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on July 5, 2014
Update 03/17/16:
Even though I love the book and still recommend you read it, the quiz that comes with the book is now offered all over online with a sign up code you can google. I took this "How the World Sees You" quiz again a year later and got different results! Take the quiz with a grain of salt.

I had originally given this book 2 stars because of how the publisher really messed up the delivery of the digital versions of this book but now after I've actually read the book, I'm upping the rating to 5 stars for the amazing content!

I had to buy this book because I have always wanted to know what the world thought about me. What sold me was in the video on the book's website, Sally pointed out that other assessments (like the MBTI) tell you how you see the world but none really tells you how the world sees you! This was a darn valid point because my view of myself might be skewed based on traumatizing life experiences, guilt or pride, or my belief of myself based on what people have labeled me as previously. Needless to say, I was super excited to read this book and take the assessment!

I would say the content in this book was both what I had expected and what I did not expect. I had expected to learn more about my personality through this book and I definitely did! The books walks you through all 49 archetypes (or personality profiles) and the in-depth descriptions of each, just like any other personality inventory. What I did not expect was that many of the research and anecdotes presented in this book deal with the workplace and how you can leverage your personality "advantages" to be success at your job. If you are looking for a book that describes in-depth psychological thought patterns or behaviors in a scholarly or clinical manner, this is not the book!

In fact, the premise of this book is all about formulating and recognizing your personal branding and helping people you work with recognizing it too so you can "sell" your value in the work place. This book teaches that instead of trying to be the best at everything or be a jack of all trades, really put your eggs in one basket and try to excel at your predominant personality advantages and avoid your dormant advantage (the one you are not very good at). The 7 advantages are Innovation, Power, Passion, Mystique, Prestige, Trust, and Alert. The top two advantage determine which one of the 49 archetypes you are. You'll have to read the book and take the quiz to find out your archetype. As far as I know, this is ground breaking, new way of categorizing people, and the in-depth archetype info is not published on the Internet (only in Sally's book).

As far as the quiz goes, a couple of my coworkers and I have taken it and we found it to be generally accurate in regards to the primary advantage. However my coworkers got ties for their secondary advantage and the quiz result did not really match up with what I thought of my coworkers! I could leave or take the assessment really. It might be easier to just give your coworkers the advantage matrix included with the book (also found on Sally's website) and just ask your coworkers what they think your top two advantages you are. After all, your results should match up with what your coworkers really think of you, right?

What I love about this book is that it stays very positive and doesn't make you feel bad about yourself for scoring high on a "less desirable" personality trait. This book explains the value and importance of all 49 archetypes and how a successful team needs all the advantages to succeed. After all, I guess that's why they are named advantages! I would not say this is true for other personality indicators like the Meyer Briggs or the Big Five. Discussing those test results with others always made me felt bad for scoring high on introversion. It makes me feel that I'm socially awkward because can't have fun at big parties or end up feeling drained when I have to talk to people. The corresponding introverted trait in this book would be Mystique but Sally came up with a cool name for it and taught me how to sell the trait as an advantage! (Plus, Mystique reminds me of the cool mutant from X-Men).

I have recently finished the third part of the book that helps you formulate your own personal anthem/personal brand. I like how the work is already done for me with the list of adjectives Sally provided for my archetype, so I don't have to think too hard to come up with my own 9 second elevator speech. I am now trying to incorporate my anthem in all my introductions: initial face-to-face meetings, my resume, even my online dating profile!

Lastly, I recommend that you buy the PHYSICAL hardcover copy of this book instead of the audiobook or the Kindle Ebook. I have bought this book in 3 different formats---see reason in original review below--and I found the hardcover copy to be the superior version. The book reads much like an reference manual, with many charts and tables and the profile descriptions of the 49 Archetypes separated into sections. You really need the book in front of you so you can flip through the pages to find and read about the profiles as you encounter them and refer to the diagrams. On the other hand, the Ebook is too difficult to navigate and the text on many of the diagrams were blurry and the Advantage matrix was presented in black and white. The audio book came with a companion pdf but all diagrams and charts in it were also black and white. If you get the hard covered book, the 49 Advantage matrix is at the front and back of the book in full color! For the Ebook, you lose much of the formatting of the content.

