Coming for the May First Friday Book Synopsis – Imagine by Jonah Lehrer & Take the Stairs by Rory Valden
On April 6, we began our 15th year of the First Friday Book Synopsis. We have presented two synopses, two books a month, every month, for now over 14 years. A woman recently told me that in her circles, our event is described as one of the premiere networking events in Dallas, because of its combination of great participants, engaged in terrific conversations while making valuable connections with each other, as they receive the content of the book presentations. Content + conversation + good food, in a beautiful setting, all in a fast-paced breakfast meeting. And, this great experience respects your own busy time demands – we start at 7:00 am, and you can leave right at 8:05, and get right back at the challenges of the day.
For May 4, we have chosen two good books. I look forward to presenting my synopsis of Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer. Mr. Lehrer has been interviewed and profiled in many places since the publication of his book. It is, as they say, generating “buzz.” I am just getting starting on my reading of the book. Bob Morris, our blogging colleague, really liked this book, and ended his review of it with these words: ”Bravo! I also thank him for all that I have learned.” Read Bob’s review of this book by clicking here.
You will be able to register soon from this web site for our May 4 event. If you are in the DFW area, come join us, bring a bring, join in the conversation, and keep learning with us at the First Friday Book Synopsis.
You can click on the flier below for a full and printable view.
Chris J. Snook has spent than a decade as an author, entrepreneur, and venture catalyst. He has built a global marketing and distribution business in the U.S. Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong, along with a Business Development Consulting firm, and has spent the last three years incubating new media startups. He is currently the managing partner of TLEC Venture’s portfolio which includes several modern media focused businesses such as The No Limit Publishing Group, Parallel6, VTV, and loopthink. Snook has co-authored two international best-selling books: Wealth Matters with Muzafer Najfi (2007 and 2011, 2nd Edition) and Personal Trainer’s Burnout: How to Transform Frustration to Fortune (2005).
Muzafer Muzafer in the Arabic language means “Victorious” and for the last 16 years he has been that and more in the arena of direct sales and network marketing. He has built, managed, and maintained several sales organizations domestically and internationally from the ground up in excess of 15,000 distributors, that have generated hundreds of millions in annual sales and has received numerous accolades including “Top Income Earner” and “Outstanding Leadership Award”, and features in Success from Home, Your Business at Home magazines, and the Network Marketing Business Journal.
Here is an excerpt from my interview of them. To read the complete interview, please click here.
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Morris: Before discussing Wealth Matters, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?
Snook: The greatest influence on my personal growth has been two parents who have modeled since I was a baby what it looks like to be responsible and accountable for all of my results and who have always been supportive of my unfoldment and quest for ongoing achievement. They have worked at their marriage and their individual awareness consistently.
Najfi: The greatest influence on my personal development- My foundation came from having a strong faith in God and learning right from wrong and being led by my mom. In the business world I cannot pin point it to 1 individual. There were many good people that taught me great things. As well as people that were horrible that taught me what not to do!
Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?
Snook: Too many to count, but I guess it all started in 1999 when I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. That was the spark. I read (or listened) to over 200 books from that in a 12 month period. I have had numerous coaches and mentors along the way, and adversity has made me apply the acquired knowledge and skills in a myriad of ways which has created the mastery and confidence I move with today.
Najfi: The greatest impact on personal development was being told to read the famous Think and Grow Rich. It took me seven readings of it to find the “SECRET”! That month I made $7k and the next month I made $8k. The next month I made $9k, then $10, then $11k, then $13k and then I made $17k! That book helped me more than I can even explain!
Morris: Was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) years ago that set you on the career course that you continue to follow? Please explain.
Snook: When my football career officially ended in 2000, I realized that business and personal and professional development and deal creation was the only thing large enough to fill the void. Up until that point, being an athlete and maximizing my performance was all consuming. I wanted and needed an outlet that would last the rest of my life and business became that vehicle for me.
Najfi: My turning point was when my friend Eddie made me realize that the people that are making 100k a month are no better than us. All we have to do is EXACTLY what they do to the BEST of our ability and we will out produce them! So from that day forward I did everything to the best of my ability but said their words and presented the business the way they did.
Morris: To what extent (if any) has your formal education proven invaluable to what you have achieved in your life thus far? Please explain.
Snook: My formal education taught me how to study hard, improved my critically thinking and also allowed me to play Football longer (haha). I have learned far more impactful stuff, though by starting businesses, losing businesses, making and losing money, and years of seminars, books, and mentors.
Najfi: My formal education just happened to be perfect for my industry! I graduated with a degree in psychology and communications and a minor in business. I think that is the pure definition of Network Marketing!
Morris: Here are a few of my favorite quotations. Please respond to each. First, from Voltaire: “Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those that find it.”
Snook: The journey is often more enjoyable than arriving at the destination
Najfi: I appreciate people that are looking for the RIGHT information. It is what people do with the information once they have learned it that makes me judge them. When you are ignorant, bliss is apparent because you do not know what you do not know but once you know then your choices in either doing or not doing shows your IQ!
Morris: Next, from Darrell Royal: “Potential” means “you ain’t done it yet.”
