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Dan Erwin "personal coach" RSS Feed (New Brighton, MN)

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MI-5 Season 8
MI-5 Season 8
Price: $14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars The Brit Perspective, May 21, 2016
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This review is from: MI-5 Season 8 (Amazon Video)
I love MI-5 for its plot and characterizations. What's also special is the occasional anti-American issues, getting to hear from the Brit perspective.

Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less
Scaling Up Excellence: Getting to More Without Settling for Less
by Robert I. Sutton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.08
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Changing mindsets can be problematic, but here's how to get more out of less, April 11, 2014
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Bob Sutton and Huggy Rao’s new book, Scaling Up Excellence, is one of those books you’ll go back to again and again.

Plenty of people know exactly what scaling is, but more don’t. I’ve got a lot of clarity on where I first encountered the term in business fifteen years ago--and the demands that were asked of me. A long-time friend and client wanted to make some very important culture changes in his leadership team. When we started our conversation, the focus was very clear and he kept going back to it over several interactions. He wanted the best scalable competencies to enable his leadership team to interact successfully with the company’s clients.

By scalability we refer to the ability of certain mindsets or competencies to expand from the few to the many.

The scalable competencies that we decided on were able to enhance and expand the major, permanent changes he was after. An alternative and far more productive cultural mindset was developed among the team members, along with the skills and practices that made it possible to eventually revamp the relationship with their clients.
As in any successful mindset change we spent a great deal of time identifying and clearing away the destructive behaviors and beliefs so this enhanced effectiveness can spread and stick. Scaling Up Excellence brings such tasks as ours to full fruition. Early on, Sutton and Rao lay out seven “Scaling Mantras” that are the result of extensive research. They enable the reader to identify exactly where to focus their perseverance in order to scale up excellence. Their comment is exceedingly relevant: “If you are embarking on a scaling effort, memorize them, teach them to others and invent ways to keep them firmly in focus—especially when the going gets tough.”

In Sutton’s typically refreshing fashion, he lays these mantras out clearly:

Spread a mindset, not just a footprint. Running up the numbers and putting your logo on as many people and places as possible isn’t enough.

Engage all the senses. Bolster the mindset you want to spread with supportive sights, sounds, smells, and other cues that people may barely notice, if at all.

Link short-term realities to long-term dreams. Hound yourself and others with questions about what it takes to link the never-ending now to the sweet dreams you hope to realize later.

Accelerate accountability. Build in the feeling that “I own the place and the place owns me.”

Fear the clusterfug. The terrible trio of illusion, impatience, and incompetence are ever-present risks. Healthy doses of worry and self-doubt are antidotes to these three scaling clusterfugs.

Scaling requires both addition and subtraction. The problem of more is also a problem of less.

Slow down to scale faster---and better—down the road. Learn when and how to shift gears from automatic, mindless, and fast modes of thinking (“System 1”) to slow, taxing, logical, deliberative, and conscious modes (“System 2”); sometimes the best advice is, “Don’t just do something, stand there.”

Although many people apparently believe that mind-sets are not a very useful focus for organizational intervention and change, the cards are clearly stacked against them. There is now systematic research in many, many areas revealing that mindsets control our behaviors. In other words, mindsets have consequences and they may be limiting and destructive or liberating and productive. Changing the way people think about situations is, in fact, the most powerful and useful way to ultimately change behavior and thereby affect organizational results. Kudos to Sutton and Rao for their spot-on and well-needed research and book.

HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources
HR from the Outside In: Six Competencies for the Future of Human Resources
by Dave Ulrich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.47
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A paradigm shift in human resource management, August 27, 2012
I've been dreaming about the issues David Ulrich and colleagues' new book, HR from the Outside In, deals with since the 1990s. Until this book came out, the ruling gods of Human Resources were recruiting, training, benefits and supporting the business. The obvious consequences were that HR managers and execs had no seat at the table, didn't understand the firm's business and acted passively around line managers and execs. The more serious consequences were that HR failed to center on the goals of the business and contribute significantly to business performance.

