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A.I.M.: The Powerful 10-Step Personal and Career Success Program

Book Description

From the Introduction by Alex Gill

Before embarking on the A.I.M. program, I was just an ordinary guy with a problem that many, many others have had at some point in their careers. I was unhappy. I was becoming bitter. I complained about my job a lot. I knew I was in a rut and couldn't figure out what to do about it. I felt powerless, unfocused and alone. And I didn't see a way I could make things improve. That was my starting point before I began the A.I.M. process.


Today, I run my own firm that helps dozens of nonprofits improve their community impact each year. I work on very interesting and socially relevant projects for an ever-growing roster of clients. I have flown around the world to talk about community building, environmentalism and social marketing. I also teach at an innovative downtown university where the students are a joy to teach and my fellow professors often remark on my enthusiasm for my work and life in general. My friends and family constantly note that I seem happier and more motivated as the years go by.


This did not happen because of some exceptional piece of luck - nor because of some superhuman ability or intelligence on my part ... I was someone who happened upon a method - the A.I.M. method - that helped me determine who I was and what inspired me, and then put me on the path to achieving it. It happened because I put those principles into action with the help and guidance of a coach like Jim Carlisle. 


I hope as you read this book that you will appreciate how A.I.M. changed my life - and how it could help you change yours. Jim and I have taken the better part of a year to write this book because we believe in strongly in helping those who need a way out. Every day we see people who would benefit from taking charge of their lives and moving forward to achieve, inspire and make a difference.