As for the audiobook, I enjoyed listening to Part I of the audiobook and I loved how the author narrated most of the book herself. For a while, it sounded like I was attending a workshop led by Sally herself. However, the unabridged audiobook proved too tedious to listen to after Part II (which is maybe 3 hours into the book?). The profile pages of each of the 49 Archetype was read in a separate chapter in the audiobook and an overwhelming number of chapters had repetitive sections that explained--over and over again--what a "wellspring" is or what "quick sand" is or why you need to know your primary advantages in order to fascinate people. After looking at the physical copy of the book, I realized it was because the book's formatting contained many section titles or bulleted lists or takeaway boxes that summarized what previous paragraphs had already said. I guess since it is the unabridged version, they read all these summary sections, too! Imagine hearing someone reading an essay about a topic and then rereading the same info to you again 5 minutes later, except this time as if all the information where condensed in a PowerPoint slide deck. I also don't like how none of the chapters in the audiobook are labeled with section names (at least not in the version) so I could not easily skip to the chapter that talked about the archetypes I actually cared about.

Other than my complaint about the digital versions of this book, I give this book 5 stars. I would not be surprised if this book ends up on the NY Times best-seller list! I'm telling all my coworkers about it!

-----ORIGINAL Review from 07/05---Please see comments: the issue has been addressed-----
The Kindle version and the Audible version of this book do not come with the one-time code to access the free Fascination Advantage Assessment like the book contents and the product description claims! I am royally upset because I went out and bought 2 copies of this book in different formats and I haven't been able to actually find out which of the 49 Archetypes personalities I am. I also spent a good hour sitting on customer support for the Audible, Kindle, and Hardcover book departments to ask if they can confirm I can get this code. Customer support didn't know what I was talking about. I don't know if this is poor execution due to the publisher or Amazon!

In Part I of this book and the intro, Sally reads in her audiobook that I was suppose to have gotten this code with the audio book for the assessment later! This was recorded in the audio book! In Part II of this book, Sally starts talking about how I should take a moment to take the complementary assessment to find my personality type then come back to listen to the description of each of the archetypes. Since I was not given this code and therefore cannot take the assessment, the rest of this book is useless for me because the advice I need to follow depends on the results of that assessment.

I could technically go read the descriptions of each of the 49 archetypes (or personality types) mentioned in this book and pick the one that most resonates with who I think I am but that would defeat the purpose of finding "how the world sees me". Picking out the one that most suits me would be like evaluating "how I see myself".

It seems like the only way to get this code is to buy the hardcover version of this book, but I could not confirm this with the Amazon customer support either. It should be some kind of insert stuck in the back cover that you have to scratch off to reveal a one time use code. Publisher, please update your digital book content to match what you are advertising!
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on July 25, 2014
Let's start with this. It's all true. Sally Hogshead really is an icon in the industry I'm also in - advertising - and she really did do all these things that she says she did. From the beginning of her career, she has been the wizard of fascination. Top of the heap. Unquestionable.

She won the talent lottery, no doubt about it. But this book is not a "things I've learned in my fabulous career" sort of thing at all. Those are conversational and anecdotal, whereas underneath the sparkling surface of Hogshead's award-winning writing is a paragon of structure, science, and system.

This isn't just a book -- it's a fully-formed system. It isn't just for reading, it's for using. It's not a story, it's a fascinating tool.

What blows me away is the enormous value I get from every page of it. What boggles my mind is the amount of work -- thinking, researching, organizing, testing, proving, designing, optimizing -- that went into making this such a powerful system for understanding not only how the world sees you, but how the world sees your colleagues, friends, companies and brands, how to choose and build teams based on understanding the archetypes of each of the players, and what you can do to double down on your advantages and then do it again.

This is Hogshead's masterwork, destined to be a classic. It's already been compared to Myers-Briggs and Maslow's Hierarchy and has already been shown to have significant advantages over other systems for understanding how the world sees us, how we see each other, and what that means for our lives, our teams, and brands.

