Author : Tom Connellan
I have always enjoyed business books written with strong things to teach, but done in a fable or story context, such as Lencioni’s book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team. Connellan has done the same with The 1% Solution since it is written as a story, yet with very clear elements taught to the reader. This particular story is of a guy, named Ken who had reached a point where things seemed to be a struggle in his life and he was noticing vast differences in people around him, some doing well, some struggling. The coach of all people on his son’s soccer team met Ken and steered him towards a new path with the help of a group of others in a 1% solutions team.
The concept from the group was clear, that doing everything in your life just one percent better and constantly striving (deliberately) to improve just one percent can have dramatic positive consequences. The difference between many first place medals in Olympics and no metal is often as small as 1% so that 1% can make a big difference. Whether you are after an Olympic Games goal or not, everyone has the ability to be better than they are, and the 1% solution provides a model and outlook towards life to do just that, be better.
As Ken meets and spends time with each of the 6 people in the 1% group, he learns important concepts about learning, improving and focusing his life around becoming a better person in many areas. The group of 6 is realistic in having Ken think about how to get better than what HE already is, instead of thinking about where he’d like to be the best which compares to others and often holds people back from improving step by step. The messages are very practical and cover a lot of personal development aspects I’m sure many people have seen or heard. The author puts them into context of a person’s life and tells them in a way that is compelling and believable. Here are just a few of the examples and messages from the text:
- You can’t be 100% better than everyone else, but you can be 1% better at hundreds of things
- Not everyone can be great, but everyone can be better than they are right now
- The more you get done, the more motivated you are to do things. So you do more things, and you get even more motivated. It’s a self-feeding cycle!
- The way to start is by taking action – even if it’s a small action.
- Too many people who have been around for 30 years don’t really have 30 years’ experience. They have one year’s experience 30 times.
- What sets apart the top 1% is that they cycle throughout the day between periods of concentrated effort and planned recovery.
So, there are many other messages and I think you will certainly enjoy this book. The author covers and uses motivation and engagement topics, teaches elements of the Pareto or 80/20 principle, emphasizes Gladwell’s 10000 hours to become an expert message, covers deliberate practice to get better faster, dives into a 30 day formula to form or break habits, includes the important aspect of properly resting and recovering from 1% progress and finally includes how all this can then be passed on to others and shared again. If you’ve read a ton of other content in personal development, you will likely not come across anything really new in this but at the very least; it will reinforce many common aspects of becoming a better person. If you’re searched and read some content on personal development and want a book that is easy to read yet packed with useful content and tips, then this book is definitely for you. It is an easy read, fairly short and the story is well written with a good mix of dialogue where Ken learns from the 1% group and narrative writing of his thoughts and actions. There are additional resources at the author’s website if you want more information. I’d love to hear your comments or questions about the book if you have read it or not, as the topics are all worthy of discussion!
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