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Nine Things Successful People Do Differently [Kindle Edition]

Heidi Grant Halvorson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Are you at the top of your game—or still trying to get there?

Take your cues from the short, powerful 9 Things Successful People Do Differently, where the strategies and goals of the world’s most successful people are on display—backed by research that shows exactly what has the biggest impact on performance. Here’s a hint: accomplished people reach their goals because of what they do, not just who they are.

Readers have called this “a gem of a book.” Get ready to accomplish your goals at last.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. is a motivational psychologist and author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals (Hudson Street Press, 2011). She is an expert blogger on motivation and leadership for the websites of several leading publications, including Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Psychology Today. Her personal blog, The Science of Success, can be found at Follow her on Twitter @hghalvorson.

Product Details

  • File Size: 104 KB
  • Print Length: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press (October 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00607EX1E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,554 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
48 of 56 people found the following review helpful
By S Payne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very short and quick read. Personally, I found it simply reinforces what I consider to be "common sense" and what I mostly try to do. I didn't find anything here that is earth shattering other than the author is not a snake oil motivational sales person, but a logic straight forward person - so this book has none of the crock that typically pervades this type of genre.
As the author is an academic psychologist, I did find the few referrals to actual experiments too sparse, and too general. Anyhow, as I understand it, this book is the teaser to her longer work "Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals" - maybe I should read this one for a more in depth treatment.
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51 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatly Increase Your Chances of Success November 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
"There are nine things that successful people do - the strategies they use to set and pursue goals that, according to decades of research, have he biggest impact on performance."

Heidi Grant Halvorson, a psychology professor at Columbia University and author of the highly acclaimed "Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals", has written about the nine things we need to know and do in order to achieve our goals.

This is a gem of a book. A real treasure. While I really enjoyed and learned from her book Succeed, in some respects I think this one can be a much more valuable tool for those readers who are more interested in specific strategies and steps to take in order to improve their chances of success.

While this book leaves out a lot of the material that serves as scientific back-up for the nine steps, the information is available to the reader who wants it. Throughout the book, certain keywords are underlined. Click on the underlined keywords and you are taken to websites which offers additional information and support for the studies.

The book is very short and a breeze to read. You should be able to read it in about an hour. But my suggestion would be to read it through one time to get the overall theory and then go back through it and actually do the suggested exercises. Some of the nine things will require a change in mindset. I believe by reading the book a few times and internalizing the ideas, you will be able to start developing a success mindset.

A great part of the value of the book is in the structure and presentation. The nine steps are not cluttered with a lot of stories or theory. There is certainly enough information to explain and support the premises for each point.
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74 of 98 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short rehash of every other self-improvement book December 29, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very disappointed in this book. First of all, it is S-H-O-R-T. Doesn't Amazon have some minimum where if it is shorter it is supposed to be a Kindle Single? If so, this book barely passed the minimum number of words. But the biggest issue I have is that it is a bunch of re-treaded ideas that have been in self-help books since the olden days. For example, Chapter 1 is "Set Specific Goals." I think anyone who has studied goal setting for any amount of time has seen this idea repeatedly.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a ok short article May 10, 2013
By ht
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like it being specific
I dislike it lacking structure.
It could further improve by giving some quotes or examples by successful people
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cute Book May 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I guess this little book, it can fit into your shirt pocket, validated many of the things I already knew about good habits of successful people.

That's why I only gave it 3 stars.

What's interesting about human behavior, even after someone reads this books, the likelihood they'll follow through on some or all of the concepts is low.

