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Showing 1-10 of 15 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 20 reviews
on May 4, 2013
The first thing I read by Mark Murphy was called Hiring For Attitude and I really learned a lot from his book and wanted to read more of what he has to say. So my second Mark Murphy book was this one - HUNDRED PERCENTERS: Challenge Your Employees to Give it Their All and They'll Give You Even More. Yes, I know it's a long subtitle, but aptly describes the subject matter. This book was designed to help get the very best performance out of your employees.

This book begins with an extensive 21-page introduction which begins with a trickle-down effect of leadership - to get 100% performance requires 100% leadership. This is followed by an easy to use tool to determine exactly what type of leader you are and what kind of corrections and adjustments you may need to make in order to develop 100 percenters. Then the introduction goes to give a brief summary of the chapters that await. Even the introduction contains several pearls of wisdom.

The 1st Chapter introduces the concept of HARD goal setting. We're all familiar with the SMART goal concept. Here Murphy discusses the flaws associated with Setting SMART goals and recommends instead that goals must be Heartfelt (they exist to serve a purpose greater than ourselves), Animated (they're so vividly described and presented that to not reach them would leave us wanting), Required (they're critical to our existence to the point we must examine the repercussions of NOT pursuing this goal) and Difficult (they must test our limits - we can achieve more when challenged to do so - think of a sports team that performs at its best when facing its strongest opponent).

For me personally, chapter 2 was the most valuable portion of the book. Here Murphy introduces the IDEALS script for delivering constructive feedback:
I. Invite them to partner - "Would you be willing to have a conversation with me about ____?
D. Disarm yourself - "No weapons of communication will be used against you in this conversation."
E. Eliminate blame - "If we find we have different perspectives we can discuss those and develop a plan to move forward.
A. Affirm their control - "Does that sound okay?"
L. List correct feedback - Feedback must make sense, hold up to scrutiny, be understandable and sufficiently teach.
S. Synchronize your understanding - "Tell me how you think we can work together to improve on this situation?"
Now of course, Murphy goes into much greater detail than what I have covered in a paragraph here, but you get the idea behind the IDEALS script.

The next chapter begins by pointing out why some employees are hesitant to become 100%ers. They see the star performers in your organization as always being the one extra work falls upon. The top performers get all of the difficult tasks, are asked to work the longer hours and are often dramatically underpaid for what they do. So why would anyone aspire to become a 100%er? This chapter exposes how most exacerbate the situation by failing to recognize the difference between a 50% performer and a 100% performer.

Stop Demotivating and Start Motivating. That's the title and subject matter of chapter 4. It is a crash course in servant leadership, but it goes beyond that by examining what Murphy refers to as "Shoves and Tugs". These are the things that push employees down and the things that pull them up. Murphy defines 7 different types of employee personalities and the shoves and tugs or motivators and demotivators for each personality.

We've all experienced employees who were very good at their craft; very highly skilled, but all a royal pain for their bosses and co-workers. Don't you just love trying to deal with those people? Murphy has penned an entire chapter on how to deal with what he term "talented terrors". These are people that are possess the skillsets of a superstar, but an attitude that is like a cancer in the workforce. They destroy morale, reduce leadership effectiveness and even get good leaders fired. They must either change or be removed and Murphy walks the reader through the entire process.

This is followed by the book's Conclusion where Murphy recaps ten of the best take-a-ways from the book, then an in-depth appendix that will have you re-thinking your company evaluation forms.

Simply stated, if you are in a position of leadership, you need to read this book. And all I've done here is skim the surface of the book, I haven't even mentioned the vast wealth of leadership resources you will find on Murphy's website. Are you employees giving 100 percent?
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on June 11, 2012
This book, along with Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude, are great guides to working with others in a leadership role. It really doesn't matter if you are a formal or informal leader you'll learn a bunch of great material from both books. Hiring for Attitude covers what to do to get great workers in the building, Hundred Percenters tells you what to do with the folks you already have in the building, both great and struggling. We all know that typically you spend most of your time as a leader focused on the low performers, this book reminds you that the top performers need attention too, and what kind of attention works for them. It also tells you how to more quickly deal with those who have traditionally soaked up your time as a leader, and not shown much growth.

All in all I highly recommend this book.

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on November 6, 2009
If I had a dollar for every unachieved SMART goal I've seen quietly swept under the rug, well, let's just say I could buy far more than a leadership book. But boy am I glad I bought and read this book.

