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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 1998
I ordered this book and it is the best business book I've ever read --- and I'm an avid reader of business books with an MBA. The authors have packed more common sense and genius ideas into a hundred or so pages than others can in 500 pages. I'm putting the Spirit Of The Squirrel, The Way Of The Beaver and The Gift Of The Goose to work in my own life and what a difference, at work AND at home! If you don't know what I'm talking about with these animals you need to find out. Thankyou Amazon for tipping me off to this book with these reviews.
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2000
Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles have created another classic. In a highly effective parable, they provide a blueprint any leader can use to create organizational excitement in just about any type of organization. The most positive characteristics of this book, like all Blanchard books, are the underlying values and wholesome philosophies that drive the message home at each juncture along the way. Whether a person is leading a small work group, a department, a division, or an entire company, he or she will find many useful ideas in this easy-to-read book.
Another book, with a foreword by Ken Blanchard, that I have just finished is also destined to be a classic alongside GUNG HO! I highly recommend everyone - not just people in leadership positions - read WINNING WAYS: FOUR SECRETS FOR GETTING GREAT RESULTS BY WORKING WELL WITH PEOPLE, by Dick Lyles. Dr. Lyles is a protégé of Blanchard and Bowles and this book proves that he, also, has mastered the art of parable writing. This book contains tips that will help anyone be more powerful and charismatic in their dealings with other people.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 1999
I joined a new company almost two years ago. Many management people over me were required to read "Gung Ho". I asked to read it and found it thought-provoking, but the three concepts exciting. I've lived those three concepts for the past year and just recently was put in charge of a group seven staff-members. As I recalled the book and the basic concepts, I took it down and read it afresh. As I had practiced, I began teaching the three basic concepts without telling my staff what they are doing. Now my next step is to let them in on the secret. I know "people" are watching me and that's okay. My team is succeeding. With these three concepts in my daily plan of action, I know I will pass the test of a new supervisor as well as have helped create a great winning team. The staff themselves are the winners. The book explains in extremely simple but motivating language how to work together, take control of your actions, and praise one another when we "do good". The book "Gung Ho" is a great birthday or Christmas gift.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on April 3, 2001
Gung Ho!
Gung Ho! is one of the best management books that I have read. Anyone that supervises others should read this book and practice using the techniques on a daily basis. The co-authors, Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles tell a story that is basically common sense and easy to understand. The principles could be used in your personal life as well as your professional life. In the prologue, Peggy Sinclair was faced with the task of telling the Gung Ho story, a promise she made to her friend Andy Longclaw, before he passed away. As she was walking away from the hospital, Peggy was wondering how she was going to keep her promise. After hearing a conversation that two men were having, something one man said to the other came through loud and clear. "The Buddhists say when the student is ready the teacher would appear." Gung Ho! is a tale of a new general manager challenged with turning a failing business at Walton Works #2 into a success. Old man Morris thought for sure he would use Peggy Sinclair for a scapegoat. After figuring this out, she was out to prove him wrong. This book teaches management personnel how to motivate and improve performance of those they direct. The three simple techniques, "The Spirit of the Squirrel," "The Way of the Beaver" and "The Gift of the Goose" stand for worthwhile work, in control of achieving a goal, and cheer each other on respectively, are excellent tools to motivate others, though a lot of people do not utilize these tools or feel that a word of praise is necessary. I have presented my manager with these same ideas, before I ever read this book; only to be told "They get a paycheck, don't they? That should be all they need." I tried to reason with him and make him understand that a simple "Thank you" or "Good job" would go a long way in a positive direction. This will create good morale from the associates and they would be more apt to "buy into" the company goals. This is the same manager that gave me the Gung Ho! book to read. For me, the book was a refresher course in my style of management. As for my manager, I don't think he read the book, if he has, he evidently doesn't understand it. People want to be treated with respect. They want clearly defined and attainable goals to achieve. Recognition needs to be given to let others know that you appreciate their efforts. Others, myself included, will perform at maximum efficiency when someone else, especially their superiors, displays gratitude and appreciation. Any praise must be sincere, truly mean what you say; others can tell if you are being phony. What you say, and how you say it, could have a positive or a negative impact on your goals. The term Gung Ho is Chinese for "working together." Gung Ho, friend!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2003
This book is easy to read and offers wholesome useful advice to those who want to motivate others. Having read all the best-selling business and self help books, I believe we have to incorporate Optimal Thinking into corporate culture, and hire and retain people who can make the commitment to be their best regardless of the circumstances. So I recommend Optimal Thinking--How To Be Your Best Self along with this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2001
This book certainly spoke to me in a way I was not expecting. One result that was probably unintended was my newfound desire to study nature around me, people around me, things that are flowing in harmony. What's their secret?
The squirrel and beaver were absolutely fascinating in their tasks, but my hands-down favorite was the geese. I am now going to buy some beanie baby geese or something to begin passing out to people to "honk" on a job well done.
I love the method employed to tell a great truth, quite similar to the fables of old.
Well written, a must-read for anyone operating within today's organizational cultures.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
In 1848 Marx and Engels wrote, "The workers have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win." For over 150 years, capitalists have ignored those somber words of warning, preferring to goad, threaten, punish and bully employees into performing to externally determined standards.
Now, finally, a couple of unapologetic capitalists have taken into consideration the socialist critique, and expounded an appropriate leadership philosophy. Blanchard, Bowles, and Sinclair urge us to treat employees with all of the respect due to any human being, not because it is the decent thing to do, but because it is the road to success. Happy, motivated, informed, involved, empowered, and encouraged team members simply produce better than over-controlled, whipped serfs.
This is not another management text. It is a leadership manual. ...and because this is about leadership, rather than management, it won't fit those managers too petty or frightened to lead. However, for those with the courage to lead, this will prove to be an extraordinary book to which they will return over and over again.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 1998
I kept seeing Gung Ho! on the bestseller lists (New York Times and Wall Street Journal are the two I noticed) and so I decided to read it. Best decision I've made in a long time. This book has re-energized my business life and it's now doing the same for everyone in the department. Do yourself a favor and read this book if you want to be successful. It's easy to read. The authors have put it all into a handful of pages and the type is big! My kind of book. And it's Tom Peter's too. On the cover he is quoted: "This book will revolutionize any organization which adopts it, and those that don't won't survive. It's that simple." I agree with Mr. Peters.
Richard Bing New York N.Y.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 1998
I must admit, I was at first a bit skeptical of this title's "Native American wisdom" -- talk about squirrels and geese . . . however, because co-author Sheldon Bowles unselfishly provided guidance to us as we edited our own book, "Bubba on Business" (also available at, I forged ahead. What I found was an amazingly practical book, filled not with vague "principles" but solid, actionable ideas. In our consulting business, we have found no better articulation of these straightforward ideas than Blanchard and Bowles' Gung Ho! Watch out, though -- if you apply Gung Ho's learnings, it will change your business and your personal life. Kudos from someone who's a fairly skeptical reader of so-called leadership books. This one's not on the top shelf with my "show off" titles, but down where I can reach it again and again. It's really worth buying.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 2, 2001
Excellent book that was an easy and quick read. The ideas behind Gung Ho! are as old as time, as they say. However, together the three basic principles the book espouses can be implemented at home or at work. The one point that really hit home for me is how much praise plays into the equation for success and successful organizations. Most American companies are better at finding ways to criticize employees' performance vs. looking at ways to acknowledge their accomplishments and actions. I think business assumes that people are self-motivating and that praise is a corny approach to managing human capital. I for one do not subscribe to that mindset. If you are in management, or hope one day to join the management ranks, this book supplies the management 101 guide you need.
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