HR from the Outside In offers a radically different orientation to Human Resources, reframing the whole game and resolving issues I've faced in both small and large companies all over the nation. Ulrich argues that "aligned, innovative, and integrated HR practices make a dramatic difference in individual and organizational performance." That's a mouthful, and you'll need to work through the book to fully understand the importance of what he's saying. What's unique about the book is its emphasis upon a new HR mindset that starts with the external context in which the business operates and the goals of that business--not internal disciplines and technologies. To achieve these objectives, the authors focus upon personal effectiveness and the relevant knowledge for both HR professionals and departments to improve business success.

In a book such as this, where a major shift in a discipline is proposed, the authors need to provide a rationale for their thinking. And so their first chapter is largely devoted to this changing external context which justifies their shift in the discipline. The writers think of their rationale as "trends," enumerating six ever-changing issues which drive their research and conclusions: society, technology, economics, politics, environment and demographics. In the following chapters, they show how different companies around the world emphasize HR and deal successfully with local and national issues relating to their "trends."

Their goal is straightforward, as the authors lay out plainly in three statements: determine what HR pros should be and do to be seen as personally effective, what pros should be know and do to improve business success, and what they should focus upon to improve business performance.

As a result and in order to achieve this objective, the authors lay out six (extensive) competencies for the future of human resources. They include such domains as credible activist, capability builder, change champion and tech proponent. The most important focus, the foundational objective of the book, is the chapter about the strategic positioner: HR professionals who facilitate business strategy through their objectives and practices. Although the authors provide ways for getting at business strategy and applying it to HR, the most useful and unique means for getting at strategy issues is found in the chapter on building capabilities. There, the authors detail an approach that takes the strategic emphasis seriously, and walks the reader through a six step process for aligning HR practices:
* Business: where will we do a strategic HR linkage?
* Environment: What are the business trends?
* Strategy: What are the strategic drivers for the business?
* HR investment: What are hr priorities?
* Action plans: Who will do what, when, where and how?
* Measures or metrics: How will we measure progress?

In our tumultuous times, HR has a significant contribution to make to the success of businesses, a perspective not readily understood or even shared by many outside the field. Indeed, HR from the Outside In offers a highly transformative process, fit for today's business world. Thus, this book deserves to be on the shelf of every practitioner and put into daily practice.

Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power their Organizations
Talk, Inc.: How Trusted Leaders Use Conversation to Power their Organizations
by Boris Groysberg
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.83
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Conversations: The New Source of Organizational Power, July 16, 2012
It used to be thought that the major source of power for managers and leaders was their position. It was his vested position that gave a manager the controls of productivity, strategy and the firm's future. That is simply no longer the case.

Out of the thousands of books on communication in organizations, Talk, Inc. takes today's changing world of business seriously and provides a unique perspective. As findings by Harvard's Boris Groysberg and Michael Slind reveal in their new book, Talk, Inc., leadership is fundamentally conversation-powered. Indeed, as the authors declare, conversations are the new source of organizational power.

Why conversation-powered leadership?
What's clear is that economic change has demanded new, sophisticated ways to process and share information. But that's not all. Flatter organizations, diverse and widely dispersed global organizations, generational differences, the new social networks and, perhaps, above all, the brute fact that the pace of business is profoundly accelerated, have all made conversational expertise the ultimate competency of leadership success.

The hard skills are easy to learn. It's the soft skills of conversation and relationships that easily sabotage workers' hopes for the future. And, as businesses are learning, the lack of those soft skills also sabotages strategy and the bottom line. So Groysberg and Slind's new work is a welcome addition to every manager's bookshelf. Indeed, the authors do something long overdue in this field: they refashion the concept of organizational communication around face-to-face conversation.

