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Extraordinary Influence

Book Description

The age-old question for every leader—how do we bring out the best in those we lead? Anyone who has run a company, raised a family, lead an army, or coached a team struggles to find the key to help others excel and realize their potential. It is surprising how often we resort to criticism vs. an approach that actually results in a better worker and a better person. 

What if we could speak Words of Life that transform those under our influence and ignite fires of intrinsic motivation? What if those we lead found great purpose in what they do and worked at their jobs with all their heart? Isn’t that what leaders, parents and teachers really want? Ultimately, don’t we hope to foster intrinsic motivation so that the individuals we lead become better employees, better students or better athletes? Recent discoveries of brain science and the wisdom of top CEO’s that Dr. Tim Irwin interviewed for this book give us the answers we’ve long sought.

In most organizations, the methods used to provide feedback to employees such as performance appraisal or multi-rater feedback systems, in fact, accomplish the exact opposite of what we intend. We inadvertently speak Words of Death. Brain science tells us that these methods tend to engage a natural “negativity bias” that is hardwired in us all.

Science in recent years discovered that affirmation sets in motion huge positive changes in the brain. It releases certain neuro chemicals associated with well-being and higher performance. Amazingly, criticism creates just the opposite neural reaction. The most primitive part of the brain goes into hyper defense mode, compromising our performance, torpedoing our motivation and limiting access to our higher-order strengths.

How do we redirect employees who are out-of-line without engaging our natural “negativity bias?” Leaders must forever ban the term, “Constructive Criticism.” Brain science tells us that we can establish a connection between the employee’s work and his or her aspirations. This book calls for a new approach to align workers with an organization’s mission, strategy and goals, called Alliance Feedback.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Foreword
  4. Part I: The Science of Extraordinary Influence
    1. 1 The Blue Suitcase Phenomenon
      1. Where Does Your Organization Eat?
      2. The Conundrum
      3. Task-Driven Leadership
      4. Macho Management
      5. Bring Out the Best in Others
      6. Notes
    2. 2 Words of Life
      1. Pulled by Purpose
      2. Our Brains Love Affirmation
      3. Not Really Affirmation
      4. Affirmation—The Means to Influence
      5. Notes
  5. Part II: How Extraordinary Influence Works
    1. 3 Tactical Affirmation
      1. How Do We Affirm the Style of Those We Seek to Influence?
      2. Style and Receptivity
      3. Competence
      4. Why Affirm
      5. Note
    2. 4 Strategic Influence
      1. What Is Our Core and How Do We Reach the Core of Another Person?
      2. Words of Life
      3. What Are Words of Life?
      4. Under What Conditions Can We Give Words of Life?
      5. Notes
    3. 5 Words of Death
      1. Words of Death
      2. The Social Workplace
      3. Shame Speaks Words of Death
      4. The Worst of All Legacies
      5. Can a Leader's Fundamental Style Change to Become Less Critical?
      6. Join My Crusade
      7. Notes
    4. 6 Alliance Feedback
      1. Alliance Feedback
      2. Caveat Emptor: This Approach May Not Work
      3. Notes
    5. 7 Extraordinary Influence for Underperformers
      1. True Story 1
      2. True Story 2
      3. True Story 3
      4. The Three Stories Called for Three Different Remedies
      5. How Do We Make These Judgments That Have Such a Huge Impact on People's Lives?
      6. To Whom Should We Direct Our Limited Developmental Resources?
      7. How Much Compassion?
      8. Resistance to Dealing with a Problem Person
      9. The Him or Me Card
      10. The Virtue of Redemption
  6. Part III: Special Applications of Extraordinary Influence
    1. 8 Extraordinary Influence for Teams
      1. The Three Levers
      2. A Team's Collective Core
      3. Extraordinary Influence on the It—the Mission or Quest of the Team—the Mission or Quest of the Team
      4. Extraordinary Influence—Healing the I, We, and It of the Broken Organization or Team
      5. Conclusion
      6. Notes
    2. 9 Motivating High Potentials
      1. A Great Test for Leaders
      2. Four Transformational Actions to Bring Out the Best in HiPos
      3. Notes
    3. 10 Performance Appraisals that Lead to Extraordinary Influence
      1. What Must Any Reinvention of Performance Feedback Include?
      2. Notes
    4. 11 Special Counsel to Parents, Teachers, and Coaches
      1. Courage to Fight for Our Children's Well-Being
      2. Words of Life—The Fuel to Reach a High Orbit
      3. The Tragedy of Words of Death
      4. College Football: An Amazing Laboratory Experiment
      5. Alliance Feedback for Children
      6. The I, We, and It for Families
      7. The Conundrum of Hardship and Adversity
      8. Final Counsel to Parents, Teachers, and Coaches
      9. Notes
    5. 12 What Would Happen If We Put This into Practice?
  7. Acknowledgments
  8. About the Author
  9. Index
  10. End User License Agreement