Your Garage Summer Reading Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it Lacuna Coil Father's Day Gift Guide 2016 Fire TV Stick Father's Day Gifts Amazon Cash Back Offer DrThorne DrThorne DrThorne  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $149.99 All-New Kindle Oasis AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Outdoor Recreation SnS

Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on January 27, 2009
This review covers:

- Why I found Three Laws different from most business books.

- One example of a powerful technique I use from the book.

- The concept of the "Self-Led Organization" - a company that can run itself
0Comment|84 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 1, 2009
In an age where conversations have become a commodity, a good book on the relationship between organizational performance and language is a must-read; and The Three Laws of Performance doesn't disappoint.

I was interested to see how the authors would handle the issue of generative language, language that's used to create rather than just describe. I was pleasantly surprised. Not only did the authors do a great job of navigating the delicate balance between the extremes (no appreciation for the power of future-based language on the one hand and a complete disregard for real world limitations on the other); they provided a clear road map along with engaging cases studies that help to guide the reader along a path that I believe will help leaders for years to come take their organizations to new levels of effectiveness and performance.

Ironically, the only thing I would suggest changing about this book is the language. The 3 main laws could have been stated in a way that was easier for the reader to remember. Twice now, I've tried to describe the 3 laws to a friend and I wasn't able to articulate the laws effortlessly. I had to work at remembering the precise language. For those in the same boat, here's the shorter version that I'm now using when I give a quick description of the book to friends.

1) Performance is related to perception
2) Perception is rooted in language
3) Vision casting changes perception (Or, Generative language changes perception)

Rather than perception, the authors speak of the way things occur to the members of an organization, which works great in the book, but not as great in an elevator. I imagine that they strayed from the term perception in order to steer clear of the obvious clichés related to the term. For example, "Perception is 9/10th of reality" can be used to mean too many things.

With that said, I don't want to diminish the power of this book. I found that it was one of the few books that took me a couple of nights to read because I didn't want to miss anything. It may also be one of the few books I actually read again.

The overall structure of the book worked well for me: a section describing the 3 laws, a section on leadership and the 3 laws, and then, finally, a section on personal application. The first section includes 3 chapters which introduce the 3 laws by taking the reader through a mesmerizing weave of case studies that help to put real world handles on the ideas proposed by the Three Laws.

The second section focuses on the application of these 3 laws in the context of leadership. I loved the 3 corollaries to the 3 laws written for leaders and found the concept of listening for the future of your organization to be compelling in light of the supporting case studies.

The second chapter in this middle section describes the Self-lead organization. This is a loaded term that is defined in the chapter, but in essence the authors are providing guidance to leaders on how to guide organizational conversations so that the whole organization moves in unity toward what Jim Collins described in Good to Great as the organization's hedgehog principle. I loved this chapter.

Finally, the book ends with 3 chapters in a section that focuses on a personal application of the Three Laws. Don't skip these chapters! I can only imagine what it would cost to attend a Three Laws workshop with the authors, and I felt as though they provided all the instructions needed to replicate that experience as closely as possible.

As the authors note in the final chapters, reading The Three Laws is just the first step. The real goal is mastery; and in the new age of hyper-connected, social-media-powered conversations, the future shoguns (this term will make more sense when you read the book) of organizations of all sizes will be those leaders who have not only mastered the Three Laws, but are able to train others in the same art.
66 comments|57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 27, 2009
The Three Laws of Performance could not come at a better time. Unless you have been living underground cut off from communication with the outside world, you must know that the world is facing unprecedented challenges. From the economy to the environment to global terrorism, the future doesn't look pretty. In fact it looks down right depressing.

While the authors of the book may not have intended it, the ideas in this book could very well be the answer to the question "How do we get ourselves out of this mess?" The US President has recruited some of the best minds in America to his administration to fix the US banking system, jump start the economy and stop climate change. We all may be praying that they are successful, but in each of our hearts we know that we are going to need to each embrace the required change if it is to be successful.

The personal and political habits that got us where we are now will not allow us to get where we need to go. We don't need change, we need re-invention.

So what about this book?

