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Ten Steps Ahead: What Separates Successful Business Visionaries from the Rest of Us Hardcover – March 17, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There™s always one visionary who has an uncanny ability to see where the world is heading and who has the moxie to forge the way. A journalist with the Wall Street Journal and Fortune magazine, Calonius argues that the trailblazers who can anticipate that trend, technology, or new business model boast unique intuition, courage, and emotional intelligence. He profiles Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and the Wright brothers as he discusses recent neuroscience discoveries along with the behavioral research he conducted with Dan Ariely on Ariely™s groundbreaking Predictably Irrational, painting an intriguing picture of how visionaries think, work, and create. Finally, he suggests that vision can, in fact, be learned—if we train our brains to recognize and work with inspiration and perspective. An intriguing, if somewhat perfunctory, look at extraordinary thinkers and how they achieve what they do. (Mar.)
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"Ten Steps Ahead is an engaging read for lovers of good science writing and business biographies. Mr. Calonius writes with a strong personal style that is immensely readable and feels like a conversation with a friend."
-NY Journal of Books

"A former writer and editor for the Wall Street Journal and Fortune who collaborated with Dan Ariely on the best-selling Predictably Irrational, Calonius writes engagingly, spinning brain exercises and visualization wistfully in with science, and stories of visionaries. And what stories!...One of the strengths of Calonius' stories is that he's spent time with almost everyone (other than Walt Disney) he profiles in this book. He's hung out in the garage where Steve Jobs built Apple and listened to his stories of how it all began. He wined and dined with Richard Branson on Branson's houseboat, Duende, where he launched his business career. Hearing their stories second-hand through the author makes them come alive..."
-800 CEO READ --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio (March 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591843766
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591843764
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,825,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The material in Ten Steps Ahead is based on what Erik Calonius learned during his research (including interviews of various business visionaries) from which he gained a much better understanding of "what separates successful business visionaries from the rest of us."

The word "successful" is critically important, reminding us of Thomas Edison's observation, "Vision without execution is hallucination." No one can deny what Walt Disney, Edwin Land, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Jeff Hawkins accomplished, not only within the business world but also in terms of the global impact they and their respective companies have had. Calonius also focuses on other visionaries such as Orville and Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, Albert Einstein, and more recently, Richard Feynman whose achievements also indicate that the brain is a visionary device whose primary function is to create pictures.

Throughout human history, innovator thinkers can usually be divided into two classes: dreamers and visionaries. Those in either group tend to be "ten steps ahead of others" in terms of what their brains "see" but only the visionaries are driven (by forces that Calonius explains brilliantly) to make what they "see" become a reality.
Readers will appreciate Calonius' strategic insertion of insightful comments throughout his narrative. For example:

Former Apple CEO John Sculley: "Both of them [i.e. Edwin Land and Steve Jobs] had this ability to - well, not invent products but discover products. Both of them said these products have already existed, it's just that no one had ever seen them before. We were the ones who discovered them." (Page 52)

Peter Salovey and John D.
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Format: Hardcover
There are many books that claim to provide insight into visionary business thinkers but thTen Steps Ahead delivers in a unique way. For one, the author has met each of the visionaries he profiles. This gives us tremendous insight into not just the actions and results but also the steps that go into each decision made by a visionary. It is one thing to borrow from the Apple tagline "Think Different"; it is another to sit down with Jobs at an early age and walk through his thinking. Second, the book is clearly written, fun and provides actionable guidance for people who may lack the same vision, leadership, and insight of some of the greats we are all trying to learn from. Ten Steps Ahead is a simple yet incredibly powerful book that stays provocative throughout while still providing the reader a path to be more of a visionary.
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Format: Hardcover
I read several chapters before I stopped because I have read better books. This is another book chasing the new development in the relationship of neuroscience and success. It used some interesting stories which may not have been covered by previous books. But the ideas are a repackaging of what has been written many times already. If you haven't read anything on this topic, you may be impressed. But this book has another big shortcoming: After telling stories, the author didn't put enough effort to write how psychology make these people successful in a way that general audience can understand. He copied pages after pages of neuroscience research and how their new brain scanning machines work, which is boring and useless. How good can it be for such a book if you only read other people's successful stories without really understanding the psychology behind it?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A fantastic overview of how visionary thinkers think along with the supporting research. Also provides a list of reference material and a bibliography. I highly recommend it. Well done Erik.
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