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Change the Way You See Everything through Asset-Based Thinking Hardcover – March 1, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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From Publishers Weekly

Though the content may not be groundbreaking (it distills down to the old refrain, "accentuate the positive"), the photo-heavy and text-light format of Cramer's and Wasiak's discourse on fostering life- and business-improving habits and worldviews strips the hyperbole and fluff common to many self-improvement books, presenting the essentials in an innovative way. Short enough to read on a truncated lunch break (the authors estimate 45 minutes cover-to-cover) and looking not unlike a slick Powerpoint presentation, the book walks readers through the how's and why's of thinking positive ("it leads directly to the thrill of victory"; "you feel more motivated and energetic") and includes the obligatory success stories, though these are glitzier than most-musician Moby and actress Sonia Manzano among them. Bullet-point lists and brief explications of the virtues of asset-based thinking (or, ABT as it's referred to in the book) are presented alongside illustrative photographs, so the photo of an executive-looking gentleman baiting a Holstein with a red flag accompanies the section on conflict management; a pair of socks appear next to "Knock Somebody's Socks Off." Though some exercises cross into the absurd (one suggests readers "drive the 'wrong way' to work so that it takes twice as long. Find out what you appreciate about the new route"), this breezy read is the go-to title for readers seeking an attitude realignment.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Hank Wasiak is co-founder of The Concept Farm, one of the hottest creative development companies in the world. He is an advertising industry icon who works with the corporate elite of global and domestic business. He lives in New York City. Kathryn D. Cramer, Ph.D. is a practicing psychologist, sought-after corporate consultant and speaker, and the author of several books on personal effectiveness and professional development. She is the founder of The Stress Center at St. Louis University, and managing partner of The Cramer Institute, an internationally recognized coaching and consulting firm. She lives in St. Louis, MO.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Running Press; 1 edition (March 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076242723X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762427239
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,021 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Lee Say Keng on May 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
At first glance, this book seems quite exciting, judging from its colourful presentation format, with visually appealing photographs, breezy light text & catchy phrases. After perusing it, I regret to find that it offers neither breakthrough ideas nor revolutionary approach.

In the field of business writing, the concept & philosophy behind ABT (what I would term as perceptual sensitivity or acuity) was first broached by Edward de bono in the early 70's with his series of lateral thinking books, starting from the ground-breaking `Mechanism of Mind.' His former discipline, Michael Hewitt-Gleeson from Down Under went on to expand his former mentor's ideas by introducing the CVS2BVS equation in his book, `Software for Your Brain.' He even created a web-based School of Thinking to teach his stuff.

Many business consultants/authors have since then come out with their own insightful interpretations. They include, to name just a few, Joel Arthur Barker (`Future Edge'), Jerry Wind (`The Power of Impossible Thinking'), J Philip Kirby (`Thoughtware'), Moshe Rubinstein (`The Minding Organisation'), Mark Brown ('Dinosaur Strain'), & Luc de Brabandere (`The Forgotten Half of Change'). A few others even introduced some creative twists to the original concept, e.g. Wayne Burkan's "Wide Angle Vision' (or 'Splatter Vision')& George Day's `Peripheral Vision.'

Coming back to this book, I would like add that I actually enjoyed reading the inspiring stories of real people & also doing the workouts & reflections, some of which seem absurd to some readers. At the end of the book, the authors have provided some ABT cards which one can pull out & create laminated cards for sharing the ideas with others.
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Format: Hardcover
There is a massive industry of self-help books, cds, dvds, seminars, and training courses. The common thread through all this media is that the authors and promoters make a ton of cash "inspiring" and "instructing" others, using generic, vague, high-level truisms about goals, attitude, and life in general.

"Change the Way You See" is no different. It has slick packaging, pretty pictures, thick glossy papers but it substantively offers nothing more than broad, sweeping generalizations, rehashed ideas, needlessly technical terminology, and obfuscated common sense. Is it brilliant and profound to write in letters on one empty page something like, "focus + distance?" Or is it an easy way to fill space in a $25 book?

Much like "The Secret," Change the Way's brilliantly "different" attitude boils down to positive thinking.

THINK POSITIVE. There, I saved you $25 and 45 minutes.
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Format: Hardcover
This book truly brought positive and new insight into my life. As a person who often veers towards a path of perfection the wisdom of this book reminded me that trying to do everything flawlessly is not the key to success. Instead, taking the "magnify what's best and focus on what's next" approach has opened up a whole new world of possibilities and happiness for me. The simple but powerful messages, accompanied by the inviting photographs found inside the book will engage all readers and help them to make the most of their assets.
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Format: Hardcover
Although it takes a simplistic perspective, the ideas are very powerful and can be applied instantly to produce dramatic results in daily living.

I have hundreds of books on management, motivation, self-development and business. One of the things I really liked about this book is it's wholistic approach to life and living.

It gives you the mentality that any problem can be looked at in a better light and as a result will produce favorable outcomes. One of the ideas it poses is about approaching problems. Instead of asking yourself Why do I have to deal with this now? You should ask, "How can this be the best problem I've had?"

If you honestly use and think about the ideas, they can give you more power and a positive attitude to tackle just about anything you're dealing with in life.
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Format: Hardcover
No New Year's resolutions for me. Every spring I like to take stock and re-focus my attitude. Lucky me. I found "Change the Way..." extremely positive and upbeat while packed with serious thoughstarters and guidelines. I had fun reading it. I never felt beaten down with heavy self-help negativity but rather uplifted by the light style and photographs. "Change the Way..." actually practices as it preaches! I'll go back to this book again and again to reflect, refocus and re-enter my life. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
I read a great book today - "Change the way you see everything through Asset Based Thinking (ABT)" by Kathryn Cramer and Hank Wasiak. The main thesis of the book is that we should focus on our assets and not our liabilities or weaknesses. They say that most people are DBT not ABT (Deficit based thinkers not Asset based thinkers)

Of course that resonates with me. I have long believed that the greatest results can be achieved by focusing on strengths. I spend a lot of my time in self discovery. The more I know myself, the better I can focus on my strengths. I also spend a lot of time polishing my strengths. You know from this blog that I focus on efficiency and time management. I actually manage to get quite a bit done so might be fairly good at it but I still take the time to focus on it and study it.

"ABT is not blind optimism or magical thinking". "ABT puts the power of personal, interpersonal and situational assets in your hands so that you can make progress and create the future you desire".

Part of the theory is about reframing (one of my favourite techniques). Rather than say a situation is bad, rather look at what is good about it. In many cases this is as simple as changing the talk about it. Rather than "That's impossible" - "what is possible" or "how could it be possible".

The book includes a series of vignettes about people who use ABT. It also has some exercises. Even with these, it is a fast read.
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