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Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities Paperback – May 11, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0471344131 ISBN-10: 0471344133 Edition: 1st

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Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities + The Adversity Advantage: Turning Everyday Struggles into Everyday Greatness
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 330 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 11, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471344133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471344131
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #513,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

First there was IQ, then there was EQ. Now, there's yet another quotient to worry about--AQ. Designed especially for business owners of quickly growing companies, Adversity Quotient draws upon the sciences of psychoneuroimmunology, neurophysiology, and cognitive psychology. As scientifically based as it is, the book manages to be compellingly readable.

Author Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D., says individual AQs explain why some people, no matter what their intelligence or educational or social background, succeed where others fail. It's been used in workshops for Olympic athletes and at companies including Deloitte & Touche, Minnesota Power, and U.S. West. Defined as the measure of one's resilience and ability to persevere in the face of constant change, stress, and difficulty, AQ is touted as "the most important factor in achieving success." Stoltz also calls it an indicator of one's general ambitiousness, creativity, happiness, energy, and physical and emotional health; he therefore recommends that business executives use the book's guidelines to pinpoint top performers in the workplace.

While the book is filled with acronyms and buzzwords (LEAD, "unconscious incompetence," ARP, and CO2RE among them), the book's tests--reminiscent of Myers-Briggs questionnaires--are fun to take and easy to analyze. Stoltz has given the tests to nearly 8,000 people, so he obviously knows what he's talking about here. He offers specific advice on how to cultivate AQ in employees, and, perhaps even more useful, 22 ways to crush the AQs of your followers. (One of them, "Be consistently inconsistent," could explain many "Dilbert" strips!)

While Stoltz derives many of his ideas from psychologist Abraham Maslow, psychologist and Learned Optimism author Martin Seligman, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People writer Stephen R. Covey, he gives credit where it's due, and he's done an outstanding job of synthesizing various classic and contemporary theories into one solidly inspirational book. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Proud of your IQ? It may indicate your raw intelligence, but experts say it's only a partial predictor of your future success. Recently, Daniel Goleman pointed toward emotional intelligence (Emotional Intelligence, LJ 9/1/95) as a key factor; now, organizational communication expert Stoltz writes about his theory that one's ability to thrive under adverse conditions may be the best indicator of overall success. The author presents an overview of prior research on what qualities of character and personality combine to create a successful person. There follows an explanation of the Adversity Quotient (AQ) theory and a shortened version of Stolz's AQ Profile. Detailed interpretations of AQ scores in the areas of control, ownership, reach, and endurance point to areas that are strong and those that could use improvement. Graphs and charts clearly illustrate ideas, and concepts are well organized and build logically, but the writing is stilted at times. The absence of footnotes is offset by a lengthy, detailed bibliography. Recommended for academic and public library collections.?Catherine T. Charvat, John Marshall Lib., Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Dr. Paul G. Stoltz is the world's leading expert on measuring and strengthening human resilience. He is author of four international bestselling books on the subject -- printed in 14 languages -- and was voted by Executive Excellence as "One of the 100 Most Influential Thinkers of Our Time." Dr. Stoltz is a guest lecturer for the Harvard Business School Executive Education program. HBS incorporates Dr. Stoltz's AQ theory and methods into its prestigious executive development and MBA programs. The Harvard Business Review featured an article (January-February 2010) co-authored by Dr. Paul G. Stoltz and Dr.Joshua Margolis (Harvard Business School professor), titled "How to Bounce Back from Adversity."

Today, AQ is the most widely adopted resilience building method in the world, currently in use by industry-leading companies and many governments across the globe. In 1987, Dr. Stoltz founded PEAK Learning, Inc., a global research and consulting firm,through which he coaches, consults, teaches, and collaborates with top leaders, thinkers, and influencers within a broad range of organizations from start-ups and NGO's to the Young Presidents' Organization and the Fortune 100 on six continents.

As a highly sought-after thought leader, presenter, and teacher, Dr. Stoltz combines inspiration with application, delivering a compelling and practical message to audiences of 10 to 10,000 people. As PEAK's global reach grows, Dr. Stoltz remains highly active in the classroom, teaching AQ to groups of all levels and sizes in a broad range of indoor and outdoor settings, including some of the largest venues in the world.

As Director of the Global Resilience Institute, Dr. Stoltz oversees a research agenda in 21 countries dedicated to exploring, expanding, and advancing the applications of AQ to strengthen people and their organizations. His research partners include top thinkers at Yale University, Stanford University, and more than a dozen universities overseas.

