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Brain Power: Learn to Improve Your Thinking Skills Paperback – April 16, 1980
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From the Back Cover
Brain Power introduces the six functional thinking abilities you need to become an adaptive, innovative, thinker. As you develop your ability to think on your feet, to isolate and arrange facts, and to avoid logic pitfalls you will see how to use creative problem solving strategies, both in business and private life.
About the Author
Karl Albrecht is a respected management consultant and executive adviser, strategic thinker, futurist, author, dynamic speaker, and an innovator whose contributions seem to defy labels, categories, and pigeonholes. He is the author of more than twenty books and many articles on professional achievement, organizational performance, and business strategy. His writings include Social Intelligence: the New Science of Success; Practical Intelligence: the Art and Science of Common Sense; the Mindex Thinking Style Profile; and The Social Intelligence Profile.
Top customer reviews
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One reason why this book has not got the popularity it deserves might be the rather mudane and unimaginative title "Brain Power". When I first saw the unattractive cover and commomplace title, I almost ignored this as another pot-boiler promising impossible feats with the mind. It is my good fortune I bought it (and read it !).
Quoting from page 14, the six fuctional thinking skill categories covered by Albecht are:
1. Fact finding 2. Crap detecting 3. Thinking on your feet 4. Idea production 5. Problem solving and decision making 6. Happying.
This list encompasses almost everything you would wish to do well in the mental plane (at least in the everyday life of a well informed person, let us exclude scientists etc.). Facts form your knowledge, crap detecting helps you filter out the pseudo-facts, thinking on your feet helps you use your knowledge in day to day living, idea production equals creativity, problem solving and decision making is the utility that works on your knowledge in the most efficient manner to make choices with respect to objectives and finally happying spans the cerebral with the emotional. For a few dollars, that is quite a lot!
Other books cover similar ground (But I don't think they cover ALL of this). Albrecht's achievement is to bring together in one place the results of reserach and strong common sense thinking on each topic. Although the ideas may not be entirely original (thinking skills is an area where everyone might have said something correct), I found many of them for the first time here and didn't find them in so many other similar books I have read. Instead of just being a collector of ideas, Albrecht polishes the ideas and adds fertiliser with quotations, anecdotes, cross-references, puzzles and exercises, that eventually the dry core of the result of an academic study or a familiar common-sense approach becomes a powerful, high-horsepower thought vehicle which you can marshal the next time you have a problem. Also, you learn to recognise situations in terms of the categories discussed. This is invaluable in helping you apply the ideas on a regular basis.
Albrecht also takes the distinguishing approach that intelligence and emotions are NOT meant to be two water-tight compartments. All along he emphazises how good thinking skills can lead to a better quality life, better relationships with others, higher self-esteem and more happiness. In fact, he only discusses ideas that will be of use in the real world of a common man.
The book has a brief but very relevant bibliography and Recommended Reading List. I love the quotations before the start of each sub-topic (for example, "Wisdom is knowing what to do next", "Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as you please"). You will want to read many of the recommended books.
So, if you want to get a grip on this thing called thinking, if you want to figure out what your mind is doing most of the time, and then do those things better, then this book is a great starting point.
5 Golden Shining Stars !