The New Science of Personal Success

Review Review Review Review Review

Author: Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

This is a superb book and while it makes high claims to be able to change your life which are hard to believe, it does provide some excellent guidance and methods if practiced consistently, I believe are foundation principles to change your life.  The book has 3 main parts:

  1. The science of personal success
  2. The six sources of influence
  3. How to change anything

The concepts in these sections all examine personal success and how influence on oneself is what feeds change.  Part 1 covers in great detail a section on willpower and the willpower trap.  This trap is often thought to be why people can’t change and unfortunately, most people accept this too suddenly and think they know the issue, when in reality, they are blind to the other factors that lock them in to believing the willpower is the limiting factor, leaving themselves in an impossible to break cycle.

Change from these traps requires a specific approach for each specific problem and the usual ‘blamed’ willpower must be learned to not be the real cause of these limiting beliefs.  To discover these, you must understand the next section of the book, which is all about the sources of influence.  Its these areas that really reveal the brilliance of this book as it forces you to not only look at what you are likely used to doing unconsciously, but also to tackle things from new perspectives, despite your old habits or how ingrained they might be in your character.  These six sources may seem too simple or even counter-intuitive, which is why this book is so valuable, because as titles they are not that useful.  However, they are:

  1. Love what you hate
  2. Do what you can’t
  3. Turn accomplices into friends
  4. Turn accomplices into friends
  5. Invert the economy
  6. Control your space

That’s not a typo, there are two sections dedicated to turning accomplices into friends.  Influences are covered from the 3 different sources, personal, social and structural.  All of these are explored and the authors present tools to use each influence for good and for the change you want.  This guidance itself is worth reading the book for, and it ties in to the whole purpose of the book, to change yourself first and get influence under control so you can change anything.  If you are interested in this level of influence, you can read their earlier book as well, called Influence, which I reviewed here.

So, overall I definitely recommend this book to any of my readers and anyone interested in personal development, in changing or improving some of their habits and if you are wanting to influence others for good as a result of your own personal development. There is a lot to take in from these authors and a lot of great techniques and guidance to absorb and apply for change.  I’m sure you will enjoy it like I have!

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