By James Pirie.
It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be. Even the title of the book makes you challenge your way of thinking from the off. We’re hard wired to think that we must get better at this, we must do better at that. Why? Because in life it’s how good we are. Isn’t it?
Arden argues the opposite. What matters most is the mind set behind your actions. Why are you becoming good at something? Is it because social etiquette dictates that you have to be good at it in order to progress – or is it because you want to be as big as Persil automatic?*
A collection of helpful, motivational hints and tips, Arden’s work almost reads as a microcosm of every self-help guide or motivational hard-back most of us have ever read. Pocket-sized and paperback some of the help contained in the brief 127 pages can sometimes read as obvious. But then again, some of the best ideas in the world are the obvious ones. It just takes a second of redirection, a second of pause to realise this.
The book itself is very much a book aimed at those in the professional world who are looking to make a difference. It reads as though it may be more geared towards someone in the marketing/media sphere. However, with a little thought and care when reading, Arden’s advice can be redirected to fit almost any profession.
Throughout life we often find ourselves in periods of doubt and distrust in our own ability. Arden argues that in reality, it is our choices that show who we truly are far more than our abilities.
Two things about that really connected with me about this book;
- People love a show. If you get the opportunity to get in front of the MD that you have spent the last 3 months reaching out to over LinkedIn, over telephone and at networking events all around your region – do not waste that opportunity by given a presentation about how good your organisation is (if your meeting is mid-week, chances are you’re the third one he’s listened to.. *yawn*). Use the opportunity to explain to the MD how much you want to make changes for them and how you want to do that together. Make it memorable. People love a show – make it memorable.
- Do not seek praise. It’s so easy to ask your colleague that you eat lunch with every day if a piece of work you’ve done is good – of course they are going to tell you yes! You buy them coffee every other day. Instead, ask those around you what you could improve upon? What do you not like about this? How can we make this better for ‘x’? Generally speaking your work is probably OK at best most of the time, so how can we make this better? Ask those around us to tell us what’s wrong with it, you’re much more likely to get an honest response. Why? People don’t mind picking something apart once you’ve asked them – we are British after all! Do not seek praise. Seek criticism. Can you find fualt with this?
To summarise, Arden has carefully selected real life advice. Advice that at some point in everyone’s life we need to hear. If you’re going through a period of self-doubt or feel like you need that push but you don’t know where to get it from – get it from Paul Arden and remember – It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be.
*Teenage Victoria Beckham