I, like many people want to do something about the issues that we are facing. A friend of mine gave me a copy of the book to read saying that I would like it especially because of the community work that I do. I was doubtful. I found the title to be boring and I am generally not interested in business books. She said that I would like it because I have to deal with a lot of resignation, which is true. Being an environmental advocate can feel like talking to stones.

I began reading it and got immediately intrigued by the First Law of Performance:

"How people perform correlates to the way the world occurs to them"

I would have never said it that way, but it made perfect sense to me. People don't recycle because it occurs for them like it doesn't matter. People will drive out of their way to save 10 cents on a gallon of gas or to use a 2 for 1 coupon but they won't recycle. How we act in the face of climate change or the economy really does make a difference but as my friend says, we are resigned.

This is also true even in organizations where people get paid to do a job. The authors Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan contend that it is people's individual views and the language they use to describe their situations that determine the actions they take. According to the book, the way people both view and speak about situations is influenced almost exclusively by the past. This in turn limits people's ability to adapt and work cooperatively together as past successes and failures literally limit their view of what is possible. This is true for both individual people as well as the organizations they are a part of. Just think of the auto industry or a losing sports team.

In most organizations, individual people feel that they have little or no say in what happens. As a result there is little or no real communication between the leaders and those they lead. The Three Laws asserts and illustrates that it is possible not just pay lip service to the notion of giving people a say in the organization but open a kind of platform for communication that is profoundly human.

An example of this comes in a surprisingly moving passage from the book where two women, working at the Lonmin Platinum Mine in South Africa, one black and one white were able to speak openly about their personal experiences of apartheid with one another and thus heal wounds they had carried since their childhoods. On the surface this conversation had almost nothing to do with the operations of a mine. Presumably mines care about productivity, profitability and safety, yet the legacy of distrust from apartheid and the fact that no one was willing to talk about it openly affected all of those things. The book goes on to tell the story of how a new spirit of trust developed at Lonmin and surrounding community.

The book is loaded with similar examples from real organizations all of which are used to illustrate the basic assertions of the book. I was finding it almost hard to believe until I read the endorsement from Bishop Desmond Tutu:

"God invites each of us to participate in the process of transforming the world - to create a world in which every person knows their infinite and irreplaceable worth and can truly fulfill their potential. This book filled with insights, real-life encounters and experiences, shows us how we may do this work of transformation. Applicable in the corporate, labour, political and civil society sectors - Steve and David have written an inspiring, practical book that will assist all who seek to rewrite the future of our world."

I must admit that I am one who seeks to rewrite the future of our world. I don't think I am very different than most people. As I said this is the right book at the right time.
22 comments|70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 16, 2009
One of the things I've always wondered about Management Consultants is "What do they actually do?" Or, to put it another way, "How much difference can they really make, or is it all just a bunch of hot air?"

This book certainly gives some dramatic real-life examples of radical shifts that the authors caused in companies that they advised. Shifts that went way beyond any normal conception of what we would expect to be possible. Right in the first chapter they detail a turn-round at the Lonmin mining company in South Africa, where a disastrous safety record and inter-racial tension stalemated all previous attempts to improve productivity.

The case of Lonmin was an illustration of the "First Law" - that How people perform correlates to how the situation occurs to them. This is profound. It rarely crosses our minds that what we perceive is merely our own interpretation of a situation - we take it for granted that we directly perceive the reality itself. Other people's actions often seem to us to make no sense at all - yet they will be perfectly logical to that person, given the interpretation they have: on that occurs to them as reality!

The second and third laws deal with ways that this perception of situations arise, and what can be done to re-cast them both for ourselves and for others.

Although primarily written from the perspective of resolving conflicts and challenges in a workplace contexts, every insight in the book applies just as readily to our family and inter-personal situations.
0Comment|9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
In his comments in the "Editor's Note" section that precedes the Introduction, Warren Bennis acknowledges that he was fascinated by Zaffron and Logan's "gutsy aspiration to integrate an interdisciplinary slew of disciplines as disparate as brain science, linguistics, organizational theory, and complex adaptive systems with a few fundamental laws of human and organization behavior that could lead to palpable and profound change in both domains." Frankly, I had no idea what to expect when I began to read this book but soon realized that Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan would be focusing on an especially serious challenge that most people face every day: How to develop the ability to "rewrite the future"? That is, "rewrite what people [begin italics] know [end italics] will happen." In this brilliant book, they explain how Three Laws of Performance can help their reader to complete a natural shift "from disengaged to proactive, from resigned to inspired, from frustrated to innovative." Part I (Chapters 1-3) "takes these laws one at a time, and shows how to apply them" and answers the question "Why do people do what they do?; then Part II (Chapters 4 and 5) "looks at leadership in light of the Three Laws" and answers the question "What are the interrelationships between language and occurrence?"; and finally, Part 3 (Chapters 6-8), "is about the personal face of leadership" and answers the question "How does future-based language transform how situations occur to people?"

