Saturday, December 17, 2016

Favorite quotes from some of the books I read in 2016

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior by Ori Brafman, Rom Brafman
~ Value attribution, after all, acts as a quick mental shortcut to determine what’s worthy of our attention. […] Once we attribute a certain value to a person or thing, it dramatically alters our perceptions of subsequent information. This power of value attribution is so potent that it affects us even when the value is assigned completely arbitrarily. 

~ If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to work for a boss who values and believes in you, you’ll know that you tend to rise to meet the high expectations set for you. On the other hand, there’s nothing that will make you feel more incompetent and demoralized than a supervisor who is convinced you don’t have what it takes.

~ The more we become aware of the factors affecting the perceived value of a person or object, the less likely we are to be swayed by value attribution. 

Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett
~ The law makes no decisions. It has no will of its own. It’s like a weapon, or a tool: it works for those who pick it up and use it.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
~ They think talking about a problem will solve it. I come from a quieter generation. We understand the value of forgetting. 

~ She gave herself over to the sensations of the kiss, let it become the whole of her universe, and knew finally how it felt to be enough for someone.

~ […] everything makes a statement, nothing speaks quite so loudly as cheapness 

~ some images, once seen, can never be forgotten. 

~ Sophie was too old for lies and too young for the truth. 

~ She looked at Vianne, and the universe of their friendship was in her eyes—the secrets they’d shared, the promises they’d made and kept, the dreams for their children that bound them as neatly as sisters.

~ Once a mother, always a mother.

~ […] I am a mother and mothers don’t have the luxury of falling apart in front of their children, even when they are afraid, even when their children are adults. 

~ “Papa,” she said; it was such a big word suddenly, a dream in its entirety.

The Language of Trust: Selling Ideas in a World of Skeptics by Michael Maslansky, Gary DeMoss, Scott West, David Saylor
~ In my experience, overcoming skepticism is much more about emotion than it is about rationality. People must want to believe you before they will believe you. Much of the job of effective communication is about building that foundation of openness so that a message can be accepted. 

~ We are now communicating in the post-trust era (PTE). Yesterday’s trust has become today’s skepticism. 

~ We don’t want to be told what to think. If you are a parent, you have certainly learned that the quickest way to get your children to say no to something is to tell them that it is good for them. 

~ If you’re trying to sell something—widgets, ideas, candidates, anything—you face an uphill battle from the start because, quite frankly, people just don’t believe you, especially if you’re the one in charge.

~ Institutions must stand for something. Now more than ever, companies must actively think about what their brands symbolize to the public. 

~ Your language must be strategic, authentic, humble, and receptive to opposition.

~ The language of trust is the language of your audience. 

~ The fastest way to get someone to buy your product is to give them objective information and let them make up their own mind. 

~ Selling is about building trust, then offering the facts in a neutral, nonintimidating way and allowing the consumer to decide

~ When humorist Will Rogers noted that “A stranger is just a friend I haven’t met yet” nearly a century ago, he was in a very real sense capturing part of today’s mind-set for creating trust. When you engage people as friends you haven’t met yet, you start building the personal relationships that will guide you past today’s walls of initial skepticism. 

While You Were Mine by Ann Howard Creel
~ Separately we might have sunk, but together we moved beyond bloodlines and nationalities and backgrounds and formed a vessel that somehow stayed afloat. 

~ If faces could tell stories, then John’s was open to the page where all seemed lost. 

~ […] New York City. He didn’t think there was any other place on earth where a person could be surrounded by throngs of others and still feel completely alone. A man could keep entirely to himself if he wanted to, or he could tell his story to every shoeshine, waitress, and hawker in the city. He could isolate himself in a hotel room or go out on the town, surrounded by thousands of people. There was something sad about it, all these people rushing around, but a man would never feel dead here. Just take a new street, or turn the next corner. Everything was so busy and in constant motion, and maybe that was part of the problem. 

~ Maybe humans, instead of being the highest form of life, were really the lowest.

~ Sometimes you know something, even when you don’t want to know it.

Яма by Александр Иванович Куприн (The Pit, by Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin –Russian edition) 
~ Нет, вы подумайте: ведь только в одной русской душе могут ужиться такие противоречия!

~ Я говорю, что жизнь поражает, ставит в тупик своей диковинной путаницей и неразберихой.

~ Все мы проходим мимо этих характерных мелочей равнодушно, как слепые, точно не видя, что они валяются у нас под ногами. 

~ Потому что сама по себе жизнь или чересчур обыденна и скучна для тебя, или уж так чересчур неправдоподобна, как только умеет быть неправдоподобной жизнь. 

~ Человек рожден для великой радости, для беспрестанного творчества, в котором он — бог, для широкой, свободной, ничем не стесненной любви ко всему […]

~ Пока будет собственность, будет и нищета. Пока существует брак, не умрет и проституция. Знаешь ли ты, кто всегда будет поддерживать и питать проституцию? Это так называемые порядочные люди, благородные отцы семейств, безукоризненные мужья, любящие братья. 

The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer Series) by Ellin Carsta
~ You have to make a decision and live with the consequences

~ But we all make mistakes. Some more than others. And yet, we always have the opportunity to do better next time.