If you see a bit of yourself in my story - or in the dozens of stories we will share in this book - read on. I hope your journey is even more productive and rewarding than my own.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. How Coaching Changed My Life—and Can Change Yours
  4. What Is the A.I.M. Method All About?
    1. A.I.M.: Achieve, inspire, make a difference
    2. From the C—suite to you: The origins and history of A.I.M.
    3. Starting on the road to A.I.M.: My experience
    4. Where will your own journey end?
  5. I. Why A.I.M. Matters
    1. 1. Making the Choice
    2. 2. What Makes People Happy, Really?
      1. 2.1. Learning from the example of happy people
      2. 2.2. Is happiness attainable? What the research tells us
      3. 2.3. Can things make us happier?
        1. 2.3.1. A life in control: Anna's story
      4. 2.4. Moving forward through the A.I.M. method
  6. II. The 10—Step Process
    1. 3. (Un)Willing and Able? Starting Your Journey through the A.I.M. Process
      1. 3.1. Knowing how and where to start: Jack's story
        1. 3.1.1. Knowing how and where to start: Jack's story
      2. 3.2. Starting the A.I.M. process: Getting it all out . . .
      3. 3.3. Six steps to capturing, understanding, and moving forward
        1. 3.3.1.
          1. Step One: Determine how you want to express yourself
          2. Step Two: Get it all out (all of it)
          3. Step Three: Sleep on it and revisit
          4. Step Four: Group and evaluate
          5. Step Five: Develop your statement of focus
          6. Step Six: Move on—or not
        2. 3.3.2. When it's not so cut and dried: Barb's story
      4. 3.4. Jack's and Barb's stories: A new beginning
      5. 3.5. Your result: A foundation to move forward
    2. 4. Mapping the Four—Dimensional You
      1. 4.1. The windowpane exercise: Looking inside yourself—from the outside!
        1. 4.1.1. Learning from George and Jessica
      2. 4.2. Creating your own windowpane
      3. 4.3. Decade review: Looking back to move forward
      4. 4.4. What you have accomplished
    3. 5. Sketching Success
      1. 5.1. Knowing your skill/talent portfolio
        1. 5.1.1. Self—knowledge—a study in contrasts: The story of Caroline and Greg
      2. 5.2. Conducting your own exercise
      3. 5.3. Making a "future options" list of what you want in your career and/or life
        1. 5.3.1. CEO or bus driver?: Paul's story
      4. 5.4. Developing your own future options list
        1. 5.4.1. When it all comes together: Marilyn's story
      5. 5.5. You have identified your dreams
    4. 6. Reviewing What's Important
      1. 6.1. From many options, a new direction: Henry's story
        1. 6.1.1. From many options, a new direction: Henry's story
        2. 6.1.2. Henry's focus statement:
        3. 6.1.3. Henry's windowpane exercise:
        4. 6.1.4. Henry's strengths and weaknesses:
        5. 6.1.5. Henry's future list:
          1. "Staying where I am"
        6. 6.1.6. "Another big company"
        7. 6.1.7. "Smaller and more entrepreneurial company in my field"
        8. 6.1.8. "Join a consulting practice"
        9. 6.1.9. Henry's journey—from confusion to a story with choices
      2. 6.2. Moving forward with your own story
    5. 7. Cashing a Reality Check
      1. 7.1. Choosing the right "reality banker"
        1. 7.1.1. Getting the right reality banker: Sandra and Patrick's stories
      2. 7.2. Finding your own reality banker
        1. 7.2.1. A final story of a valuable reality check: Henry's correction
      3. 7.3. Moving forward from your reality check
    6. 8. Asking the Hard Questions
      1. 8.1. The FIVE key questions you need to ask NOW to save grief LATER
        1. 8.1.1. Keeping your momentum going—some tricks and tips
        2. 8.1.2. How Henry's questions led to answers
      2. 8.2. Completing your own questions
    7. 9. Road Mapping Your Options
      1. 9.1. Research: The starting point for all your options
        1. 9.1.1. Naomi's research leads to a career transition
        2. 9.1.2. Conducting your own research: Some tips
      2. 9.2. Networking: The misunderstood technique
        1. 9.2.1. Mapping out your own networking strategy
    8. 10. Filling Up Your Toolkit
      1. 10.1. Your tools
        1. 10.1.1. The starting point—the elevator speech
        2. 10.1.2. Paulo's story: From introvert to powerhouse
        3. 10.1.3. Writing your own elevator speech
        4. 10.1.4. Creating your one—page profile
        5. 10.1.5. Writing your own one—page summary
        6. 10.1.6. Your resumé: An anchor in any transition
        7. 10.1.7. Career objective—or not?
      2. 10.2. Opening your toolkit and beginning to network
        1. 10.2.1. The friendly contact
        2. 10.2.2. The referred contact
        3. 10.2.3. The "cold call" contact
        4. 10.2.4. Whom to contact?
        5. 10.2.5. How to contact?
        6. 10.2.6. What to say?
        7. 10.2.7. What to expect
        8. 10.2.8. Tips and techniques: The in—person meeting
        9. 10.2.9. From questions to a conversation: When a meeting goes well
    9. 11. NET Growth: Networking, Exploring, Transforming
      1. 11.1. Mark's cautionary tale: Declaring victory too early
        1. 11.1.1. Mark's cautionary tale: Declaring victory too early
      2. 11.2. How you can make it happen: Networking, exploring, and transforming
        1. 11.2.1. Stage one: Conduct your initial meetings
        2. 11.2.2. Stage two: Finding new contacts and building networking into your daily life
          1. A word about on—line communities
          2. Practical advice on getting the most out of networking
            1. Get the numbers to work for you
            2. Go where the "cool things" are happening
            3. Find the connector in the crowd
            4. Don't worry: Confidence can be learned
            5. Focus on trust, and networking will follow
        3. 11.2.3. When it all comes together: Henry's networking challenges and successes
      3. 11.3. Moving forward to "A.I.M. in constant motion"
    10. 12. A.I.M. in Constant Motion
      1. 12.1. Why give back?
      2. 12.2. Moving up the A.I.M. pyramid
      3. 12.3. Serving as an inspirational example
      4. 12.4. Practical tips for inspiring and making a difference
        1. 12.4.1. Henry's story: The final stages of A.I.M. throw an unexpected curve
      5. 12.5. Our journey together is over, but yours continues
  7. III. Wrapping Up and Looking Forward
    1. A.I.M. in a Shifting Market
  8. A. Further Reading Recommendations
  9. About the Authors