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Mojo: How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get It Back If You Lose It Hardcover – February 2, 2010
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"Marshall's proven improvement process Rocks! -- Alan Mulally
"Perhaps the greatest teacher of leadership on the planet." -- Jim Moore
About the Author
- Item Weight : 15.5 ounces
- Hardcover : 224 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1401323278
- ISBN-13 : 978-1401323271
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 0.75 x 9.5 inches
- Reading level : 18 and up
- Publisher : Hachette Books; 1st edition (February 2, 2010)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #617,910 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This has led me to consume an awful lot of self-help and personal growth books. And let's face it, there are a lot of them out there, from emotional-mental books to career-success books, from metaphysical books to highly practical books, from brazenly cheerleading books to "tough talk and tough love" books.
Most of them are, of course, crap. This I learned early on. But the search for pearls of wisdom remains a valuable pursuit.
From a library of dozens, possibly even a hundred or more, books from one-sort-of-coach-or-another, each with piles of four-and-a-half- to five-star reviews, this is the one that I've returned to the most and that, when things get really tough, I return to again. Several things set this book apart from the rest.
(1) The diagnosis is simple and plausible. It's not about the nature of the universe or some fundamental dimension of your constitution. If you're not where you want to be, it's because you're not actually positive about what you're doing (i.e. not being honest with yourself, not having the courage to do what you need to do, or sabotaging your own acceptance of what you've chosen to do). And because you're not positive about it, you're not doing what you're doing well. And because you're not doing what you're doing well, nobody else is positive about it either.
(2) The cure is neither pointless optimism nor ineffective gimmicks or mental tricks nor oversold tough talk or tough love. Rather, the cure is simple. You have to deal honestly with yourself, make some choices, embrace the consequences, and live with all of that. And if you can't, you'd probably better repeat the process again, starting with being honest with yourself.
This two-point summary may or may not immediately resonate with the details and structure of the book (which are worth having—the two points above won't get you anywhere without all of the scaffolding, reasoning, and discussion that Goldsmith provides), but after repeated readings, these are the two things that it all boils down to in my opinion.
The bulk of the book is Goldsmith demonstrating to you how this plays out (because if you're like me, the tendency is always to want to try to fudge it somehow to avoid risk) and what the steps forward might be, step one being to recognize that you must actually proactively take steps because, as Goldsmith argues,
"Our default response in life is not to experience happiness. Our default response in life is not to experience meaning. Our default response in life is to experience inertia."
To help you to move beyond this inertia, Goldsmith provides in Section III of the book a "mojo Toolkit" with concrete suggestions based on past interactions with clients to help you to address the "low mojo" problem. Unlike so many other books whose advice often boils down to "get more exercise, think positively, stop sabotaging yourself" and a bunch of other overgeneral, non-actionable or obvious claptrap, in this one Goldsmith gives you a decent list of actionable ideas in every chapter, and there are enough of them (more than a dozen overall) that you can do some picking and choosing of those that seem to make sense to you without feeling as though if you don't put any one of them into action, you've basically wasted money by buying the book. These range from the practical, rational frameworks ("adopt a metrics system") to everyday lifestyle changes ("eliminate something big from your daily schedule") to frame-of-mind tasks ("live your mission in...small moments, too").
The net effect is a book that—each time you read it—leaves you feeling as though there are things that you definitely need to do, and as though you have some idea about how to do them and the results that they will produce.
I always finish a re-reading of this book with the desire to open a notebook and begin making a lot of notes, then to take some of the steps that he describes. And they do work. The challenge, as always, is to stick with them and redeploy them anew as circumstances change. It's easy to forget and get lost in the inertia once again.
Point being—I can count on one hand (and really I don't even need that) the number of books from this genre that I've actually read more than once after buying them. I'm starting my seventh or eighth complete reading of this one in as many years, not because I've scheduled such readings like some sort of devotional task, but because I've recently found myself feeling frustrated with the course of things yet again and when that happens, this book invariably bubbles to the surface as "what I need to look at once again."
This is the rare self-help/self-improvement book that bears buying, keeping, and re-reading over time.
The book then expands on what are the foundational elements of Mojo: "Four vital ingredients need to be combined in order for you to have great Mojo. The first is your identity...The second element is achievement...The third element is reputation...The fourth element to building Mojo is acceptance...By understanding the impact and interaction of identity, achievement, reputation, and acceptance, we can begin alter our own Mojo - both at work and home." After spending time explaining and illustrating each of these areas, Marshall then presents a complete toolkit of actions one can take to build/improve one's Mojo. I have included below excerpts that further summarize these concepts.
What I particularly enjoyed about this book is the thoroughness in which the topic is covered: from summarizing the concepts, to explaining them and giving practical examples illustrating them, to finally presenting a toolkit on how to apply them. A recommended read that complements well Marshall's other work: What Got You Here, Won't Get You There.
Below are some excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1) "Measuring your Mojo:
-Professional Mojo: What I being to this activity - 1) Motivation, 2) Knowledge, 3) Ability, 4) Confidence, 5) Authenticity
-Personal Mojo: What this activity brings to me - 6) Happiness, 7) Reward, 8) Meaning, 9) Learning, 10) Gratitude"
2) "Mojo Paradox: Our default response in life is not to experience happiness. Our default response in life is not to experience meaning. Our default response in life is to experience inertia."
3) "To understand how you are relating to any activity, you need to understand your identity - who you are. To change your Mojo, you may need to either create a new identity for yourself or rediscover an identity that you have lost."
4) "If we want to increase our Mojo, we can either change the degree of our achievement - how well we are doing - or change the definition of our achievement - what we are trying to do well."
5) "...Worrying about the past and being anxious about the future can easily destroy our Mojo. It upsets us emotionally. It clouds our judgement. It dills us with regret. And it can lead to self-punishment. This sort of thinking afflicts the high and the low, the rich and the poor, the achievers and the struggling."
6) "Mojo Killers: 1) Over-Committing, 2) Waiting for the facts to change, 3) Looking for logic in all the wrong places, 4) Bashing the boss, 5) Refusing to change because of "Sunk Costs", 6) Confusing the mode you're in"
7) "In this new world, Mojo is both harder to attain and more important to keep. When your competition is already responding to a tough new environment bu working harder and longer, you need unique tools to separate yourself from the throng."
8) "The following is a list of specific actions that can help you attack the challenge of changing You or It...1) Establish criteria that matter to you 2) Find out where you're living 3) Be the optimist in the room 4) Take away one thing 5) Rebuild one brick at a time 6) Live your mission in the small moments too 7) Swim in the Blue Water 8) When to stay, when to go 9) Hello, good-bye 10) Adopt a metrics system 11) Reduce this number 12) Influence up as well as down 13) Name it, frame it, claim it 14) Give your friends a lifetime pass."
9) "...All of us, consciously or not, run everything through two filters: short-term satisfaction (or happiness) and long-term benefit (or meaning). Both have value."
10) "When you have mission, you give yourself a purpose - and that adds clarity to all the actions and decisions that follow. There's an underestimated value to articulating your mission: It focuses you, points you in a new direction, alters your behavior, and as a result, changes other people's perception of you."
Top reviews from other countries
Mojo is much more for someone who is in the corporate world and a must read if you are. I'm not, but still got so much from it.
Do yourself a favour - get his books, watch his videos, work with him (I'm still planning on the last bit :-)