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Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success Paperback – April 29, 2014


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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.) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Revised edition (April 29, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591847001
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591847007
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Packed with good information!
Mary J. Graf
I would recommend this book as simply good reading, and even better if you are looking for some inspiration to make your life better.
Nancy A. Maguire
Springboard will help you discover your own criteria for success and make choices accordingly.
Caffeinista

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Donovan on September 20, 2013
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,

Donovan
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jono Smith on September 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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 By David Alan Tussey on October 8, 2013
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 By Anthony Balduzzi on 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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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kare Anderson VINE VOICE on September 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover
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.
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