. In more technical terms, this is called assertive submission, an apt name — it takes a certain amount of assertiveness to say to a crazy person, “You’re right, do what you have to do.”
Apologize, Empathize, Uncover
Another of Goulston’s techniques is the A-E-U technique, whose acronym stands for Apologize, Empathize, Uncover. When the other person is being irrational, Goulston writes, you apologize for your own shortcomings, recognize how difficult it must be for them to deal with you, and then describe to the person what they may be truly feeling. For example, Goulston described a case involving a marital situation in which he told his client that as part of the uncover phase she must tell her spouse, “I’m guessing you’d like to get a divorce, but you can’t bear all the tumult that would cause. It wouldn’t even surprise me if, when I’m on a trip, you secretly wish I’d die in a plane crash, because then you’d be free without being the bad guy.”
Leaning into the crazy in this way may seem counter- intuitive, not to mention counterproductive. However, the A-E-U and other techniques in Goulston’s book reveal the power of his Sanity Cycle. One of the early steps in the cycle is “dealing with your own crazy” — that is, recognizing how you are contributing to the problems. Only then can you respond in ways that “show that you are not a threat” and that in the end “move the person to a sane place.”
At first glance, this may all seem nice in theory and completely unrealistic in the real world. Goulston, however, is not a New-Age spinner of good feelings but, rather, a practicing psychiatrist for decades who, as he puts it in the first sentence of the book, “knows crazy” — from the patient who jumped off a fifth-story balcony because he thought he could fly to “80-pound anorexics, strung-out heroin addicts and hallucinating schizophrenics.”
Goulston will be the first person to tell you that some people are too crazy to talk to. Early in the book, he separates irrational and impossible people from people with personality disorders (e.g., narcissists, paranoids, sociopaths). These are people from whom rational people should walk away, Goulston writes unequivocally. However, most conflicts in the workplace (or home) simply involve very difficult people who can make life miserable. Talking to Crazy offers much-needed guidance for those seeking a solution to these all-too-common conflicts.
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