I find it extraordinary useful. I have it on my Kindle, but I also have a hard copy at the office and another one at home. We've been using the assessments and tools for a year. Everyone on my team has a copy -- and we just won AdAge Small Agency of the Year for the Northeast Region, so I guess it's already working! How The World Sees YOU is in the well-thumbed stack with other classics such as Good to Great, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, and The E-Myth Revisited. And, right now, it's on top.

I couldn't recommend this book more highly. You will get your money's worth, and much more.
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on July 31, 2014
“How The World Sees You” has a sound premise: find out what distinguishes you from others and use it to “fascinate” people and carve out a niche in your career. Unfortunately, the book lacks any real depth, and the book’s marketing trades heavily in false promises.

I discovered Sally’s work through Marie Forleo, over a year before the book was released. I thought it sounded interesting, and promptly parted with $37 to do her online assessment. The results didn’t blow my mind, but they did encourage to me to look at myself from a slightly different angle. The resulting profile lacked in detail, but I presumed it was just an advertisement – that the real depth would come later, in the book.

More impressive were the once- to several-times-a-week emails I started receiving from Sally, which were charming, intriguing, and piqued my interest in the book. So, in response to one of those expertly crafted marketing emails, I bought the book, and gave another $29.99 to Ms Hogshead. When the book arrived, I expected to more about my archetype and advantages, but lo and behold! There was maybe only a paragraph or two more information than that which I’d already paid for through the website. Something that Ms Hogshead does not make her subscribers aware of in her emails – on the mailing list, it is as if they are two separate products.

Part of the problem, I suspect, is that the book tries to cover SO MANY different personality types – 49 in all, as compared to 16 on the much-maligned Myers-Briggs – which means that each archetype is discussed only very briefly. And if your “fascination advantage” is determined by a survey you fill out yourself, how could it reflect “How The World Sees You”?

But I wonder if the lack of depth in the book is a reflection of the lack of depth in Ms Hogshead’s theories. The book tells you nothing you couldn’t learn from the online assessment, and in the online “book club” she hosted today, she did nothing more than retread what everyone on the call had already read – much to the annoyance of many people on the call.

On its merits alone, I’d give HTWSY three stars – it’s not bad, just not the revelation it is being sold as – but am downgrading it to two for its incredibly misleading marketing efforts. I can only imagine all the people giving it five stars are friends of Ms Hogshead’s, because this is an very basic book that does little to “fascinate” the thinking reader.

Although I am perhaps not one of those thinking people, as I paid for the content in this book twice, for a total of three times to rate it is selling on Amazon. Shame on me for believing the hype!
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on August 31, 2014
The biggest strength of Sally's book (and research) is that it encourages people to be unique, by being themselves. It strikes a chord especially with people who realized too late that trying to conform wasn't the way to go.

Having said that, I found a few issues with this book.

First of all, if you are already familiar with Fascination Advantage (I was, having taken the test long before this book came along), I don't recommend buying the book. It had nothing new to offer to me. I was not impressed with the so called "anthem". To me the anthem seemed like the author lost track of her own fascination advantage somewhere along the way and had an urgent need to make more money. (It's offered as a different product on the website, for $197 !!

As I read through the book, I got this strong feeling that the author is still inexperienced as a book writer. The style of writing is as if this is a 10 minute video, or a short internet article. In fact, those seem to be strong areas of Ms. Hogshead. I've watched her video presentations and found them to be good. But a book needs a very different kind of buildup towards the points it's trying to present. This is as much the fault of the editor as of the author.

Now comes the most fundamental issue I have with this book as well as the research behind it. I think Sally Hogshead's research is still work-in-progress. In my opinion, it's not a finished product. To understand this point, please try the following:
1. Read through all the archetypes and see how much each applies to you. I was initially surprised to find that I seemed to fit into many of the archetypes described in the book. (This is not something you'll understand by taking the test, because the test only gives information about your own archetype.) Eventually I was confused - did I take the test correctly at all? It seems to me that perhaps a person has several different strengths, and maybe different strengths can apply to different situations? I haven't done any research on this so I can't comment with any authority. But I can no longer hold on to the "Aha moment" I had when I first got the test results.
2. Since the fundamental premise of the book is about how "others" see you, try the same on others. That is, try to figure out which archetype applies to people you know. Here came the surprise for me - it was extremely difficult to fit my acquaintances, friends, family into any single archetype - even when I clearly knew what their strengths were.

