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Flying Without a Net: Turn Fear of Change into Fuel for Success Hardcover – June 14, 2011
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If you have these types of personalities in your organization, or are one yourself, DeLong’s book will be enormously helpful.” HR Professional magazine
As part leadership training and part psychology text, Flying Without a Net takes on the often-overlooked soft side of the leadership vortex, and DeLong’s timing could not be better.” Korn Ferry Briefings
The jargon-free book delivers a helpful read that will give you a sophisticated means to accomplish your tasks with grace and aplomb.” Read Flying Without a Net to reassess your ambitions, restore your sensibilities and inspire you to do more than just checking tasks off a list.” Small Business Trends (smallbiztrends.com)
For those who like a little psychoanalysis with their summer reading, this is the perfect book.” Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Harvard Business School professor Thomas J. DeLong’s Flying Without a Net is a must-read.” - Infosys Finacle Connect
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
What DeLong contributes is a brilliant analysis of (a) why most people fear change, Chapters 1-2; (b) "the big three anxieties" (purpose, isolation, and significance), Chapters 3-5; (c) four "traps" that prevent change (busyness, comparing, blame, and worry, and finally, Chapters 6-9; and (d) what is needed to avoid or escape from the anxieties and traps by "turning fear of change into fuel for success," Chapters 10-14. To assist that process of personal change, he inserts through his narrative sets of direct questions or suggestions that comprise an accumulative self-assessment. In the first four chapters, for example, questions to
o Determine your willingness to do the right thing poorly (Page 34-35)
o Determine if your work is connected to a larger purpose (46)
o Raise your awareness of events that devalue you (52-53-35)
o Maintain awareness of feeling isolated (68-69)
o Determine if you're caught in a "gravitational pull" of your own (78)
I was especially interested in what DeLong has to say about The Blame Trap.Read more ›
DeLong has spent years studying what he calls "high need for achievement professionals." He especially focuses on why change can be so challenging for these people. One of the main points is that for these people to change and learn new things they must go through a period of what he calls "doing the right thing poorly." Because they are fearful of "looking bad" as they attempt to grow and learn there is a tendency to avoid situations in which they may look less than competent even if this means that they limit their growth and development. When they find themselves in these situations, the result is frequently severe anxiety.
DeLong describes four traps that keep high achievers from changing. He describes these as busyness, comparing, blame and worry. He spends a chapter on each and his descriptions of the behaviors and their consequences make for fascinating reading. The many stories and personal reflections included in each chapter add both depth and perspective. The first sections of the book are excellent.
Unfortunately, the final section of the book titled "Getting Over It: Tools for Turning Fear of Change into Fuel for Success" fails to deliver. I had hoped to find some great tools and insights to use both personally and with my executive coaching clients; however, I found almost all of his suggestions to be either vague generalities or overly simplistic exercises.
If you are, or work with, high need for achievement type people you will find the descriptions and insights into common growth-limiting behaviors both interesting and informative. The prescriptions for change may disappoint.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tom's main theme: Be willing to re-start imperfectly, or you will never restart -- is a terrific lesson.Published 8 months ago by jim Schroer
Havn't got a chance to read this yet but I am very eager to check it out. Heard good things.Published on April 14, 2014 by Thomas Murphy
Well, I know Professor DeLong. I have spent four days in his presence. From the start of morning breakfast till the end of evening dinner. In the classroom of HBS. Everyday. Read morePublished on February 18, 2013 by Arijit Chakraborti
This book came at the perfect moment offering wisdom that have never heard in my professional life. It has given me renewed interest in finding my true purpose in life. Read morePublished on February 6, 2013 by Terry