Book Review – The Power of Habit

On my recent tour of North Carolina I had the opportunity to finish a great book given to me by my dear friend, Marcie Roggow. Marcie, Thank YOU! Charles Duhigg’s book, The Power of Habit, Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business, will change the way you look at your business, your clients and most importantly yourself.

The book explains and explores the nature of habits and habit creation. Whether we realize it or not, habits are powerful things. They control most of what we do and why we do it. Learning how they operate and what can be done to change them is a worthwhile endeavor. The sections on how major businesses from Starbucks, to Alcoa to Target are full of well documented and practical approaches that allowed these businesses to succeed based on the habits of people that they either leveraged or changed.

Charles Duhigg is an investigative reporter for the New York Times. He is a winner of the National Academies of Sciences, National Journalism, and George Polk Awards, and was part of a team of finalists for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize. he is a frequent contributor to This American Life, NPR, PBS Newshour, and Frontline. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Yale College, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two kids.

If you are into education you will find some fascinating reading in the section which deals with the habit of Success at Starbucks and what companies such as that have done to create training that actually teaches people greater skills in areas such as willpower, discipline and other life skills that are hard to come by but absolutely hard to come by in the world of education. It will make you wonder what types of education we are missing that are key ingredients for success in any industry such as relationship building, time management and how to cope with stress and distractions. Fascinating I tell you, simply fascinating.


One of the great assets of the book is the Appendix entitled A Reader’s Guide to Using These Ideas. It is a framework for understanding how habits work and a guide to experimenting with how they might change. It is laid out in an easy to follow and implement step by step approach.

You can find the book in all of the major bookstores, on Amazon and just about anywhere else. We should all read it. If you would like more information you can find out more with a simple Google search, or better yet, just visit Mr. Duhigg’s website.



Turning Knowledge Into Action

When we founded Course Creators we did it with a single mission statement for our students in mind, recraft and present education in a way that our business clients and their professionals would “Get It, Use It and Become More Successful Because of It. We have know for quite sometime now that conveying information is not the same thing as conveying knowledge and that much knowledge is not implemented or acted upon. In their book The Knowing-Doing Gap, Stanford professors, Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton document how the inability to implement knowledge has severely limited and hurt specific businesses. They also demonstrate through concrete real world examples how smart companies turn knowledge into action.

There is no doubt that we are living in an age where information is abundant and freely transferable. Previous business models which relied on the competitive edge of having access to proprietary information and which based market differentiation on the holding and dissemination of information have been eroded. There are fewer and smaller differences between what firms, companies and professionals know. As we travel the country creating and presenting for various entities across a broad geographic spectrum we can confirm the observations of Pfeffer and Sutton that increasingly business professionals are falling into one of two groups. The first group locked in the past, staring at obstacles, generating more and more information and the second group which acts on the information and repeatedly is exclaiming, ” Done, did it, next!”

This book will give you lots of justification and examples of why we all need to be implementing strategies and approaches which focus on, foster and encourage action. We think this book contains many ideas and concepts which easily translate into the world of adult education. The present world of business simply demands that we more education from more a knowledge based type of endeavor to more of a practical world of teaching and implementing skill sets that drive professionals forward. Whatever business or profession you are in, The Knowing Doing Gap will make you look at your business differently and help you identify factors that are key to a culture of action and necessary ingredients to success.

0 comments | Written by Theresa Barnabei in: Book Bytes |

Shift – By Gary Keller

There is no doubt that the real estate world is changing, but let’s face it, real estate has never been constant. One of the enduring truths of our industry is that things are always in a state of change. The most successful real estate professionals understand that succeeding in real estate requires mastering the process of change. More importantly our careers depend on both recognizing market shifts and then reinventing our services and our practices to capitalize on those shifting trends.

Gary Keller’s Shift captures this essence of the heart estate in an easy to understand manner and delivers the material in practical useful scripts that will help you gain market share. It has been a long time since I have read a book with such amazing insight into the operation of real estate markets and what we need to be doing to succeed in them.

Some of the great information that you will gain from reading Shift is:

  • How to Develop the Right Mindset in Shifting Markets
  • Seller Pricing Strategies to Always Be Priced Ahead of the Market
  • How to Engage in Successful Internet Lead Conversion
  • Mastery of the Market of the Moment
  • How to Create Urgency to Overcome Buyer Reluctance

This book is stuffed full of the information we all should know. I believe the subtitle of the book probably conveys all you need to know “It’s NOT About the Market…It’s About What You Do!”

Find out what you should be doing and put Shift on your summer reading list.