Four practical, learnable "talk" principles
As a result of extensive research in widely disparate industries and companies of all sizes, the authors discover a set of conversational principles for this new economy. There's no one way, monologic approach to communication here. Instead, the authors find that successful leaders engage with a new social technology, comprising four concrete skills:
* Intimacy. Yep. That's the agenda and there's no baloney here. The crippling disease of interpersonal distance has to go out the window. It will, of course, require a great deal of trust-building to get beyond the hierarchical practices of the past.
* Interactivity. Both members in a conversation are going to have to talk and listen. This kind of social technology won't come easy to those schooled in the presentation models of the past. I've been beating that drum for years and here's the research to support the success of that principle.
* Inclusion. There's a logical sequence of principles from intimacy to interactivity to inclusion. The consequence is what you see on the internet brought to face-to-face settings: the triumph of employee-generated content. The subtext, of course, is that in today's complex world, no manager, no single individual has all the information necessary for success.
* Intentionality. So do you plan your conversations? Is it just "going with the flow?" Or is something else required? The big picture will be part of the conversations and it will drive the strategic alignment for everyone to make better decisions on their jobs.

Is this really new?
Aristotle implied all this stuff in his "Rhetoric," and the twentieth century drove it home. But Talk, Inc. sets its competencies inside the organization of the 21st century. This is really new. And it's a book every manager and employee will want.

Blind Spots: 10 Business Myths You Can't Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success
Blind Spots: 10 Business Myths You Can't Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success
by Alexandra Levit
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.94
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had written this book, October 4, 2011
This is desperately needed, has a built-in audience, and is written by a Gen-Yer for business Gen-Yers on the make for business success. My friend, Alexandra Levit, challenges the big ideas that so many believe, but are so plainly wrong. She does it in a gracious, thoughtful, reasonable fashion, with illustrations that are eye-popping, leading-edge research, and a great deal of fun. Her delicious writing just sneaks up on you. Furthermore, she focuses on what will make you successful in today's world, not yesterday's.

I think it was Lindsey Pollak, the well-known career blogger, who's written that Gen-Yers lack street smarts. Well. . . in this book, Levit goes a long way toward resolving that problem. And before I sign off on this paragraph, I need to emphasize that though she's written to her youthful audience, her ideas are just as needful and just as relevant to all the generations. And yeah . . . all the professions. As the title reveals, she deals with those silly ideas that some, perhaps most believe are gospel truth.

While reading Blindspots, I couldn't help but think of that study at Google that demonstrates the fallacy of deeply held beliefs--and the power of accepting and acting on evidence, even when that evidence clashes with ingrained beliefs. Like most tech companies, Google believed that the most important quality for managers is deep technical expertise. They believed the best bosses left people alone and mainly, when needed, helped people with technical problems. That's not what the research showed at all. When Google examined what employees valued most in a manager, technical expertise ranked last of eight attributes they examined. What did employees value most in a manager? Google found that the keys were asking good questions, taking time to meet with people, and caring about those employees lives and careers. They'd been hiring on the basis of their beliefs, but their beliefs were dead wrong. And the employees suffered as a result.

Studies show that we see what we believe. In other words, believing is seeing and not the opposite. Alexandra Levit's book challenges many, perhaps most, of our beliefs with great research, enticing illustrations and a great deal of reasonable sense. This is a book that's chock full of great ideas and practicable recommendations. It's an ambitious career work containing a striking series of vignettes illuminating how to become a successful businessperson today's world. It provides the kind of intelligence and street smarts needed for careers in the New Economy. It shrugs off the irrelevant, the obvious and the trite, landing us squarely in reality. Michael Port's comment is right on: "Hard-hitting, honest, and course correcting . . . What it really takes to be successful in business."

Gatherings and Losses: Selected Poems and a Critical Essay
Gatherings and Losses: Selected Poems and a Critical Essay
by Charles Daughaday
Edition: Paperback

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Strange Power of Poetry and Politics, May 8, 2010
George Orwell once wrote that all writing is political. This book of poems, bookended by serious prose, written by Charles Daughaday, a retired English Professor (Murray State University, Ky.), leaves no doubt that Orwell's thesis is true. In its widest sense, "political" includes material that avoids mentioning political methods or views. By political, Orwell means that all writers and poets desire to "push the world in a certain direction, to alter other people's idea of the kind of society that they should strive after."