~ “I believe that God gives us challenges to overcome. It’s his way of letting us grow.” “So do you think that God is just testing me?” “It’s possible.” “But why?” “Only He knows why. We are too unenlightened to understand everything, but we can rely on the fact that all will be well in the end.” “How do you know? That it will end well?” “I just know. Believe me. One day, you will understand all of this.”   

~ “Why are there incredible people like you, and also those who want nothing more than to see people hang?” She tried to smile. “So that balance is not lost.” 

Sales Management. Simplified.: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team by Mike Weinberg
~ Three core pillars of sales leadership—leading, managing, and coaching

~ Often, what is believed to be a sales problem turns out to be a leadership and culture problem.

~ True sales hunters are a unique and rare breed. The majority of sales teams are composed mostly of farmers (account managers) and engineers (product/service experts). 

~ The leader who is constantly preaching about holding people accountable for results and doesn’t follow through does more damage than if he hadn’t said anything in the first place. 
~ Salespeople are not paid to do work, or to be busy. The job is to drive revenue—specifically, new revenue. 

~ The salesperson doesn’t establish herself as a professional or assert control by setting up the meeting, sharing her agenda, and getting buy-in from the customer. Sellers approach the sales call already in presentation mode and are too quick to jump to a demo or presentation. Salespeople talk way too much and listen way too little. It’s very hard to come across as a professional problem solver when you don’t discover the customer’s real issues. As I’m fond of repeating: Discovery precedes presentation—always! 

~ The job of the sales manager is not to manage the sales department. Your primary job is to drive sales. There is no extra credit for dividing your time equally across all of your people, but there is fame and fortune for the sales leader who consistently over-delivers on results. 

~ Individual Business Plans Are a Gift to the Sales Leader 

  1. Goals—What are you going to achieve? 
  2. Strategies—How are you going to do it? 
  3. Actions—What are you going to do? 
  4. Obstacles—What’s in the way? 
  5. Personal Development, Growth, and Motivation—How do you want to grow this year and what will keep you motivated? 
~ Sales leaders, be wary of your tendency to chase after the next shiny new sales toy promising to alter the course of history. […] I have yet to encounter a sales team that failed to deliver what was expected of them because they were missing some newfangled sales tool or process. […] Sales teams underperform because sales leaders ignore or botch the very fundamentals of sales management.

The Midwife's Revolt (The Midwife Series Book 1) by Jodi Daynard
~ But I was also learning to defer. To defer was the lot of womankind.

~ How indifferent Nature can seem, at times, to our suffering!

~ Once you see a patient’s eyes shine with gratitude—well, if your heart does not break or your blood cringe, you are called for life. 

~ I was new at loss then, not a master as I am now.

~ Between pain and harm, my mother taught me, lay a vast moral divide. Sometimes one must cause pain to avoid harm. This lesson was my mother’s great gift to me. 

The Whole Brain Business Book, Second Edition: Unlocking the Power of Whole Brain Thinking in Organizations, Teams, and Individuals by Ned Herrmann, Ann Herrmann-Nehdi
~ Applying Whole Brain Thinking means being able to fully leverage one’s own preferences, stretch to other styles when necessary, and adapt to and take advantage of the preferences of those around you to improve performance and results.

~ Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. —Albert Camus

~ Preference is a matter of attraction; competence to perform a given task comes through training and experience. Competence can be developed to reasonable or even superior levels whether or not the person is attracted to the task (necessity can be the mother of competency). But true expertise and world-class competence are achieved almost exclusively in our areas of preference. 

~ Situational wholeness is the key to improving your personal effectiveness.

~ While people with strikingly different thinking preferences often have difficulty understanding each other, those with very similar thinking preferences can become competitive with each other. 

~ […] in many business situations, creativity is the element that makes the difference between success and failure. It can be the make-or-break competitive advantage, since we know that creativity is mental, and mental diversity is a key to the creative process. Business leaders who understand the significance of diversity in the creative process can take advantage of their organization’s potential by forming teams that are made up of people with different thinking-style preferences. 

~ No matter whom you are trying to influence, when you’re able to “meet them where they think,” you’ll be more efficient, and you’ll have a better chance of getting the response you’re looking for. 

~ I’m not suggesting that you abandon your natural preferences. Rather, this is about using your strengths more effectively in service of the business’s needs and, just as important, learning to see beyond the mental blind spots that may have resulted from your having applied and reinforced your preferences over the course of your life, education, and career. Embracing complexity requires constant learning and exposure to diverse points of view. 

~ Sometimes leaders at the top say they want a change agent, but then when they realize what that means—that at a personal level, they may need to go about doing things a little differently—their reaction is, ‘Are you kidding? We really don’t want to do things that way.’ 

~ Positive, creative change requires a mindset for change. A mindset is the way we see things, the part of our “cognitive unconscious” where we have already formed mental maps that become our point of reference for how we look at the world. 

~ I discovered that the public rewarded trying to be an artist to a far greater degree than it punished poor execution of the finished art. I found that the rewards outweighed the risks to such an extent that my activity level soon gave me the practice that I needed to overcome the skill deficits of a beginner. 

~ Man’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions. —Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.