Sally Hogshead has certainly done some pioneering work in her area of expertise. But she needs to focus on completing her life's work rather than prematurely marketing it as a finished product. I wish her all the best.
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on July 9, 2014
FASCINATION ADVANTAGE....I've come to recognize the power of these two words, as they've unlocked more potential in my life than I ever dreamed possible.

Tired of not being trusted? Feel like you're perceived as way too passive? Can't connect because you push people away? The free code provided in every copy of the book will help you to understand what lies dormant in you, and has the potential to build amazing bridges of purpose when you put it into a strategic plan of action.

In many respects, understanding how POWER + PRESTIGE fuel my opportunities in life has brought enormous fulfillment. I've attracted the people that now keep me from over-reaching and make asking for ongoing help as an entrepreneur much more comfortable. I've learned that I previously lost enormous trust because of not seeing the importance of slowing down long enough and authentically connect with the important people in my life.

For me, the amazing thing is that I was so compelled into action after getting to know the real me, that I launched a Non-Profit with my son to help other people reach Peak Performance. Now I have the fulfillment of working alongside my 13 year old in life, and having him co-lead our Tuesday evening Mastermind calls. We've gone on to write a book together helping mom's of 13-15 year old boys transition into being their son's Coach at home to get their voice back.

I could go on and on, but it would likely sound like I work for the company. At 44, I'm just a simple guy who loves people and has found my ability to connect and impact those around me. For every year I live this way, I gain five years of lost time and purpose back!
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on August 26, 2014
I'm glad others liked it but I found it to be repetitive and lacking in substance. It's a lot like Strengths Finder 2.0 but more motivational and cheerleadery sounding, full of quotes about "becoming who you are" and your "fascination halo effect that radiates around you" etc etc. I thought it would give me some methods to interpret how the world saw me... that is the title, after all. More about reading people, questions to ask them about your relationships, cues to tell if they're on board. But the book has none of that. It seems to take the stance that if you know yourself really well (through personality tests) and you're true to yourself, people will all just fall in love with you. That's great if you want to dwell on your special snowflakeness for a while, but it doesn't always work in real life. I needed something more practical.
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on July 15, 2014
Firstly, I loved the taglines "Instead of focusing on your strengths, highlight your differences," and "You don't learn to be fascinating; you unlearn boring." These two lines are this book in a nutshell.

Personally, the book provided me with much-needed perspective. Instead of second-guessing what context to judge my strengths from professionally, why not simply focus on what makes me different? I won't make you cringe by using "spot-on" here, but it applies.

Context is another big point in this book: If you base your self opinion on the wrong context, you might fall into soft-pedaling what makes you shine (which is what happened to me).

I love the sections that help you capitalize on strengths and summarizing the archetypes (primary advantage x secondary advantage = archetype, as determined by the assessment).

Note: You need the license code for the assessment, because the book is much less useful if you can't take the assessment. (Other reviewers have noted some difficulties in any but the printed version of the book.)

Why this review gives four stars: (1) The assessment is self-reported. For example, it asks whether others come to you for solutions or great ideas. I said yes, but that is something I secretly cherish about myself, not what someone else told me. (2) The book does describe your dormant advantage (mine being trust), but in reading an archetype there is no discussion of how to deal with negative perceptions against your type. For example if you're a catalyst, how do you turn things around with people who respond negatively to passionate expression and continual ideas but lack of follow-through? (3) The book makes much of short descriptions, called taglines, about a personality. I can see the high value it would have in self-descriptions. For some archetypes, the example taglines sounded great. For my own archetype, it sounded nonsensical. But the assessment report does provide several powerful nouns and adjectives you can use to create your own, which I did.