Daughaday's agenda is overtly political, laid out in a telling critique: "Humanistic Education and Political Amnesia." The essay emphasizes America's love of power which has resulted, he argues, in moral, financial, intellectual and above all educational devastation. Our educational system "betrays our youth by denying them a true education which challenges them and prepares them for the future."

In support of his argument, the author advances four reasons for the failure caused by the American educational system: the replacement of "core studies" with pop psychology, the influence of corporate culture, the marketing of the computer culture to the classroom and the triumph of postmodern theory over traditional literary studies. The solution, Daughaday believes, is a return to a more central role for humanistic studies in the educational system.

There's no denying that the fight between the cerebral B.A. versus the practical B.S. has been going on for years. Business majors and other pragmatic programs have become the defining role for colleges, especially state colleges like the one in which the author taught for years, a once fine school that has become, according to Daughaday, almost a trade school.

Indeed, this issue is regularly visited, recently by Drew Faust, the president of Harvard who warned that with today's economic constraints, the pressure toward vocational pursuits and the exclusion of the humanities and liberal arts, is likely only to intensify. Faust, like Daughaday, argues that we cannot afford to emphasize the practical at the cost of the arts and humanities. Although the tradition of the liberal-arts education may be on the wane in state colleges, most elite public and private universities like Harvard, Chicago, Swarthmore, Williams, Michigan and Berkeley, remain committed to those ideals. And, not surprisingly, I've found that many from the top firms prefer to hire students from the liberal arts colleges, and that that many of these same students go on to brilliant professional careers.

Technically, Daughaday's poetry is pure eroticism, not sexual eroticism, but a yearning for the ideal. His poetry fulfills his agenda more powerfully than his prose. Again and again he returns to memory and to the connections to family and the cemetery, to the forest, to wild animals and birds, and to pictures of the poverty-stricken from the Great Depression. I was struck by how often he uses the soaring of the hawk and the fleetness of deer, readily visualized by those from that part of Kentucky, to describe the most meaningful, effortless and free experiences of life. And I was amused by how often he refers to his domesticated duck, William, happily bathing in the pond.

But his poems often turn from celebration to the destructiveness and meaninglessness of instruments of war and commercialization, in other words, to his political agenda. Even William the duck is used for political purpose.

"William and I Will never fly. He has already lost interest."

In 3 A.M. Viewing, Daughaday contrasts the power and beauty of nature with the commercialism of 3AM TV.

And crashing into a chair
Lift my eyes into the vast
Wonderment of the star-lit heavens
Spread infinitely above outstretched oak.
Inside, two women with
Artificial hair and plunging necklines
Host an all night sales show.
For a paltry thirty-nine dollars . . . .

He sums up with his concluding poem: Death of a Pedestal, a reference I assume, to the Lincoln Memorial.

As the old lady's last gasp dies on the air ways,
We shall truly have the best government corporate money can buy.
A government of corporations, by corporations, and for
corporations. Rest easy, Abe; we could not be worthy of
either your words, your deeds, or your ultimate sacrifice.

Daughaday's poetry does for me what his prose cannot. It touches emotions at the core, whether we believe or not, accept or not. He writes to create an alternative vision, a world where memory, earth, freedom, and life evoke delight, but where technology, war, government, YouTube and Facebook cannot. This is a book deserving of readers' attention.

New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career
New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career
by Alexandra Levit
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.00
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Career Change Looks a Lot Different for the Younger Generations, January 14, 2010
The headlines about jobs are pretty stark already two years into this recession. We're learning that even when the market recovers, some jobs won't return, that short term temps are going to become permanent temps, that companies are going to be providing less and less in the way of health care and pensions, and that workers are going to get paid less for a lot more work.

Faced with this tough marketplace you'd think that workers would be digging in and doing their best to hold on to their jobs--at least if they had one.

Yet more and more people are looking at their careers and giving serious thought to career change. As Rahm Emmanual puts it, "You never let a serious crisis go to waste." This is just the crisis to get a lot of people thinking and acting about reinventing their careers. But why do people reinvent themselves, and set out for a new career? And perhaps even more important in today's tough environment, how do people go about making a successful career change?