He has been a member of Stanford University's Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series, was selected as the Millennial Thinker for Singapore, "Thought Leader of the Year" in Hong Kong, is a top-rated international faculty member for the Young Presidents' Organization, and is a frequently sought after resource for the world's top media including CNN, CNBC, Business News Network, NBC Nightly News, Public Broadcast Service (PBS), the Today Show, Sky News, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. You will also find Dr. Stoltz quoted in Wall Street Journal, Harvard Management Update, Investor's Business Daily, Asia 21, Inc., Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Singapore Straits Times, The Australian Financial Review, Success Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Boss Magazine, The Drucker Foundation's prestigious Leader to Leader and other publications.

Dr. Stoltz received his bachelor's degree in Organizational Communication and Economics from the University of California, as well as his business and social sciences interdisciplinary master's and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

PEAK Learning's international headquarters is situated in the coastal mountains of San Luis Obispo, California, where Dr. Stoltz resides with his family, who were honored by USA Today as "America's Most Creative Family."

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who thinks this book is about a "having a good attitude" or "positive thinking" hasn't read the book.
Stoltz states at the beginning, "It's more important to know how to deal with the negative than to be 'positive.'" This mirrors the I Ching, which says, "The event is not important, but the response to the event is everything." Stoltz says it's not only how we _respond_ to adversity, but how we _perceive_ adversity.
Stoltz breaks down our response to adversity into five categories -- Control (how much control do we perceive over the adverse situation?), Origin (are we to blame for the adverse situation?), Ownership (are we responsible for fixing the adverse situation?), Reach (how far will this adverse situation reach into other areas of my life?), and Endurance (how long will this adverse situation last?). He provides abundant examples (everyday and historical), hypotheticals, and even a test where we can score how we tend to respond to adversity, and improve our response.
He lists 22 helpful ways to _destroy_ the adversity of those around us (#4 -- Model victimhood. Act depressed -- it's contagious; #9 -- Frame success as a freak accident; #19 -- Uproot enthusiasm before it can grow).
Problems with the book? Sure there are. It's a bit padded, especially in the beginning. Much of the book deals with overcoming adversity in business situations. He also criticizes those who decide to "camp" on the hillside instead of always "climbing" to the top of the mountain. I feel we can have success and happiness, not to mention a family life, by "camping," just as I suspect "climber" is another word for "workaholic."
In all, it's a very worthwhile book.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Ms Diva on June 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
Some of this book is very simplistic if you have taken any psychology. The writing can be repetitive. That said, the assessment test is good, and the explanations of the different components of AQ are useful. I particularly liked the author's explanation of what it means to take ownership in a situation. The LEAD sequence is well explained and easy to use. In short, there are some useful tips and techniques here, particularly for those who work in human services, but the book is overlong given the simplicity of the author's message.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Elkin on March 31, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a coach/consultant in personal and organizational development for 20 years I read hundreds of 'self-help' books. Only a few have something new and useful to offer. Stolz's Adversity Quotient is one of the best of those. Its easy-to-use assesment of my habitual way of responding to adversity gave me critical feedback I needed to re-invent my own life/work strategies. And his CORE skills and LEAD sequence (based largely on Martin Seligman's work on learned helplessness and learned optimism which was deemed the 'landmark theory of the century' by the American Psychological Association) are powerful, pragmatic tools for dealing with adversity of any sort. AQ is simple, clear and easy to use, but it is definitely not a gimmick. As a professional in this field and as an individual who has used Stolz's insights and tools to produce more outstanding results than ever before--and with less effort and stress--I can attest to both its scientific solidness and its practical usefulness. It has my highest recommendation.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Too many people suffer from learned helplessness - they believe that nothing they do really matters and that they can't make a difference in their own lives nor in what happens to them. They give up and become quitters, or camp out and live lives of quiet desparation. By building up your Adversity Quotient, Stoltz shows that adversity doesn't have to intrude into all areas of your life; nor do you have to believe that your problems have to last forever. By increasing your AQ, you can rebound almost instantly. Everyone stumbles and falls, but now you can learn how to pick yourself up, renew your spirit, and face any problems by taking action that eliminate and prevent the same adverse situation from ever occurring again. This is a remarkably well written and useful book. It is helpful in improving the quality of every aspect of your life, including your private life, career, etc. Given today's challenges and stress levels, it should be required reading for everyone. Even big challenges and adversities - losing a job, getting a divorse, being reprimanded, etc. - will be reduced to little ones once you know how to deal with them effectively and easily. A great book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I was very impressed with the helpful and easy-to-follow ideas in this book. It was very empowering to realize how much control we *do* have in our lives, even in situations that seem out of our control - because we *always* have control over our response.
One of the key points is that despite whatever AQ you have, you can improve it! Even before I'd finished the book, I was able to start putting the ideas to work. If you are one of the people who says "it won't work for me!" or "books like that are all bunk!" then you especially could benefit from this one. Go into it with an open mind, and your life could be changed for the better.
I intend to re-read this book several times, to help myself better absorb the important lessons.
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