Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Recomendation "Go For No"

I've just finished reading this book called "Go For No" by Richard Fenton and Andrea Wlatz. I thought it would be an interesting investment to go over some sales 101 and improve my career opportunities. Turns out it is a business novel that is focused on selling skill, but not limited to it. The thing is, as soon as I finished this book (and it is extremely short, took a couple of hours), I thought to my self - "well, here's something I can't connect to TOC, I'll just add this to my list of recommended business books as a good read". Sure enough, I then immediately realized I was totally wrong.

I've read Dr. Goldratt's "The Choice" (if you didn't read it yet - do, I think it's the best business management book I've read) about a year ago. It is a book that needs more than one reading, at least I needed. Each time I re-read it I gain more value from it. This is not your usual Goldratt business novel. This time there is no mercy, nothing is easy. The concepts aren't easy to grasp and some of them are definitely not easy to implement. The rewards, though, are plentiful.

One of the concepts I struggled most with, and still do, is the concept of experiments. Dr. Goldratt's outlook on life was that of an experimenter. When you set out on a new project and start building prototypes or start training, you do not expect things to work out perfectly from the get go. At least, you should not. Just like learning to ride the bike or any other skill you picked up along the way - learning has a curve and sometimes it means falling or stumbling. So, very much like a scientist or an engineer, you should view it as an experiment, understand what needs to be fixed or changed and try again. The difference between everyday and the lab is that in the lab we regularly expect things to fall short. We are actually running the experiment just for this reason - to figure out what is it that caused the results to fall short in order to change it. In everyday we expect things to turn out right in the first try, so we don't brace ourselves and take a hit.

Well, I can certainly talk the talk. But just between us friends - I do not walk the walk. I do not view my actions as experiments, I expect perfect results right away, and I get crushed when the results don't measure up. I did try to shift my mindset, but I guess I was just going about it the wrong way. I was committing a grave TOC faux-pas and treating the UDE highlighted by "The Choice" instead of diving in to the root cause.

This is where I see "Go For No" helping. The book uses the business novel format, using a very lame plot line, though the story telling skill is nice. Truth be told, I don't think it outlined any new concept, I've heard it all before. It did, however, take one step further and on top of the well known "slogans" there is a suggested path to making it all happen. So, from the self help point of view - it may have its imperfections but I find it to be a great place to start both for the process of getting to the root cause (the direction set in the book is towards the fear of failure) and for the process of improving my resilience and looking at life from the experimental view point.

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