In a fascinating new book, New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career, Alexandra Levit, the well-known Wall Street Journal career writer and author of the highly successful, They Don't Teach Corporate in College, answers those two big questions: why do people reinvent themselves, and how do they do it?

Levit takes an unusual, yet highly relevant approach to career change. In her research she identified the seven basic motivations that drive people to make career change and sets up her book, chapter by chapter, with that information. So, for example, there's a chapter illuminated by people driven to make more money, a chapter given over to those who've successfully changed careers because of their desire for more family time, and still another chapter detailing the moves of people who change careers to fulfill their own personal passion. And not surprisingly, there's another chapter given to people who make changes because of personal setbacks. What could be more relevant for today's world?

Although Levit carves out a broad career niche, unlike most of the career change books, so often devoted to career change by managers and execs, Levit tells the stories of people of the younger generations, but from all walks of life. So you'll have the profile of the career change of 23 year-old, Kristin who goes from paralegal to advertising copywriter, as well as that of Jon, a fellow barely in his 40s who went from ribs maker to commodities trader to psychology professor.

Each chapter relates the career change stories of five different people, and closes with appropriately focused self-reflective questions to help the reader clarify his/her motivation to change. For example, the chapter on setback motivations asks such clarifying questions as:

· Have recent events in your life left you wondering why you chose your job in the first place?

· Have frequent feelings of hopelessness drained your motivation at work?

· Are you afraid to make a career change because things are already bad enough and you're worried about making things worse?

Following the self-reflective questions, she offers a number of well thought-out practical recommendations for moving on your decision. The resource toolkit offers a plethora of websites for the internet savvy, and books for those who like to feel paper in their hands.

Readers will find themselves in the cutting-edge stories of career change. You can't help but think, "oh yeah, that's me," "I can do that, too," or, "gee, I never thought about that." This is the kind of book I'll be recommending to anyone and everyone who has ever given thought to career change, and especially to those who wonder if making a change in today's economy is a wise move. New Job, New You is a great book written by the younger generation for the younger generations.

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
The Talent Code: Greatness Isn't Born. It's Grown. Here's How.
by Daniel Coyle
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.09
205 used & new from $8.76

5.0 out of 5 stars How to Unlock the Secret of Talent, July 7, 2009
If Daniel Coyle's Book, The Talent Code, could be bottled, I'd give it to the nearly 1500 clients I've coached over the past 40 years. Tom Peters couldn't be more accurate in his endorsement: I am even willing to guarantee that you will not read a more important and useful book in 2009, or any other year. And if all that's not enough, it's also a great read.

In this new world, talent development has become a major competitive issue not merely for individuals, but also for corporations and even nations. With a sense of awe, media makes it possible for us to look in on the highly talented in numerous fields: sports, music, education and even business. Conventional wisdom tells us that that this talent is innate and unchangeable. As my generation puts it, "the cream always rises to the top." Daniel Coyle tells us that's dead wrong, and genes determine far less than most of us think.

One acquaintance said to me after I shared with him pieces of related research. "I don't believe it. I can't believe it. Everything in my history tells me those ideas are wrong." I told him that I'd agree, except that the research is now overwhelming.

Sitting on my bookshelves are two very important books detailing the extensive research supporting every word of the Talent Code: a 900 page handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance, by Anders Ericsson and others, and a much thinner book, Mindset, reflecting ground-breaking research by Stanford's Carol Dweck on motivation. Uniquely, Coyle illustrates his conclusions in riveting narrative, surveying some nine different "talent hotbeds" around the world that have applied this new research in depth and are having success in spades, including the Curacao Experiment in Little League, the KIPP educational program, the Russian tennis program and the South Korean women's golf program. Here you learn that technique is everything, and that "chunking" is the path to success. Chunking consists of identifying the important elements of a behavior and grouping them into a behavior, making it possible to develop expertise in an activity, bit by bit.

