- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: C P M Pub (April 15, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780961438333
- ISBN-13: 978-0961438333
- ASIN: 0961438339
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 22 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #704,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Breaking the Rules, Removing the Obstacles to Effortless High Performance
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From the Author
There's an old saying that we teach what we wish to learn. My career has been one of teaching people how to bring out the best in themselves and others. This focus of attention grew out of a decision made in 1970 to spend the rest of my life seeking to understand what each of us is like at our very best. I observed that there were far too many studies of what is wrong with people and too few about what is right with people. Breaking the Rules thus summarizes the findings from this 27-year study of what each of us is like when we are at our very best, and how to be that way more often.
During the study it became clear that people who operate at their best most of the time didn't learn to do so by looking outside themselves for answers. For this reason, I resisted the idea of writing a book about my findings. It seemed to me that it would be too easy for a book to reward readers for looking to me for answers. I was unwilling to do that. Eventually I found a way to write so there is not a sentence of advice in the entire 320 pages of Breaking the Rules. In lieu of advice, I have attempted to capture and model throughout the book a unique mentor-coaching process that shows up in the background of every visionary leader I have studied.
From the Inside Flap
Excellence, empowerment and peak performance are timely issues. Breaking the Rules shows that being at your best is your birthright, and that returning to that natural state is the essence of empowerment and peak performance. Self-empowerment-accessing your own power, your own inner knowing, and being guided by that-is the key to excellence and peak performance.
Unlike many popular books on excellence, Breaking the Rules does not lead you on yet another fruitless chase-looking outside yourself for answers. Being on a roll is not about copying others or relying on someone else's rules. Instead, Breaking the Rules offers profoundly insightful guidance for the inner work you must do before you can achieve true, self-sustaining excellence.
Key things you'll learn:
* Life Purpose - It is one thing to identify your purpose in life. It is quite another to bring your daily life into alignment with that purpose. Readers call Breaking the Rules a breakthrough work because of its ability to help you do both.
* Right Questions - Breaking the Rules brings you a vital new approach to asking the right questions that will open you up to the on-stream guidance you need from your intuition to get on a roll and stay there.
* Relationships - Relationships with the people around you often mirror the internal relationship between your head and your heart. External relationships improve quickly when you do the inner work described in Breaking the Rules.
* Mentor-Coaching - Totally different from an advice-giving mentor, the mentor-coach you need must model the style of asking right questions that comes through clearly in Breaking the Rules.
Kurt Wright is founder and President of Clear Purpose Management, Inc., an international consulting firm. He has coached leaders from some of the most respected companies in the U.S., Canada, South America and Europe. His work, as well as the ideas included in Breaking the Rules, grew out of his 1970 decision to spend the rest of his life working to understand what each of us is like at our very best. With his typical thoroughness, he now shares these findings with readers everywhere.
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Showing 1-8 of 22 reviews
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The author breaks down the structure of "What's right" questions and contrasts them to "What's wrong" questions.
Some people spend their entire lives asking about and exploring what's wrong, and that can be very energetically draining.
"What's wrong" questions are processed in the rational/analytical mind, not the intuitive part of our mind.
By asking "what's right" questions, we can bypass the rational mind and go straight to the intuitive mind.
Visionary leaders and high-performers bask in questions of what's right, pouring their focus and energy into understanding what's right, why things are working well, and how and why people get "on a roll."
Example of what's right questions:
- What are you and I like at our very best?
- How do we switch from a world view of depletion and shortage to one of surplus and abundance?
Author says these kinds of possibility-focused questions generate creative energy (whereas 'what's wrong' questions deplete energy.)
"The field of psychology is so focused on the study of sick people to find out what's wrong. My approach has been exactly the opposite: it has been to study the super-well and find out WHAT'S RIGHT." (4)
"Asking ourselves and being asked RIGHT QUESTIONS (in order to regain conscious access to what we already know intuitively) is a path far more certain to put our lives on a permanent roll." (5)
He gives an example of a company that was involved in a $100 million project, with 400 software engineers who were 38 months into a 60-month government contract. They were 18 months behind schedule. Everyone was stressed about the project and focusing on everything that was going wrong. The author of the book (acting as a consultant to the company) got everybody focused around 1 question: "How can we finish this project a week early?" People thought the question was preposterous, even warned him to back off from asking it. But in the end, the project was able to be completed exactly on time and $15 million under budget. Plus, the author/consultant used only $90,000 of the $150,000 budget he was offered for his consulting fee.
... all this happened because he shifted everybody from "what's wrong" thinking to "what's right" thinking. !!!!
Chapter 3 of the book breaks down "The Structure of What's Right Questions"
The bare-bones framework is:
1. What's right? or What's working?
2. What makes it right? or Why does it work?
3. What would ideally be right? or What would work ideally?
4. What's not yet quite right?
5. What resources can I find to make it right?
He then gives a great explanation of 4 types of people who operate in the extremes:
Type 1: someone whose development is skewed to the anaytical.
Type 2: someone whose development is skewed to the intuitive
Type 3: someone who asks himself the right questions, but mainly directs these questions inward. May find it difficult to inspire teamwork in others.
Type 4: someone who asks RIGHT QUESTIONS of others, fostering a high-trust environment. Brings out the best in all types of subordinates.
Personally I identify with Type 2 - super intuitive. "Type 2's are in need of a properly disciplined rational mind to support them as a servant."
In an extreme case, "Type 1 is totally analytical and thus by definition lives completely in a world of illusion. (The rational mind by itself is completely incapable of distinguishing truth from fiction.)"
"Much of the world we live in is geared to rewarding those who are good at explaining things, rather than those who truly 'know.'"
Thus Type 2's face a motivational quandary: "Why would you ever want to start from scratch and build a mere PC - i.e., develop your analytical disciplines - if you're already plugged directly into the mainframe of greater intuitive knowing? It's simply because the world we live in writes its biggest checks to those who have excellent use of their PC - and can thus explain with their analytical mind what they have been told by others." (48)
This blew my mind! This instantly made me understand why "deeply spiritual, intuitive" people are often broke, and why the "highly smart analytical" people of the world are the rich ones, even if they're completely disconnected to their intuition.
Author says the way to begin developing one's analytical disciplines is to practice reading out loud for 20 minutes a day. (I started doing that daily and it appears to work.)
Overall fantastic book...it has changed my thinking about what types of questions I ask, and what I focus on.