11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2012
In 1996 I read a book called, The Road Less Traveled & Beyond: Spiritual Growth in an Age of Anxiety by Scott Peck. In it I read a quote from Oliver Wendell Holmes: "I don't give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I would die for the simplicity on the other side." I took that to mean you really have to study a topic intensely for a long period of time before you can explain it in simple, easy-to-understand terms. I think Rich Horwath has gotten to a place where he is able to explain ideas on strategy in simple yet powerful and practical ways. In this book, Strategy For You, Rich has made the complicated simple and easy to understand and he helps the reader apply the business idea of strategy to his or her personal life.
Here are some specific ideas I really liked:
First, GOST with a Purpose and a Vision. I really like the simplicity of GOST. By far the simplest and easiest to understand explanation of goals, objectives, strategies and tactics I've ever read. If I had known that 15 years ago I could have saved a lot of groups endless time arguing about the difference between strategies and tactics. Also, I really like the idea that GOST has to be based on a purpose and a vision.
Second, I like the humorous, and usually self-deprecating humor, stories in the book (like the guy in Africa who wanted to marry Rich's wife, Anne).
Third, I like the way Rich defined his terms. For example, I really like the definition of a decision, which means to cut off. That was a perfect way to encourage people to get focused.
Fouth, I liked the Individual Survey. I think this tool at the beginning of the book helps the reader personalize the ideas in the book to the areas that mean the most to him or her.
All in all, I believe your investment of time in this book will be time well spent. I believe you will walk away with ideas you can use right away that will impact the future direction of your life.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
There are business situations in which the goal is to ascend (e.g. to reach a higher level of productivity, efficiency, profitability) and other situations in which the goal is to descend (e.g. to drill down past symptoms to the root causes of a problem) and successfully achieving either goal depends almost entirely on one's attitude. Long ago, Henry Ford observed, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." Attitude is even more decisive when there are severe challenges to overcome. Years later, Jack Dempsey had this in mind when explaining that "champions get up when they can't."
I mention all this because, in an earlier book, Deep Dive, Rich Horvath makes brilliant use of extended metaphors for both ascension and descent. He provides a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective program by which to prepare to achieve success at either great heights or great depths. More specifically, he explains the four types of strategic thinkers, the strategic thinking assessment, and the three disciplines of strategic thinking
Note: It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of an appropriate strategy. I presume to suggest that you think of a strategy as a "hammer" that drives "nails," or tactics. It guide and informs initiatives to achieve the given goal or objective. In his latest book, Howath again invokes an extended metaphor - bridge building - while suggesting that a sound strategy resembles a bridge in some respect as it enables people to make effective use of their resources - time, talent, and money - to achieve their goals. So, strategies can drive organizational as well as individual initiatives but they can also facilitate connections and eliminate barriers to those initiatives.
As I began to read this book, I was again reminded of the title of one of Marshall Goldsmith's best books, What Got You Here Won't Get You There. In fact, given the pace and tumult of the business world now, what gets anyone here won't let them remain "here," wherever and whatever that may be. Horwath stresses the importance of dreams while agreeing with Thomas Edison that "vision without execution is hallucination." That is why he provides and then thoroughly explains a five-step process to a better life, whatever and wherever "there" may be. Here's the process: (1) select a location for the bridge, (2) identify its unique design features that will differentiate it, (3) obtain the most appropriate building materials, (4) build the "bridge," and then (5) cross it and proceed to the given destination, the desired life.
These are among the passages of greatest interest and value to me, lusted with the hope they give at least come indication of the range of subjects that Howath discusses:
o Strategy as a Bridge (Pages 2-4)
o The GOST Framework (22-27)
o The Bridge Not Taken (61-63)
o Investing in Your Bridge (71-75)
o Focus to Succeed (79-82)
o Not-to-Do List (82-84)
o Five SWOT Traps (98-101)
o A blueprint for Your Life (104-108)
o The Discipline to Prepare (115-117)
o Strategy Conversations (117-120)
I commend Horwath on his brilliant use of various reader-friendly devises such as "Bridge in Progress" sections that feature a story from a real person involved in a real-world situation relevant to the given chapter's material, " end-of-chapter Bridgework Ahead" sections that assist completion of exercises, and a "Construction Summary" that reviews key points. These devices will facilitate, indeed accelerate frequent review of key material later.
As I re-read this book while formulating questions for my second interview of Rich Horwath, I was again reminded of my maternal grandparents who left their homes in Sweden and, separately, arrived in America and proceeded to Chicago work as indentured servants for a wealthy family. It was there that they met an, over time, earned enough to repay their sponsors for the relocation costs, then married and started a family. Edith Johnson was a cook and housekeeper; Axel Johnson was a handyman and chauffeur. Millions of others - before and since my grandparents did -- came to the United States in search of a better life. Their dream and a sound strategy helped them to build a bridge and then cross it.