All in all, I am glad I purchased this book and took the assessment simply for the gift of a different perspective and ideas for a tagline that can help me professionally.
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on December 13, 2014
Sally did an excellent job of inventing a new personality test that focuses on what you don't know about yourself rather than you do: your highest advantages and how others see you. I love the idea of differentiating yourself from others more than the idea of improving or playing to your strengths. The test I took did provide me with some interesting insights I've been noticing about myself, but always thought I should improve on them since I always considered them my weaknesses (I am Mystique). However, Sally's deep dive into every archetype really helped to acknowledge some of my traits and turn them into my advantages.
The book is well written, however, there is a lot of water and repetitive content. I got pretty bored around page 250-300 and could not wait for the book to be over. The best content is in the beginning of the book and actual description of the archetypes. I would cut this book in half to keep a reader focused.
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on July 30, 2014
Prior to purchasing this book, I was able to access my fascination advantage report using a free online code. The report was very thorough, interesting, and unlike anything I had ever read before. Discovering that I am a "Trendsetter" (Innovation + Prestige), was a real "aha" moment. As someone in the business of being creative, it did not surprise me that creativity would be my highest asset. I found the real value in the report, was in discovering my weaknesses (though Ms. Hogshead does not refer to them that way), and understanding that it is ok not to be great at everything. In fact, trying to be great at everything can ultimately be detrimental to your career (and ultimately yourself). For me it was accepting that while my brain is on conceptually creative overdrive, I am not so great at the little details...and spreadsheets, forget it! It forced me to embrace and foster my innate value, and understand that I do not have to be great at spreadsheets in order to be valuable (there are other archetypes perfect for that type of work, and together we make a great team). I found the book itself to be incredibly interesting, and gave me many opportunities to reflect on myself and my career. It helped me to understand why certain situations worked out very well, while others left me frustrated (or even feeling like I failed). Ms. Hogshead sheds light upon not only your highest value, but helps you understand how to communicate more effectively based upon your unique advantage. The part of the book that hit home for me, was the "Double Trouble" mode, which is what happens when your primary advantage (in my case innovation), goes into a frenzy and becomes exaggerated to the point of being a negative trait. For example, innovation is the language of creativity, but if not balanced out can easily lead to chaos, too much risk taking, even trouble makers...otherwise known as "The Anarchy." This is some really important information to reflect on, and the author provides suggestions on how to balance yourself when you start to feel your "Double Trouble" mode taking over (which ever that may be for you). I also enjoyed coming up with my anthem. Yes, I am creative, but how? In all, it was an interesting, quick read, that gave some great insight. As someone who plans on starting a business in the near future, I am sure I will refer back to this book when I am building a team, as it emphasizes how crucial it is to hire people who balance each other out. I may have a blast sitting with another Trendsetter, and spitting out ideas. But who is going to work out the fine print? Together we would have a million innovative ideas, but neither would enjoy the detailed execution process. With that said, the reason I am giving this book four stars, and not five (and this is where I wish I could give four and a half), is because I would have loved to learn more about how to best apply my fascination advantage to the real word. In other words, I would have liked some concrete information on how to incorporate all this new information, and not just theory and personal branding. However, there is still very much to be taken away from the book, and I highly recommend it to anyone at any point in their career (I can see this being a very valuable tool for recent college grads, or even students trying to decide on a major). It is so easy to get hooked into thinking that we should be everything...which is impossible. No one is everything, and trying to communicate in ways that do not come naturally is ultimately exhausting and unfulfilling. Ms. Hogshead's theory is that we are at our best (and most fascinating), when we work within the realm that comes most naturally to us. She definitely won me over, and I look forward to future work by this author.
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on August 6, 2014
I did not find this book and its analysis to be any different than the DISC profile I had on myself as conducted by a professional that my company hired to analyze our entire team.

I was particularly interested in the section where a brief 'anthem' is developed to help concisely define your personal brand -- what a disappointment! That section is extremely brief and lacks sufficient resources to make meaningful progress. Coincidentally -- you can purchase an add-on for $177 from the website for them to help you with additional tools to create the 'anthem'.

I find this to be a thinly veiled go at an upcharge, and a bit deceptive with regards to what is promised in the book by way of a value proposition.

Finally and most importantly - THEY SPAM YOU!!! As soon as you create an account and log in to see the results of your analysis -- get ready for daily spam trying to upcharge you, beg you to attend webinars, etc. SO ANNOYING.

Stick with DISC and look at books like Taking Flight or other texts that aren't written with an underlying profit motive to upsell you and spam you into oblivion . . .
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