Switch – By Dan & Chip Heath

The Heath brothers strike again! You may recognize them as the authors of the best selling “Made to Stick”. Their most recent work Switch is subtitled “How to Change Things When Change is Hard” and you will find lots of good practical information here. Their insights into what inspires people to change habits and actions is useful in any business and the information is interwoven with stories about single individuals and entire companies that brought about meaningful change. Building on the analogy of an elephant and its rider allows Dan & Chip Heath to demonstrate the barriers that often exist to change and communicate effective ways of overcoming the obstacles.

They illustrate the fact that all successful change follows a predictable pattern, even if we have failed to recognize it until them highlight the pattern and techniques that lead to effective change. So whether you are trying to implement new ideas for educational programs, get businesses to utilize social media more, lead a team that needs cohesion or are engaged in the promotion of social causes, you will find important insights and strategies in the book, Switch.

You can learn much more about Switch and the Heath Brothers from either their website or on their facebook fanpage.

Highly recommended reading for the age of change that we are all negotiating.

Chip Heath is a professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Dan heath is a senior fellow at Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE).


Drive – By Dan Pink

Course Creators wants to know what is your sentence. Will you share with Course Creators the sentence you created after reading  Dan Pink’s book, “Drive?”

One of the hallmarks that I have come to appreciate most about Dan’s writing is that every book might as well be subtitled, “Everything You Thought You Knew About This Topic is Wrong.” Drive is the surprising truth and what motivates us. Dan will challenge everything you thought you knew about motivating your clients, your employees and yourself. There are so many authors and writers who believe that the changes which are occurring in the business world are all due to economic conditions and or technology. Dan instead digs much deeper to  unveil the fundamental shifts that we are experiencing in society. The first chapter is entitled, The Rise and Fall of Motivation 2.0. and sets the stage for a recurrent theme throughout the book and that is that business must begin doing what science already knows.

We lack the business models and theoretical constructs to understand a lot of the changes that are occurring, but Dan will provide you with the foundation  for a whole new mindset regarding the way we try to motivate others. You’ll find out why….

Author Dan Pink Even Surprises Himself!

  • Offering something for FREE actually increases its value
  • Paying volunteers will destroy a project
  • People really engage in activities and what sustains their interest
  • Managers and supervisors must recraft their roles or perish

The most unusual part of Dan’s book are the last 100 pages which offer a practical Toolkit to reinvent your company, office or group. It is chock full of ideas, references and improvement strategies which will provide you with the tools you need to really “Drive”. We think that without Dan Pink’s insight you and your business will be missing a key piece for the future of success.

The book is available at Amazon.Com or you can visit Dan’s website.

You can listen to Dan at the TED Conference sharing his Drive insights.

Dan Pink is the author of A Whole New Mind, a long running New York Times bestseller that has been translated into 20 languages. He is a regular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and Wired and lectures across the country. Dan invites you to email him at dhp@danpink.com


33 Million People in The Room – By Juliette Powell

Any idea how much the world around us has changed?

Do you have any idea of the networks that are being built in social media?

Did you know that most of the major corporations have shifted money from traditional advertising to social media? Have you?

Do you know the last presidential election was won in social media?

This book will help you put everything in perspective. Understand what you need to know in order to be successful today and how the world of business has changed forever. Juliette Powell does a tremendous job of putting all of this into perspective in “33 Million People in the Room!”

We took the concepts of this book, applied them and ended up with a 3 hour class that will help you Get It! Use It and Become More Successful Because of IT!. The class is called “Catch the Social Wave”

If you have been wondering where your clients went, both this book and our class will tell you. You don’t have to wonder anymore. Find out where your clients went and how to get them back

Click on the image to the right and watch the video and you’ll decide that you can no longer wait to learn this information!


Buying Trances – By Joe Vitale

Did you know that the average consumer is bombarded with around 3,000 advertising messages every day. Do you wonder whether your advertising and marketing have become invisible? Are you struggling with how you get a consumer to stop long enough to hear what you are saying?

These are the issues that Joe Vitale will help you understand to create more effective marketing messages and advertising that actually results in customers. If you don’t already know Joe Vitale you should. He is a prolific author, recognized as Mr. Fire and was heavily involved in The Secret. In addition Joe is a magician,  a hypnotist and has been studying those arts for quite some time.

Buying Trances is about the way that people function in everyday life and what you must do to “break the trance” and get them to listen to your message. There are  great business and personal psychology principles here. In fact, the subtitle to Buying Trances is  “A New Psychology of Sales and Marketing”

We found a lot of stuff here that made us rethink the way we were marketing and the messages we were sending. It’s a great read and you will find stuff you really need to know to grow your business.