Snook: True. We can never in one life time realize our unlimited potential, but we can certainly give it our best try and give it hell while we here!
Najfi: Potential is a fancy word for I have not done SQUAT yet! I agree 100% There are so may people with potential that are scared to take action. They are either scared of failing or even scared of succeeding. Either way they have fear and that is the reason they are in the “potential” sentence!
Morris: Next, from Helen Keller: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
Snook: I would say it’s either one helluva fun ride or a miserable prison of monotony.
Najfi: To me that means that Life is what you make of it! One person’s adventure is anothers nothing….YOU DECIDE!
Morris: Finally, from Peter Drucker: ”There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”
Snook: Activity and Productivity are in two completely different universes. Energy is used up in either case, but only productivity enhances the world.
Najfi: People waste time everyday getting great at things that will never add value to their life or others!
Morris:In your opinion, what are the defining characteristics of an entrepreneur?
Snook: Willingness. Once you study enough good books you realized two simple questions are all one needs to ask in life as it relates to acquiring a goal. 1) Am I Able? Answer: You wouldn’t have a desire in your heart if you weren’t able, so the only question that remains unanswered is 2) Am I willing? Entrepreneurs are WILLING to do whatever it takes, regardless of circumstance to manifest their creative urge. We are like cockroaches and Rocky Balboa baby…you can’t kill us.
Najfi: Willing to take risks, seeks specialized knowledge, has desire, is focused, has the willingness to learn, and gets enough info to make a decision and then seeks more but does not wait to know it all because they will never get out of the starting blocks
Morris:What do you now know about the business world that you wish you knew when you launched your first company?
Snook: Actually I am glad I didn’t know half the stuff I now know or I might not have ever started. Ignorance is bliss. You will always find the next answer you need if you ask the right questions. Just get going and let it all come at you.
Morris: I am among those who think that certain films dramatize very effectively important business lessons. In fact, I use clips from them when conducting workshops and seminars for corporate clients. For example, if the subject is teamwork, films such as The Sting, The Great Escape, and Remember the Titans. If the subject were leadership, which films would you select? Please explain
Snook: I would agree with Remember the Titans, Ghandi, and I like to watch Thirteen Days (great on decision making which is all leaders really do)
Najfi: I use clips from a lot of movies like Gladiator, Braveheart, Drumline, Remember the Titans, The Replacements. I use a lot of sports movies….
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To read the complete interview, please click here.
Chris J Snook and Muzafer Najfi cordially invite you to check out the resources at these websites:
They encourage you to purchase a copy of Wealth Matters Makeover Edition in a print or digital format wherever books are sold.
I have now presented my 15 minute version of Gary Hamel’s new book, What Matters Now: How to Win in a World of Relentless Change, Ferocious Competition, and Unstoppable Innovation at yesterday morning’s First Friday book Synopsis. I look forward to one of my longer sessions with this book, where I can spend quite a bit more time on some of the points.
(explanation: at the First Friday Book Synopsis, we present our synopses in 15 minutes. It is very fast paced. And then, frequently, companies or organizations hire us to present our synopses in longer sessions, which is where we have time to give the content a more complete “treatment.” These presentations are useful in many ways: leadership training and interaction; issues identification; strategy development sessions…)
For example, on Friday, I simply did not have time to talk about this great point:
Great design is less about genius than empathy—and it’s often the tiniest things that make the biggest difference to consumers.
I think empathy may be one of the traits most needed for business success. With empathy, we listen better, we solve problems better… we can meet the needs of our customers and our co-workers when we come from a place of genuine empathy.
The book What Matters Now covers little that is “new.” I’m not sure that I “learned” much that was new. But the book does a terrific job reminding us of what is important, and then leading us to ask the right questions. In fact, here are my four takeaways from the book, all in the form of questions. Have a go at these… it will be worth your time.
(And, after you read the book, you might add your own takeaway questions).
#1. What are your actual values?
Your organization is – and you; yes, you! are – values driven. So, what are those values? Answer that question honestly. The values you claim to follow may not be your actual values (i.e., the values that reveal themselves in your decision making and your actions). What are your values – for you, and for your organization?
#2. Where are you on the hierarchy of the human capabilities at work? How can you, how do you help people move toward the summit – that top level, the level of passion?
#3. Are you actually practicing continual innovation and adaptability? Throughout your organization? And in all aspects of your life, especially including your work life? Have you actually embraced innovation and change? How have you done so — what is your proof that you practice continual innovation?
#4. Are you passionate about your work?
If passion matters (which it does), would your customers describe your employees as passionate employees – passionate about serving the needs of the customer with a product and/or service that makes a difference for the better? And, would your customers, and your coworkers, describe you as passionate about the work you do?
I always try to figure out “just what should we do” after reading a good book. One thing we can always do is to ask “what are the questions that we need to deal with regarding the issues addressed in this book?”. Coming up with the questions is difficult work. It’s even more challenging to answer them.
You can purchase my synopsis of What Matters Now, with audio + a comprehensive handout, soon on our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com. We have hundreds of book synopses available. You really can sit down with handout in hand, listen to the audio, and learn significant content from the best business books of our era. Nearly all of these are recorded at our First Friday Book Synopsis events.