A close reading will reveal that success is not merely that "practice makes perfect," but is instead about coaching that emphasizes what to do, how to do it, and when to intensify that activity. As a professional with more than 40 years of coaching, Coyle's discussion of the best coaching practices is exceptionally useful. (I can't resist calling my readers' attention to his finding that more than half of the best coaches are in their sixties or seventies.) The best coaching teachers, he believes,

focus on what the student is saying or doing, and are able, by being so focused and by their deep knowledge of the subject matter, to see and recognize the inarticulate stumbling, fumbling effort of the student who's reaching toward mastery, and then connect to them with a targeted message.

The discussion of myelin, the neuron wrapping that adds speed and accuracy to our movements and thoughts is depicted, rightly, as the Holy Grail: the foundation of all forms of talent greatness. You'll find an article on enrichment and glia cells, the makeup of myelin, on my website. Since motivation and perseverance are major keys in the development of expertise, readers will find the discussion of "ignition" of much value.

In The Talent Code, we have the theory, the research, the application of that research in numerous fields, and example after example of success. You read narrative after narrative in which the change is like an "adorable gecko lizard morphing into a slavering T. Rex." The effect leaves observers dumbstruck, amazed and bewildered--all depicted by shocking change for the good.

Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else
by Geoff Colvin
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.66
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Talent Is Overrated, But for Many, Perseverance Is the Final Issue, November 16, 2008
This book is written to challenge the notion that high performance is either about innate talent or hard work. Colvin makes it possible for business people (and other professionals) to think for themselves rather than listen to the parade of management experts, consultants and celebrity CEOs who claim that they have the final answer about productivity and human performance. This book will help you separate the nuggets from the nonsense.

Colvin knows the latest research on expertise and much of the new neuroscience. He also knows that the research supports his thesis that deliberate practice is what really separates top performers from everybody else.

Previous reviewers have assessed the major emphases of the book, and surfaced important matters to help readers decide whether they should buy this book. Based on my own long experience as a business coach, I want to emphasize the importance of the last chapter: "Where does the passion come from?" For years managers have asked me to assess the motivations of a particular employee to ascertain whether he or she is "motivated enough" or "highly motivated"--necessary characteristics for an important project that may be a key objective of an organization or a given manager. Colvin addresses that issue in a discussion never before seen in a business book.

In that last chapter, he emphasizes the necessity of intrinsic motivation, constructive feedback and extrinsic motivation, and the "multiplier effect." The multiplier effect refers to how the very small advantage gained in some field can spark a series of events that produce a far larger advantage. In other words, success in an endeavor inherently encourages you to work for still more success. And, in spite of the frustrations of deliberate practice, that success makes the work of digging still deeper into a competency enjoyable.

This is a book that may not sell easily. It goes against the grain too much, and many of us understand the difficulty of arguing against conventional wisdom. As one respondent put it to me in a discussion about the wrongheadedness of innate intelligence, "I can't believe that. It goes against everything I've ever thought or learned. I simply reject the notion." He tuned out and turned off.

It will be a sad day if these ideas are rejected by the great unwashed.

This is an important book dealing with a subject that is just as necessary for families and the educational system as it is to businesss.

Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves
Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential to Transform Ourselves
by Sharon Begley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.35
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Scientific Approach to Human Development, November 13, 2008
Begley, the well-known science writer from Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal, is a genius at translation. She has the ability to go from scientific research to the application of that research to life. Typically, scientists stick to their science, and practitioners stick to their professional practice. Begley has a near-unique ability to make the successful translation between the two disciplines.

She's also an interesting--even fun read. This book, among the first to show the practical relevance of the mass of neuroscience research churning out of our best institutions, challenges much conventional wisdom regarding our minds and our intelligence. I'm well aware that overturning conventional wisdom doesn't change the orthodoxy, yet I'm also curious about the degree to which these well-researched ideas are beginning to spread.

Begley emphasizes that the brain is a dynamic organization--and that stasis is illusory. Significantly, the research shows that enrichment is key for humans--our brains are shaped by our experiences. Couch potatoes are in for long-term trouble.

I'd summarize this fine work by debunking three widely held beliefs: it's all downhill after age thirty, you lose 100,000 nerve cells a day, and you can't teach an old dog new tricks. That's very encouraging, nay exhilerating research for this member of the silent generation. ([.......])

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