If you don't read a lot on this subject, the book is worth buying and dipping into on a regular basis for years to come.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent short book August 17, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic scientifically-validated strategies to accomplish your goals. One of my favorite books - short, packed full of knowledge, and unbelievably helpful and useful. Get it - you will not regret it. If you're thinking about getting the author's longer book Succeed, I'd recommend getting this one and saving the extra time and money; I've read both and all of the strategies presented in the longer book are present in this shorter version. Enjoy!
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute gem December 14, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
There is a sea of research out there on motivation and goals. This is, BY FAR, the most concise, well-written, and useful summary of that research I've ever seen. Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson has succeeded in a monumental task, no doubt following her own advice on how to succeed. The proof is in the pudding. I highly recommend this e-book for anyone who wants to know what it really takes to succeed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars thankfully brief January 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Apparently contradictory reviews aren't. If you have read similar books, such as the 7 Habits of Effective People you will think that this book is lightweight, too short and not well written. If, on the other hand, you are new to this genre you will think it is a jewel.
The problem of this book is that it relies on mediocre social science research, which in most cases present correlations as cause and effect. Such practice is often wrong because human psychology is very complex and responds to multiple causes. Also, the writer does not seem to be aware of the problem of studies with small sample size. She cites a study with Only 25 obese women who are then divided them according to their expectations of the results of a diet.
Fortunately, although the science is weak, most of what is said is obvious, as pointed out by others, so the tedous "studies show" can be just ignored.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars this is a great summary of her work
ive said thos about Mrs. Halvorson's other work: its sll rehashing og the same concepts. this is a great summary of her work, though. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Armen Topchyan
5.0 out of 5 stars Keep around to read more than once
Useful. I appreciated the research that back up the 9 things and the explanations as to why they worked. Have applied a couple of things and they work for me. Glad I read the book. Read more
Published 10 days ago by JANE LALONDE
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
One hour of reading, but wort h of it. Quite consistent and concrete motivational text!
Published 16 days ago by John Rambo
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great summary of key findings
Published 1 month ago by Andrew Carroll
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple but powerful advice
This is a short guide with very practical tips for improving performance. The book is very light on detailed explanations of the research studies on which its main ideas are... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mark Skoskiewicz
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting book, there are no many new things ...
An interesting book, there are no many new things, the new thing is that is written by an authentic scientist, able to explain deeply about the success clues, and at the same time,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Enrique L.
5.0 out of 5 stars "You must change your life," said the famous poet Rilke.
But how?

My life resists and resists. I learn fast, I am of good will--and yet I can't change my habits. Even the greats cannot do it. Read more
Published 3 months ago by John Maguire
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic use of an hour
short and packed with powerful insight. Every chapter had good examples and applications. I highly recommend reading this and putting it into practice.
Published 3 months ago by Jonathan L Reimer
5.0 out of 5 stars Successful people never give up !
I really enjoyed this book it gave me some great insight into what I need to focus on and how to rewire my thinking. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is an absolute gem
I found this book to be small in size, it was filled with information. I have read many books on goals and still found this book to add to the information that I know. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Richard White
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More About the Author

Heidi Grant Halvorson is a social psychologist, and Associate Director of Columbia's Motivation Science Center. Her research has focused on understanding why some people give up when their goals give them trouble, while others can rise to the challenge. She is the author of SUCCEED, NINE THINGS SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE DO DIFFERENTLY, FOCUS, and THE EIGHT MOTIVATIONAL CHALLENGES. Through her books, articles, and her blogs (99u, Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today, Fast Company), she hopes to help people understand that ANYONE can reach their goals, and give them the scientifically-tested strategies they need to succeed.

In addition to her work as author and co-editor of the highly-regarded academic book The Psychology of Goals (Guilford, 2009), she has authored papers in her field's most prestigious journals, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, European Journal of Social Psychology, and Judgment and Decision Making. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation for her research on goals and achievement. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for Columbia University Business School's Motivation Science Center. Her work has been praised by Carol Dweck, Matthew Kelly, Dr. Edward Hallowell, and Peter Bregman, among many others.

Dr. Grant Halvorson is a member of the Association for Psychological Science, and the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, and was recently elected a Fellow of the Society for Experimental Social Psychology. She gives frequent invited addresses and speaks regularly at national conferences, and is available for speaking engagements and workshops, primarily in education and management. She received her PhD from Columbia University.

You can contact Heidi at

Visit her website at

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