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Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success [Kindle Edition]

G. Richard Shell
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $7.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Wharton professor Richard Shell created the Success Course to help his world-class MBA students answer two questions that aren’t as obvious as they seem: “What, for me, is success?” and “How will I achieve it?”

Based on that acclaimed course, Springboard shows how to assess the hidden influences of family, media, and culture on your beliefs about success. Then it helps you figure out your unique passions and capabilities, so you can focus more on what gives meaning and excitement to your life, and less on what you are “supposed” to want.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Shell (Bargaining for Advantage) offers a guide to a more fruitful life based on his popular Success Course at the Wharton School of Business. In the first part of the book, the reader learns about developing his or her own definition of success—a process that includes determining the ideal life to lead and redefining happiness as something beyond family, friends, and fortune. Citing research on happiness and wealth, as well as anecdotes and spiritual wisdom, Shell concludes that meaningful work—i.e., work that uses your talents, ignites you emotionally, and is financially rewarding, in addition to building health and strong relationships—is the true measure of success. The latter half of the book illustrates the most viable way to pursue this new concept of prosperity: expand your social circle, increase your self-confidence, and focus on your unique skill set. Along the way, Shell incorporates worksheets and exercises, and he shares stories about people at different points in their careers, from Ivy League business school students to would-be retirees, who reinvented themselves to become happy, well-rounded individuals whose work inspires them and benefits larger communities. Shell's nine steps to success are simple enough to follow, and readers may come away believing that a more prosperous life is attainable with a few tweaks and a little soul searching. Agent: Michael Snell, Michael Snell Literary Agency. (Aug.)

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Shell teaches at the Wharton School of Business, and in addition to his obvious expertise in the specialties of negotiation, persuasion, and interpersonal influence, his outstanding book on achieving success has exactly what this kind of examination needs, common sense and encouragement. The author’s honesty is established early on as he posits the basic premise of his presentation, “There is no foolproof system that always leads to success.” That said—that admitted to—he nevertheless goes on to unfold a wise program that rests on two factors: one must clarify one’s goals (which means, of course, that a personal definition of success must be arrived at), and the resources and initiatives you need to achieve success should be identified. In well-ordered chapters, Shell develops the stages of his program for success, one important feature of which is determining what you do better than most people. Another aspect of his program that raises this book above others of its ilk is his exploration of the “science of impression management,” which boils down to this: social skills affect success. For all library patrons, not simply those who browse the business shelves. --Brad Hooper

Product Details

  • File Size: 1748 KB
  • Print Length: 313 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1591847001
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Revised edition (August 15, 2013)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C5R7HMU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #67,145 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By Donovan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Professor Shell brings together a wealth of information from some of the greatest books on success, happiness, and positive psychology. Not only does he present all of this information in a clear and concise format, but he also does it in a way that actually integrates (ties together) the information so as to make a clearer and more illuminating whole.

Before reading this book, by pure coincidence, I had already read nearly all of the books Professor Shell references. Even though I had already read these books, I didn't have a clear grasp of how the different concepts and ideas fit together. If I could start all over, I would have saved myself a lot of time by starting with Professor Shell's book, and then digging deeper into the books he references based on the extent to which I wanted more answers (the books he references are all really good, too, in their own respects, but they are narrower in scope).

The other important thing that Professor Shell does in this book is bring a cautious and discerning eye to his survey of the best success and happiness literature. Think of him as a gold miner panning through dirt for little nuggets of gold: When the literature or research he cites contains questionable or dubious claims, he points it out, or provides an explanation for why something that sounds utterly preposterous might actually be be true for other psychological reasons.

Lastly, he uses great examples of historic figures to illustrate some of the ideas, ones I hadn't come across before in my own survey of the literature.

This is the first time I have written a review on Amazon before, and I am doing this out of a profound sense of gratitude and respect for Professor Shell, and for my own desire to spread these ideas.

All The Best,

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended to anyone in a job or academic transition September 16, 2013
The whole genre of career success literature and trendy business books usually leaves me rushing back to fiction, but I found Springboard to be a very thoughtful, common sense guide to defining success, assessing your unique skills, and getting on a path to finding meaningful work. Perhaps because the author did not start his academic career until he was 37 and spent most of his 20s unemployed, the book has a refreshing honesty and credibility that most "business books" lack. I'd highly recommend the book to anyone in a job or academic transition--it's a useful meditation on pointing yourself in the right direction.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am now in my 60s, and am looking for what to do next in life. This book is very helpful at helping navigate those tough questions. It attempts to help the reader answer two questions: 1) what is success in your life, and 2) how do you achieve it? It doesn't provide answers, but rather food for thought and some exercises to assist you in answering these questions. I'm getting a lot out of reading this. Well researched and written.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 50+ success books later, this may be my favorite December 5, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Over the past 2 years, I've read 52 books in the genre of success/personal development. Roughly one book every two weeks, ranging from classics like Napoleon Hill's Think & Grow Rich to modern works like Gladwell's Outliers. That said, I definitely feel that I have a good grasp on the genre/what's out there.