I finally understand why SMART goals leave me cold--- they're uninspiring. Ok, so specific and measurable I can buy- that's common sense. However, also true to their name, SMART goals are achievable and realistic, two factors that fail to light the needed fire under my ass (or anyone else's that I know of) to go above and beyond.

For overachievers like me, SMART goals are simply boring, but even worse, for low performers SMART goals are a dream. They are the perfect excuse to give no more than the status quo demands while looking like you're giving it your all.

By the time I finished Chapter One of Hundred Percenters, I not only had justification of my long held suspicion that SMART goals are not all that smart, I also knew what to use in their place--- HARD goals: Heartfelt, Animated, Required and best of all, Difficult. HARD goals inspire and push everyone involved to give way more than the status quo. So your top performers, who want to achieve the impossible, are the ones who are now living the dream, while your low performers are left to make a choice--- become a Hundred Percenter or be revealed for the slackers they really are.

Do HARD goals work? Well, as I look back on my life, every great achievement I've ever had sure seems to follow this approach. And I've never seen any truly exceptional achievement (business, science, arts, sports, whatever) that didn't follow this. I only wish I had made every goal in my life HARD.

I assigned my first HARD goal today for my team. And let me tell you, there was electricity in that room--- excitement about achieving something greater than we've ever before done--- about being asked to push past the status quo. I never got that from a SMART goal.

Hundred Percenters is a breath of fresh air in the leadership genre. Murphy is funny and engaging while clearly making a case for why his techniques are needed and showing readers exactly how to execute them. There are scripts (lots of them) that use real-life language to bring the techniques to life, and there's no annoying chest beating---just facts, techniques and follow through.

Murphy's company, Leadership IQ, has done some impressive studies and the numbers sprinkled throughout the book are pretty shocking--- like the fact that 72 % of employees (from a study of over 500,000) admit they are not working as hard as they could.

Oh, and if you think knocking SMART goals off its throne was long overdue, don't miss the appendix where Murphy takes on the weaknesses of 5-point scales, especially as they apply to employee surveys.

We're giving Leadership IQ a call to get pricing on their survey tool, the Hundred Percenter Index. It'd be nice if we actually started getting real value and improvement from our employee surveys (instead of the perfunctory nonsense we currently go through every year).

Bottom line, buy the book. You won't regret it.
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on July 3, 2014
I have found surprising information in this book. While this is written to help bosses get most out of their employees, I have managed to extract more from this book - I tried to understand how bosses think and moulded myself to be more attractive to current and prospective employers. I am not aware of other books that take a similar approach to performance. Even if you won't use the information, you might find that it is not a bad read.
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on July 2, 2011
I read this book in January on a plane flight and was highlighting like crazy. The book has so many tips for improving yourself and your team it's incredible. I liked it so much that I purchased a copy for every member of the United Way of Central Indiana's campaign cabinet and staff. We read and discussed the chapter on personal story telling in February and each group member shared their personal story about why they are involved with United Way. Prior to setting this year's goal, everyone read the chapter on setting HARD goals and as a result I believe we did an outstanding job of coming up with a truly heartfelt, animated, required and difficult goal. Buy it. You won't be disappointed.
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on July 29, 2010
All leaders would like to have a whole team of "hundred percenters" people who are committed to their work and show it through their work, giving full effort, energy and attention to their work.

This is the framework for this book on leadership from Mark Murphy, the Chairman and CEO of Leadership IQ. The book uses their extensive research both with Client's and other wise, to ferret out some of the key things we can do as leaders to find and influence "hundred percenters".

In the introduction he offers research to help the reader determine your leadership style in a four quadrant model with Challenge and Emotional Connection as two variables. This introduction itself, I believe is worth the price of the book, and is likely the most valuable introduction I've read.

The rest of the book focuses on:

Constructive feedback
Positive reinforcement
Dealing with "talented terrors" - people with "100% skills and 0% Attitude"

Each chapter provides fresh ideas, some of which may refute the wisdom you've heard and read before.

This is well written, research based book that doesn't read like a textbook. It is well written and easy to read. If you are a leader, you will want to read this book.
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on June 12, 2015
Nothing earth-shattering in this book. The author's website ( is interesting, but this book stinks.
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on October 13, 2013
I like the depth of the detail in the recommended actions that the author walked me through. So often other authors act like they have given great advice yet they leave so much out, but not in this book.
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on September 3, 2012
We used this book for a Managers' Book Club at work. It provided great discussion points and helped individual managers think about their role as well as the way they interacted with and handled their teams. I highly recommend this for anyone in a managerial role.
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on January 3, 2014
Any manager should read this book and consider it specially these days that anual objectives are set on most of the companies
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