Note: "What exactly does [the word] occur mean? We mean something beyond perception and descriptive experience. We mean the reality that arises within and from your perspective on the situation. In fact, your perspective is itself part of the way in which the world occurs to you. `How a situation occurs' includes your view of the past (why things are the way they are) and the future (where all this is going"). Indeed, they assert, "None of us sees how things are. We see how things occur to us."

Throughout their narrative, Zaffron and Logan urge their reader to keep in mind that the Three Laws of Performance really are laws, not rules, tips, stages, or steps. Each of the three "distinguishes the moving parts at play behind an observable phenomenon. A law is invariable. Whether you believe in gravity or not doesn't lessen its effect on you." Nor does any of the three lessen its effect on performance. The challenge is to understand them, to understand how there are interactions and even interdependences between and among them, and most important of all, how to apply them effectively, productively, and consistently.

Bennis and the others have their own reasons for thinking so highly of this book. Here are two of mine. First, Zaffron and Logan's ideas about "rewriting the future" may at first seem (as Bennis' suggests) "astonishing" but not after understanding exactly what they mean by it. Specifically, to "rewrite" is to overcome the quite normal tendencies of not seeing and hearing what is but, rather, only what we expect based on past "occurrences"; of protecting and defending what James O'Toole so aptly describes as "the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom;" of encouraging and, if necessary, forcing others to accept our determinations of what is and is not real; and of using descriptive language (i.e. that which accurately depicts the world as it once was or is now) rather than future-based language (also called generative language) to "craft vision, and to eliminate the blinders that are preventing people from seeing possibilities." In essence, "rewriting the future" involves using future-based language that projects a new future that replaces what conventional thinking predicts, once a process of "blanking the canvas" has been completed. Zaffron and Logan explain that process on Pages 74-81. I also suggest re-reading the discussion of "Rackets" on Pages 45-47.

Another reason why I think so highly of this book is that, in Chapter 6 ("Who or What Is Leading Your Life?") Zaffron and Logan share some especially interesting insights about "taking on some deep work - the kind of work that needs to be done for us to be leaders in our lives. And we really mean being a leader in all respects of our lives, including at work, in relationships, with family, with community, even with all of society." As I worked my way through this chapter, much of the material resonated with material in another book that I also highly admire, Alan Watts's The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are. With regard to the subtitle, Watts explains that there is no need for a new religion or a new bible. "We need a new experience -- a new feeling of what it is to be `I.' The lowdown (which is, of course, the secret and profound view) on life is that our normal sensation of self is a hoax, or, at best, a temporary role that we are playing, or have been conned into playing -- with our own tacit consent, just as every hypnotized person is basically willing to be hypnotized. The most strongly enforced of all known taboos is the taboo against knowing who or what you really are behind the mask of your apparently separate, independent, and isolated ego." This is precisely what Zaffron and Logan have in mind when stressing that each individual must first understand and then be guided and informed by the Three Laws before attempting to transform others. In the final chapter, they urge their readers to take on and then sustain seven commitments that, when made with integrity, will break the "performance barrier" in various conversation, first with one's self and then with others. For example, commit to creating a new game by declaring that something is important. "That is what you are putting at stake, and it is what you are holding yourself accountable to. When others commit to the [new] game with you, they join you on the field."

This what Jim Collins and Jerry Porras have in mind when advocating that an organization commit to what they call a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. As they explain in Built to Last, it is "a huge and daunting goal -- like a big mountain to climb. It is clear, compelling, and people `get it' right away. A BHAG serves as a unifying focal point, galvanizing people and creating team spirit as people strive toward a finish line...a BHAG captures the imagination and grabs people in the gut...Indeed, when you combine quiet understanding of the three circles with the audacity of a BHAG, you get a powerful, almost magical mix."

Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan are world-class pragmatists. They have no illusions or delusions about how difficult the challenges will be for those who make the seven commitments. However, they offer this strong reassurance to their reader: "There are no circumstances in business or in life that you can't handle with the Three Laws. No matter what hurdles you have to jump, challenges have to face, unfamiliar territory you have to cross, you're ready for it. Play the game passionately, intensely, and fearlessly. But don't make it significant. It's just a game."
0Comment|20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 5, 2010
Steve Zaffron and Dave Logan have written a book that changes the game when it comes to taking your company to the next level. They have done so by pointing out how to clear the past from defining your future and instead allowing you to create the future you desire. Sounds a bit "over the top" and it is not. If we as business leaders can take our companies through this long and difficult process, then we have the opportunity to finally move beyond the normal company dysfunction and have everyone on the same page.

This very well written book is part of the Warren Bennis collection of business management thought. The series is devoted exclusively to new and exemplary contributes to leadership practice, and this volume is definitely in the right place. The authors organized the book in three parts: 1.) the three laws in action, 2.) rewriting the Future of Leadership and 3.) mastering the Game of Performance.

The three laws of performance are: 1.) How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them. 2.) How situations occur arises in language. And 3.) Future-based language transforms how situations occur to people. The book clarifies these terms for the reader. First "occur" means the reality that arises within and from your perspective on the situation. "`How a situation occurs' includes your view of the past (why things are the way they are) and the future (where all this is going)." It is critical to understand that our view of the future includes our view of the past - and that therefore limits the options for most people. A lot of work will be to understand that past, put it to rest and be complete with it so that the future is no longer being limited by our stories, beliefs or convictions about reality from the past.

Next, it is important to understand that "how situations occur is inseparable from language." The authors use the Helen Keller story to demonstrate how incredibly powerful language is in shaping our perception of "reality." It is worth repeating their report from Anne Sullivan, Keller's tutor:

"For nearly six years I had no concepts whatever of nature or mind or death or God. I literally thought with my body. Without a single exception my memories of that time are tactual. I was impelled like an animal to seek food and warmth. I remember crying, but not the grief that caused the tears . . . . I was like an unconscious clod of earth. Then, suddenly, I knew not how or where or when, my brain felt the impact of another mind, and I awoke to language, to knowledge of love, to the usual concepts of nature, of good and evil! I was actually lifted from nothingness to human life."

Keller, because she can compare life without language to the discovery of language - through Anne Sullivan and sign language - saw language for what it is: "a force that makes us human, that gives us a past and a future, that allows us to dream, to plan, to set and realize goals." The authors also explain that we humans deal with a phenomenon of the "communicate the unsaid but communicated."

The third law is based on the concept that there are two different ways to use language. The first is descriptive - using language to depict or represent things as they are or have been. Future-based or generative language does not describe how a situation occurs; it transforms how it occurs. It has the power to create new futures and to create visions. It eliminates the descriptive limitations of the future by rewriting the future that was originally written by our descriptive language.

Part I of the book comprises three chapters--Transforming an Impossible Situation, Where is the Key to Performance: and Rewriting a Future That's Already Written. This section introduces the three laws and helps clarify the meaning of the terminology used. It's critical to remember that language defines our experience and so to define how words are used, the definitions for the purpose of the authors clearly communicating is key to the reader's successful understanding of the concepts put forth.

Part II of the book comprises two chapters and is particularly poignant at the time of this writing since we are presently having lots of discussion about the leadership lessons being learned from several incidents including the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill. The chapters are: With So Many Books on Leadership, Why Are There So Few Leaders? And The Self-Led Organization. It is the contention of the authors that there are two "Leadership Corollaries." The first is "Leaders have a say, and give others a say, in how situations occur." That is to say that a leader helps create the future, inspires others to see that future and align with it and makes sure that the environment needed for people to align exists.

The second Leadership Corollary is "Leaders master the conversational environment." The authors suggest that we consider that our organizations are a network of conversations. They ask, "Is there anything that matters that isn't done through conversations?" Conversations produce innovations. Conversations are the vehicle for delivery of services. Conversations coordinate activities.