Here's what you need to know: Springboard is BY FAR one of the best discourses on the topics of personal development & success that I have ever encountered.

STRENGTHS: It's not just about synthesizing what's already out there. Springboard helped provide me with new ways of thinking about my own definition of success far beyond the workplace, and also provided actionable exercises & steps to apply Richard Shell's unique perspectives. I was so inspired that I bought copies for my entire family.

WEAKNESSES: I also grabbed a copy of the audiobook to listen while driving. This book is definitely best as a hardcopy, as you can more easily follow and complete the valuable exercises/thought experiments that Shell proposes.

In my opinion, this book is an absolute MUST for any student of life, success, and business. I highly recommend it.

-Anthony Balduzzi
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Double Up On Happiness And Meaning With Others September 7, 2013
In the longest study of what led men to live happily and successfully to a ripe old age, guess what trait they were most likely to have in common? The lives of 268 men who entered Harvard College in 1937 were tracked for seventy-two years in The Harvard Study of Adult Development. Those who made it into middle and old age as "happy" and "healthy" shared seven traits: mental adaptability to changes in life, advanced education, stable marriage, not smoking, not abusing alcohol, getting some exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Yet one factor was more important than any of these: Attention to relationships. When the primary investigator on this study for over 40 years, psychiatrist, George Vaillant, was asked, "What have you learned?" he quickly answered, "that the only thing that really matters in life is your relationships with other people." It was the social life of these men, he said, "not intellectual brilliance or parental social class" that led to their living successfully to a ripe old age. The creator of Wharton's popular "Success Course," G. Richard Shell offers an approach to finding success that can lead to happiness, with others, in his new book, Springboard. Beyond cultivating close relationships, to feel happy, Shell cites the ineffable feeling one's doing the right thing, described in two ways:

1. Eudaimonia is what "Arististotle called the spirit of goodness or the good that we seek for its own sake and not for the purpose of achieving any other good," according to Shell.
2. Simcha is a Hebrew word with many interpretations, Shell notes, "from simple joy and satisfaction, to the feeling of spiritual exultation" or what Rabbi Akiva Tatz calls "The experience of the soul that comes when you are doing what you should be doing.
Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Best book of this genre I have read!
Published 12 days ago by J.R. in Chicago
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
Really good outline at defining what personal success looks like. Highly recommended for anyone sorting out where to take themselves
Published 2 months ago by Matt
5.0 out of 5 stars Is it easy to understand and with doubt a good one
This is the first English book which I read the whole book. Is it easy to understand and with doubt a good one ! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mei
5.0 out of 5 stars Part narrative, part handbook, Springboard is an excellent guide to...
Springboard elegantly guides you through exercises to discover what meaningful work and a meaningful life looks like to you. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Caitlyn
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read in a decade
One of the best books I have read in a decade. If you are confused about where to go in life, this is the answer.
Published 4 months ago by Mark
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful and useful book.
Richard Shell starts with a very interesting personal story and then goes on to provide us with theory and practice on how to reconsider our own stories and be more intentional... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Harris S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth more than the price of a college degree!
If this book were required in high school and college, it would correct a lot of the inefficiencies in the labor market. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Caffeinista
4.0 out of 5 stars Focused and Actionable
I like this sort of,book. It's based on an actual class, so the structure has actually been doped out, and it has immediate real-world applications, at least if you're willing to... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Stone Mirror
Sage advice to all ages. For my children, grandchildren, and for me, the grandfather as I approach my 70th birthday this month. You have changed my life.

Published 7 months ago by C. Coonradt
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good book
I would recommend this book as simply good reading, and even better if you are looking for some inspiration to make your life better.
Published 10 months ago by Nancy A. Maguire
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More About the Author

G. Richard Shell is the Thomas Gerrity Professor of Legal Studies, Business Ethics, and Management at the Wharton School of Business. His latest book, Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success (Penguin/Portfolio 2013), was named Best Business Book of the Year for 2013 by one of the largest business booksellers in the United States, 800CEOREAD. His earlier works include the award-winning Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People (2006) and The Art of Woo: Using Strategic Persuasion to Sell Your Ideas (2007)(with Mario Moussa). He is Director of the Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop and the Wharton Strategic Persuasion Workshop. He has taught thousands of students and executives, including everyone from Navy SEALs and Fortune 500 CEOs to FBI hostage negotiators, hospital nurses, and public school teachers.

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