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Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 2, 2007
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About the Author
Alan Deutschman is a senior writer at Fast Company and the author of two previous books, The Second Coming of Steve Jobs and A Tale of Two Valleys. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Brian KeelerÕs narration of this cutting-edge advice on change couldnÕt be more enjoyable or impressive. Pausing or quieting his voice for emphasis, he misses no nuance and conveys a natural engagement with the authorÕs analytic writing. After a hard-hitting and succinct introduction, Deutschman systematically explains nine facets of personal change. Integrating findings from a variety of disciplines, his strategies are innovative and seamlessly supported by riveting business stories. His stories and analysis stay close to the heart by encouraging continuous curiosity about the self. Listen and learn how to realistically embrace your realities, find inspiration and support from others, behave consistently with your intentions, and be constantly aware of opportunities for learning and growth. T.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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“people don’t resist change, they resist being changed”
I have experienced this on both sides, as a coach trying to help others benefit from change and I have also deflected others efforts when they have tried to teach me something that may have helped me. By putting up my “self defense” mechanisms and reverting back to old habits and ways of doing things that were comfortable or by seeing the ways others input could benefit my opportunities.
I had a couple of problems, one with the stereotypes the author generated around people born into 3rd generation poverty and two with some of the generalizations in the book which made me question a couple of his points and /or statistics (I want to do some follow up research on my questions to help answer them) but this didn’t stop me from enjoying the book and getting the message as well as the lessons I can use to help myself and people I interact with.
I judge a book on if it's able to accomplish what it sets out to do. If it does at least that I'll give it 4 stars. If I feel the author went above and beyond the tour of duty to get his point across, I'll give it 5. That being said, this book is a solid 4, 4 still being very good.
Did this book get the point across that if you don't change you'll die? Actually, yes. The author uses several well-laid out case examples from heart patients to career criminals to demonstrate why change is so important; he also retells his own personal "change or die" story, which lets you know that he doesn't just talk the talk, he also walks the walk. Even though you may not be able to relate to all the people in the book (I am neither a criminal nor a heart patient), he brings their stories close down to a personal level and then details how they each used some version of the 3-steps to change (Relate, Repeat, Reframe) to bring their life and outlook to a new, positive level.
The case studies (stories really), the application of the 3-steps, and the simplicity are really the strong points of the book. I'm not sure if Mr. Deutschman is a psychiatrist or not, but the writing style came across as very down-to-earth and easy to read. It wasn't bogged down in any psycho babble, just 3 steps and how different people applied them to their lives, and the lives of others to change. That's it. Unlike other books covering the topics of change or psychology, it doesn't get cheesy or sugar-coated or cliched, and I was glad for it. This may also be a weakness of the book, since it really wasn't inspirational nor used "go-get-'em" language. That's not say it isn't, it is inspirational in its own way because you get to see how change is possible for even the most ordinary or hopeless situations. But I feel the author could have used a little more enthusiasm in his writing, that's a very minor quibble though.
Another small issue i have with the book, which is purely subjective, is that I wish the author spent a little more time on personal change, or at least gave more examples. There were perhaps 25-30 pages on personal change, and I bought this book expecting more of that. HOwever, I know this book was meant for the topic of change on a personal, corporate, and organizational levels so the author really did cover what he wanted. Hopefully, in the future he'll come out with a follow up dealing solely with the topic of personal change.
Overall, if you are interested in changing yourself, your company, or group, this is a solid book. You can read it in a few days, and not feel overwhelmed with complex psycholiteral language. Instead, there's a lot to learn from the many stories and cases presented here. You really will learn how the 3-steps to change (Relate, Repeat, Reframe) are applied, but it is still up to you to use them.