The third Leadership Corollary is "Leaders listen for the future of their organization." Leaders create conversations from the Third Law (Future-based language transforms how situations occur to people) to invent futures for the organization that didn't previously exist. However, "leaders don't rewrite the future by themselves--they create the space and provide the `listening' for that future."

Part III of the book comprises three chapters: Who or What is Leading Your Life?, The Path to Mastery and Breaking the Performance Barrier. In this section the authors tackle the hard fact that there is almost always someone or something that is driving our lives. It could be a distant past decision you made about who you were based on how an event occurred to you. To be authentic (to be your own author), you need to "find your native energies and desires, and then find your way of acting on them." Who are you really and how did you become who you are? Answering these questions requires some deep, difficult work on our parts. The authors give us a framework to do that work.

The chapter on mastery points out that there are no "Steps to Mastery." The point is that the best way to learn a new language is to be immersed in it. There is no one best way to do things, and when you are immersed in a culture to learn the language, things to not go sequentially and neatly. Instead there is chaos and lots of parallel paths. There are milestones however, and they are:

1. Seeing your "Terministic Screen" in action
Leadership is about inventing something radically new, in concert with those who will implement it, and it can't be done through a formula, steps or checklist. And to create something radically new, we have to realize we are always viewing the world through a Terministic Screen - the names we have for things, situations and the events of the past are like a set of contact lenses that filter out possibilities for the way something is and limits it to what we "believe" it is.

2. Building a New Terministic Screen
The example given by the authors here is to think about how Galileo had to overcome the Terministic Screen of his time with the sun "rising" in the morning and "setting" in the evening. That is the Terministic Screen of the day, confirmed by human observation, was that the sun was doing the moving, the action. It limited people's view of possibilities, specifically that the earth was rotating, not "still." We have the same issues in our world today. When you have that "Aha!" moment and get a breakthrough to an issue, you likely had to recognize a change in your "Terministic Screen"; you put on a "new set of lenses."

3. You'll see New Opportunities for elevated performance everywhere
Zaffron and Logan proclaim that shortly after you pass the second milestone, you will begin to notice you are seeing old situations with a new perspective. You will begin to ask in various daily situations, "How must the situations be occurring to the people here, such that they are doing what they are doing." "How does my spouse occur to me, and me to her, such that we behave as we do?" And perhaps a bit more profound, "How must I occur to myself, given what I do in these types of situations?"

The call to action is in Chapter 8 - Breaking the Performance Barrier. Here the authors advise that the reader take on the following commitments:

1. Get out of the stands.
Are you in the game, or only an observer? What kind of conversations are you having?

2. Create a New Game
A game starts when some influential person uses future-based language and says that something is more important than something else.

3. Make the obstacles conditions of the Game
If something occurs to you and others as an obstacle, you'll push back by playing on the obstacle's terms. Instead, make the obstacles conditions of the game.

4. Share your insights
So who do you share with? How will you improve the performance of your organization if you don't share what you learn about breaking the performance barrier?

5. Find the Right Coach
From the Three Laws, great coaching alters how the situation of the game occurs for the players, especially at the critical moments. The coach will say and do whatever is necessary to win the game.

6. Start filing your past in the past
Get the future and the past straightened out, once and for all. We all make a very simple and far-reaching mistake--one that you must not make if you're going to elevate performance. We use past experiences and our Terministic Screen as a filter that defines and limits how situations occur to us.

7. Play the Game as if your life depended on it;
because, in actuality, it does depend on it. So "play the game passionately, intensely, and fearlessly. But don't make it significant. It's just a game."

This is not the average book on leadership and performance enhancement. If you take this book seriously, embrace the suggestions of the authors, your life will be transformed - never to be the same again.
0Comment|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 19, 2009
While the endorsements on the back cover are impressive, that is the only positive impression I got from the book. I imagine this could have been a great three to six page book. Unfortunately six pages of quality information have been diluted to fill 205 pages.

Quote 1:
The First Law of Performance: How people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.

Quote 2:
So what exactly does "occur" mean? We mean something beyond perception and subjective experience. We mean the reality that arises within and from your perspective on the situation. In fact your perspective is part of the way that the world occurs to you. "How a situation occurs" includes your past (why things are the way they are) and the future (where this is all going).