Do you have a dream and need a "bridge" to help make it come true? Look no further than this book and its author. They will accompany you every step of the way.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2013
I have read nearly everything written by Rich Horwath, and have a great appreciation for his insights and how they have helped leaders and organizations think and execute more strategically (and profitably). Imagine my surprise when I opened Rich's latest book, Strategy for You, to discover that his recommendations this time would change more than just my work performance, but my entire life.
Like many mid-career professionals, I had arrived at a place where my whole life was about my work. I spent more time at the office (or thinking about workplace projects) than I spent enjoying hobbies, family and sleep combined. I have been commended for my strategic thinking in the workplace (much of which I'd honed through lessons from Horwath!), and thought I had a strong plan in place for everything that matters. Within the first few pages of Horwath's book, however, I felt shaken to my core. I didn't have a plan for my mind, body, relationships or finances. How was it possible that the truly important things in my life have never made it into my "strategic plan?"
If you have even an inkling that the many dimensions of your life might be out of balance or that you're not moving swiftly toward the life you really want to live, you should read this book. It's not "self help" in a touchy-feely way - it's a challenge from one business person to the rest of us to use the strategic thinking and planning skills we have learned and perfected in our careers to start focusing on the other parts of our lives that matter. And, by the way, this book will make you sharper at work too.
By the time I finished the book, I had left my full-time employment to launch a consulting firm, my husband and I hired a financial advisor to help us get more clarity on our financial goals, and I had made significant commitments to my overall physical health and mental wellness.
When I got to the book's Step 5, I was laughing and grinning at reading the words: "You know the saying We'll cross that bridge when we come to it? Well, you've come to it." Indeed. And crossing it has been more satisfying than I'd ever imagined. Read this book. Then read it again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 28, 2014
My name is Jesús Alberto Lozada. I worked for BRINKS Venezuela as Strategic Planning Manager during several years and since 2009 I am a lecturer for the Andrés Bello Catholic University (jesuit]) in Caracas, Venezuela, teaching Strategy.Planning. I can endorse that this is an excellent book. I have used its examples to help my students and they understand issues about strategy easily. I would like to chat with the author.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2012
Rich does an outstanding job in applying concepts many of us are used to seeing in the business world, and applying them to your personal life situation. This is a book that can help you to figure out how to improve your own life and how to reach you goals in your personal life, in an easy to understand, very practical manner. The connection Rich makes between building a bridge and managing your life is a brilliant way to explain it. If you are looking for a bag full of promises on how you can instantly change your life, and make everything great overnight, dont read this - go buy a lottery ticket. But if you are honestly looking for a way to process and develop a pathway to reach your goals in life, then this is a "must read" for you - go get this book
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2012
Rich Horwath applies MBA-minded strategic planning to your life plan. Methodically leads you along the path to finding your life purpose, defining your goals and objective, and designing a strategy to achieve them. We're all familiar with these concepts in the world of business, some of us even excel at strategic analysis and planning. But few of us ever apply these methods to enhance our own personal lives. Rich Horwath does just that in this book. It is an engaging read, filled with anecdotes, short (single page) stories, and clear definitions and reasoning for optimizing your own life. It is a quick read, packed with practical step-by-step instruction and methods gleaned from Horwath's 25 years of experience in strategic planning. One of the best books I have read this year!! Highly reco'd.
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
This book gives us tools to reach our goals.These tools are not new,but highly condensed in this book.Five-step plan which outlined in small book gives us rethink our thinkings ,objectives,actions.Last part is little bit complicated,but if you read carefully you will understand it.All in all it is a useful book for people who want to accomplish his/her goals strategically.I highly recommended this book to everyone.We must it read it again again.Highly recommended.
on November 7, 2014
Practical and useful but rather simplistic.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2013
This is one of those books that has the potential to change your life. I knew it was unusual when I didn't sit down and read it straight through, and after two months I still haven't finished it. Instead, I've actually slowed down and worked through each of the exercises. So what's different about it? So many bestselling books talk about setting goals and finding your purpose. If you go back and dig in, you find only a few hints on how to actually implement their advice. Instead of spending chapters telling you why you need purpose, goals, and strategy for your life, Rich Horwath's book lays out a clear and effective process step by step. The steps are so clear and practical, it's compelling to just dive in and follow them.
The short section on GOST is the best explanation of strategy and tactics I've ever read, and I finally understand the difference. Even more importantly, I know how to actually put them to use in my life.
I also like the categories Horwath uses to divide the areas of life. Body, Mind, Relationships, and Finance. This may seem simple, but categories tend to put your life in boxes. These boxes are refreshingly free of the Career box. Instead your career is now one channel to fulfill the much broader categories of purpose and goals.
The exercises for understanding your purpose are especially effective. I've found understanding my purpose to be an elusive goal, and this has taken me a long way towards realizing it.
I continue to be impressed with this book and highly recommend it.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2012
I truly enjoyed reading this book. This is the second book I have read by Rich Horwath. Rich has a fresh writing style that makes his books easy to read quickly with maximum retention. As a goal oriented person I loved learning from Rich and the methods he puts for in "Strategy For You." If you are looking for a good read that will keep you entertained but also help you progress as a person, do not miss out on this book.