12 January 2011

The Extra One Per Cent

The Extra One Per Cent
by Rob Yeung

I do like Rob Yeung. Of course, I have never met him, but I have read three of his books and I do like the tone of them. Simple, straight forward and personal, in that his own values come through.

So I was looking forward to 'The Extra One Per Cent - how small changes make exceptional people'. Of course, the suggested changes might be small but not easy to make - as for some  it might require re-programming how they see the world around them and indeed, their own role in carving their own path to success, whatever that "success" is. 

(In fact, the book might inspire more than one person to stop and define what personal success means to them.)

"We can all benefit from disentangling what is genuinely important to us from the values of those around us."

The Extra One Per Cent will surely prove inspiring to entrepreneurs and those people who have big goals in mind, as it is full of success stories and ways of dissecting big plans to make them viable, as well as building self-confidence.

I particularly liked the reminder of the importance of relationships in attaining your goals. In his chapter on "Daring" (one of the capabilities of exceptional people), he describes a stepwise approach to working towards your goals. Then, in considering each step, he suggests thinking about "Who can/should help you?". As someone who has never had a problem in asking for or giving help, I think this is fantastic (and essential) advice. 


And while on the subject of goals, I also welcome his suggestion of being guided by positive goals rather than negative goals (e.g. "I want to run more workshops" rather than "I want to avoid having only one client") and much prefer his PAST mnemonic (what a great word, mnemonic...) for effective goals: Positive, Ambitious, Specific, Timed - a more energy-charged term than the widely used SMART


As someone who advocates for making room for creativity at work, I really welcome a few of his other points: 

 - "Creativity" does not mean "artistry";
-  One can experience "flow" and develop one's creativity in any kind of job, it just has to be right for you.


"Creativity comes about as the result of activity. Individuals who make time to question, speculate and learn about the world tend to be more creative."


The scientist in me continues to ask all the time: "How do you know?", "Where is the proof"? And indeed, this is something that Rob Yeung does well, by supporting most of his suggestions and advice with research from studies and experiments (all neatly referenced at the back of the book for further reading). Of course plenty of the material comes from anecdotes, his own experience and gut feeling - else the book would lose its soul!

So, if you are looking for a light read, full of research, practical advice and inspirational stories, do go The Extra One Percent. And, as always, if you can think of any other literature along the same lines, please post your recommendation here!




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