End of quotes.

People are empowered or limited based on their individual perspectives--that is the point of the first law, isn't it? People respond to their subjective realities. So I found the supposed distinction gained by using the word "occur" to be pointless.

The beginning of the first chapter starts out with a story about a South African black woman telling a South African white woman about suffering under apartheid and how she had hated all white women because of that, and that she apologized for having hated the white woman merely because she was white. The white woman offers to help her deal with her issues by confronting the source of her pain (a white woman who treated her very poorly in the past).

With that opening, we are asked what if interactions like this were common in our companies, families, and lives. That seems to be the takeaway of the story. But what can one do with it?

Perhaps my problem is what I expect of a book. I don't want to figure out what the points are and draw principles out of the writing that has not been made clear and obvious. I want a book to have a direction and be structured such that I get a good understanding of what the author is talking about and it is fun to read because it is shining a bright light on something important. This book mostly talks and goes nowhere.

This book has as influences both Werner Erhard and est--and both are phenomenal sources of solid lively perspectives for personal growth, and I have read many related books which were really good.

If you like The Three Laws of Performance, perhaps you will like Games Business Experts Play. Both books have very useful ideas that I found to be presented in a very confused manner and completely failed to engage me.

Related books I DO like: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life written by a big fan of Landmark Education. Also est Playing the Game The New Way. And Getting Real: Ten Truth Skills You Need to Live an Authentic Life.
55 comments|48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 11, 2012
I picked up this book because it was listed in a recommended book list from a personal development seminar I recently did called Direct Access.

There are some similarities between what I learned in the seminar and what I am learning from reading this book (I'm about halfway through the book now). The Direct Access seminar identified that action is correlated to how things occur to people, and the first law of performance is that how people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.

If you think about it, this is a radical notion. Our society is conditioned to look for some kind of psychological assessment for why people do what they do (an "internal to external" explanation for why people do what they do). Looking from the perspective that people's action is correlated to how things occur to them is more of an "external to internal" explanation for why people do what they do. In other words, if something occurs a particular way, my actions will be correlated to that occurring. The power of this is that it gives me an access point to doing something about my (and others') performance because, as I am learning from this book, I can do something about shifting how situations occur to me (but I can't do much about my psychology).

One of the other notions that struck me in this book is the explanation for the phenomenon of how the more things change the more they stay the same. It distinguish between changing things in the content versus shifting the context inside of which that content shows up. If the context remains the same and you change the content then that new content will show up in the old context thus reinforcing the old context - hence the more things change the more they stay the same. But if you shift the context (which this book distinguishes how to do) then you can have new possibilities available that weren't possible in the old context.

These ideas have already given me new insights and perspectives in my personal relationships. The "is-ness" of the people in my life is beginning to break up. My judgments about people are separating from who the people really are. And my judgments about myself are separating from who I really am.

Not only is this book distinguishing that people's performance (action) is correlated to how things occur, but it is giving illustrations (stories), and distinctions, and processes for shifting/altering how things occur so that performance/action is enhanced.

I highly recommend this book!

0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 18, 2010
I browsed three rows of business books in a Barnes and Nobles book store recently. I thumbed through several books but they didn't grab my attention and stand out. Then I found the "Three Laws of Performance" by Steve Zaffron & Dave Logan on the third rack. It caught my attention because its says things that are important, simple, and profound. This book brings a philosophical and psychological perspective to the issues faced by an organization and all the people who depend on it for their livelihood with meaning and purpose. I think it is fair to refer to their three ideas about performance as laws - because there is something true about it, there is something good about it, and there is something admirable or beautiful about it when managers and employees move to new ground and become leaders and self-lead workers. Mortimer Adler popularized these categories of ideas as Aristotle's three great ideas by which a person judges as an individual. The other three great ideas by which people live together as a group are liberty, equality, and justice. Performance is closely related to freedom to speak and act.

Performance at [...] has some of the following meanings: 1) the act of performing a ceremony, play, piece, of music, etc., 2) the execution or accomplishment of work, acts, feats, etc., 3) the manner in which or the efficiency with which something reacts or fulfills its intended purpose. The three laws of performance are summarized below from the book.