A Glimmer Experience

“Glimmer” has found its place as one of the most influential books I have ever read. I now believe that the subtitle “How design can transform your life, and maybe even the world” isn’t overreaching at all. Warren Berger will make you think about everything you do in a whole new light. Contained in the book is a whole new way of looking at the way we do things, from getting through the day, to selling products and services, to interacting with our clients. I wrote so many notes and margins on the sides and blank spaces in this book that it will take me a lifetime to implement and that’s sort of Berger’s point.

Business today needs massive shifts in the way we do things. This book will help you:

  • Understand the importance of design and its underlying principles
  • Design everything you do through the eyes of consumers and end users
  • Refuel creativity and innovation
  • Overcome barriers and create breakthroughs in your thinking
  • Redesign you, your business and your life

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Stuffed full of amazing insights, ideas and concepts. We need this to get to the next level.

You can find outt even more about Warren Berger and his thinking by visiting his site.

There is also a Glimmer Site which applies all of this thinking to selling, advertising, the marketing of various products and services.

Glimmer will help you understand that we do not live in an age of information overload, we live in an age of data overload. Raw data is what we are swamped with. For that data to rise to the level of information – for it to be informative – it must be organized, simplified, clarified and well, in a word, designed.


Maestro – By Roger Nierenberg

MaestroI ran across this gem in an Indianapolis bookstore and finished it on the plane ride home (understand my ride home compliments of American Airlines included a detour through Little Rock Arkansas and an unplanned stranding in Dallas overnight) . Maestro is one of the best books on leadership I have ever read and chances are that for most of you it comes out of a profession in which many of you have not spent a lot of time.

The author of Maestro, Roger Nierenberg, is a world class conductor. He has had an extremely distinguished career leading prominent orchestras across America. He has participated in the Carnegie Hall Series of Great Orchestras and has recorded with the London Philharmonic. In his recent book Roger takes you inside the art and science of great conducting all the while making clear the analogies between what he has done and leadership in the business world.

As an example he takes a young conductor who accurately leads the orchestra through a technical piece of music by indicating note for note what the musicians should be playing. The impact comes when Niergenberg has the young student turn away from the orchestra and Nierenberg instructs the orchestra to play the piece without his assistance. They do and it is better. Then Nierenberg explains, the musicians, like top executives in a company, do not need you to show them what to do note for note and your micromanagement gets in the way of their creativity and performance. They do need you to set the rhythm, the pace and the emotion of the music. I think you get the point and I also think you will find Nierenberg’s treatment of the concepts fascinating.

Nierenberg has created a very unique leadership training program where he seats executives among the orchesttra and then interwoven with performance pieces takes them through leadership principles. The concept is know as The Music Paradigm and is one of the creative and ingenious teaching concepts I have seen in a long time.

If you have been involved with the Music Paradigm or have read the book I am interested in your comments and insights.


The Man Who Loved Books Too Much – By Allison Hoover Bartlett

ManWhoLovesBooks_JKTF.inddIf you are one of those individuals who has developed a love affair with books then Allison Bartlett’s recent work, “The Man Who Loved Books Too Much” is for you. Bartlett takes you on a journey through the true story and antics of John Gilkey, thief of  books and obsessed neurotic. Bartlett’s trip into the world of collectible and rare books and the people who inhabit it is worth the journey.

More than the detective story built around the schemes and very successful attempts by Gilkey to steal these treasures, is Bartlett’s insight into the passion that books have inspired over the centuries. When we begin to understand that books are the propellant fuel behind the progress of mankind and our evolution of knowledge, we also begin to appreciate fully the past attempts of book burners, hoarders and even religious institutions to stifle and limit access to the books. For in our past the books were everything.

As detached, neurotic and eccentric as we may find Gilkey, we learn he is not the first to be obsessed by books. Seeing the books as a symbol of wealth and success may be the sanest part of Gilkey’s perceptions since we do indeed find the books and the bookcases as a backdrop in every movie, scene and story about what makes life good.

I think Bartlett is correct. There is something mesmerizing about holding a good book in your hands. Whether it pulls you back into your childhood, forward into your fantasies, there is probably a bit of Gilkey in all of us. We just have a clearer sense of right and wrong. You will enjoy this book as an adventure, as a piece of history and as in insight into the beauty of a good book.

Powered by WordPress | Theme by TheBuckmaker | Hosting & customization by Jenson Consulting