Law 1: How people perform correlate to how situations occur to them. Leadership Corollary 1: Leaders have a say, and give others a say, in how situations occur.
Law 2: How a situation occurs arises in language. Leadership Corollary 2: Leaders master the conversational environment.
Law 3: Future-based language transforms how situations occur to people. Leadership Corollary 2: Leaders listen for the future of their organizations.

The Three Laws of Performance stands out with its understanding of human organizations and the human nature of people within these organizations. The thing that differentiates human beings from other creatures is development and use of tools, and the development and use of language. Language itself is a mega tool, without which the goals and objectives for the manufacturing efforts of tool users in organizations could not be described or discussed by the community of leaders and self-lead workers.

Law 2 and Law 3 are responsible for the potential and realization of coordinated work from the smallest to largest project. But how does language figure into "how situations occur" to one person or two people in a voluntary social relation, or to the leaders, self-lead workers, managers, and employees in organizations, institutions, and corporations?

How an object, a situation, or an event appears to different people depends on their vantage point from where they stand. The parable of the five blind men and their perceptions and judgments about a huge elephant illustrates the problem of partial sensory information about elephant events, and the inaccurate provisional judgments made by people from a limited vantage point of their organization - especially if they do not communicate. This is Law 1 for "elephant" like events. The natural tendency for an orderly event to return to disorder or chaos is known as "Murphy's Law".

Law 1 expresses a philosophical and psychological fact. People are present during an event. All three philosophical object types (real, subjective, and intentional) can be held in a person's mind. A model of the conscious human mind holds information about: 1) real objects like rocks, elephants, friends, or foe, 2) subjective objects like the private thoughts, emotions, ideas, pains, pleasures, tooth aches, etc. that only the subject experiences, and lastly the 3) the intentional object type by which human beings can move an idea from one mind to another mind during conversations - so that both parties know what is on the other person's mind, and understand the other person - and where they are coming from or going to.

This book on the Three Laws of Performance emphasizes language, narrative, and intentionality of leaders, self-lead workers, managers, and employees throughout. This is what makes it so timely, timeless, and significant. The literature has much discussion on information processing models of the conscious mind by Perceiving (sensing and intuition) and Judging (thinking and feeling/valuing) functions. Situations occur differently to people depending on these types of conscious information accounted for by Jungian psychology and MBTI(The Myers Briggs Type Indicator). Situations are acted upon by people, they do not only perceive events and make decisions about them. They perform their work with skill and grace by paying attention to the work, and by using their power of imagination to create new beneficial beginnings, and they concentrate on the work until the intended results are achieved. They perform their work skillfully using the appropriate tools for physical real work, and they communicate their intentions, and the meaning of the work for themselves and for their group with language. This is my perspective on the significance of Laws 1, 2, and 3 in terms of archetypal roles played during an event cycle of consciousness.

This is a powerful book and could positively influence "rewriting the future of your organization and your life" - as the sub-title of "The Three Laws of Performance" suggests.

Comments by: Walter J. Geldart, author, EPIC Roles of Consciousness, 2010.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 18, 2009
It is an excellent book although it can be tough to read. It was somwhat of a compilation of other success books. The laws of performance are great though.

1 - Its all about perception and how people view things. Figure that out to win. And change that to win.

The book re-emphasized how people perform is related to how the world occurs to them and we all have different backgrounds and screens that we filter what is going on in the world. Part of the key to good communication is to understand how people view things.

The book was also very hopeful in telling people that they could change how they view things. I have always been a big believer in being able to change myself.

2 - The language we use shapes us.

This section of the book talked about the language we use and how it has a powerful effect on outcomes. The suggestion â" use powerful language. I had incorporated something along these lines in my daily to do list some time ago. It goes like this:

Instead of saying "workout" on my list; I say "I had a great 3 mile run in 22-1/2 minutes. I feel great." (One of the other books that I had read at the time said phrasing things in the current tense also helps them be achieved.)

Or "I just finished reading, "The Three Law of Performance" and was inspired to take action. The book was interesting and enjoyable to read.". Phrasing the to do items in that way gives them passion and makes me more eager to achieve them.

Incorporating the present tense has als helped to inspire me to get more things done on my to do list.

3 - I will let you read the book to get the thrd law.

Good book. I recommend it.
0Comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse