The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People

The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People

by David, PhD Niven PhD
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

What are the keys to success? Scientists have studied the traits, beliefs, and practices of successful people in all walks of life. But the answers they find wind up in stuffy academic journals aimed at other scientists.

The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People takes the best and most important research results from over a thousand studies and spells

Overview

What are the keys to success? Scientists have studied the traits, beliefs, and practices of successful people in all walks of life. But the answers they find wind up in stuffy academic journals aimed at other scientists.

The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People takes the best and most important research results from over a thousand studies and spells out the key findings in ways we can all understand. Each entry contains advice based on those findings, a real life example of what to do or not to do, and a telling statistic based on scientific research.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Nothing succeeds like success, and no one knows more about success than those who succeed. Affirming that principle, Dr. David Niven has tapped scientific studies of successful managers, CEOs, and college graduates to uncover the hidden secrets of people who thrive. Some of the data will surprise: For example, teams in the workplace composed of people with differing personalities are 14 percent more productive than teams composed of more compatible personalities.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061738074
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/17/2009
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
Sales rank:
695,064
File size:
551 KB

Read an Excerpt

100 Simple Secrets of Successful People

What Scientists Have Learned and How You Can Use It
By David Niven

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 David Niven
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061157937

Chapter One

Competence Starts with Feeling Competent

How good are you at what you do? Do you have tests or periodic evaluations or some other means to measure your performance? Surely, there is an objective way to demonstrate whether you are good at what you do and whether you should consider yourself a success.

Actually, people who do not think they are good at what they do--who do not think they are capable of success or leadership--do not change their opinion even when they are presented with indicators of success. Instead, their self-doubts overrule evidence to the contrary.

Don't wait for your next evaluation to improve your judgment of yourself, because feelings are not dependent on facts--and feelings of competence actually start with the feelings and then produce the competence.

Ross, a dancer from Springfield, Missouri, dreams of making it to Broadway. His road to dancing glory began with local amateur productions, the kinds of productions in which auditions take place in front of all the other performers trying out. Ross found the experience daunting; it was like being examined by a doctor with all your peers watching. "I was so scared. I felt like I had just come out of the cornfields," Ross said.

Sometimes he succeeded, and sometimes he didn't, but Ross wasable to try out for different parts in various productions and gain tremendously from the experience. "I have more confidence about my auditioning technique now that I have done it in front of so many people so many times."

When he tried out for the first time for a professional touring company, he won a spot in a production of Footloose.

Ross has one explanation for his immediate success in landing a professional part: "I had confidence. If you want to do it, you have to really want it and believe in it. You have to make it happen. You can't sit back and hope that someone is going to help you along."

For most people studied, the first step toward improving their job performance had nothing to do with the job itself but instead with improving how they felt about themselves. In fact, for eight in ten people, self-image matters more in how they rate their job performance than does their actual job performance.
Gribble 2000

Chapter Two

It's Not How Hard You Try

Work hard and you will be rewarded. It sounds simple.

But remember what it was like studying for a test? Some kids studied forever and did poorly. Some studied hardly at all and made great grades.

You can spend incredible effort inefficiently and gain nothing. Or, you can spend modest efforts efficiently and be rewarded.

The purpose of what you do is to make progress, not just to expend yourself.

Achenbach's Pastries was a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, institution. The family-owned bakery had a loyal customer base and had operated profitably for more than four decades.

In the 1990s the owners decided to expand--to offer deli sandwiches and other goods and to add new locations for both retail and wholesale sales.

The bakery's owners had never worked harder in their lives than they did after the expansion. And in return for all their hard work, they got less money and the threat of bankruptcy because they could not keep up with debts incurred in the expansion.

Earl Hess, a retired business executive, provided capital to keep the company in business and then ultimately bought the entire operation. He looked at things as an objective observer and found that the bakery was doomed by inefficiencies. "They had too many products. Ninety percent of sales came from 10 percent of the products. They were losing their aprons making low-volume items."

Hess says when he took over the company he knew: "These people couldn't possibly have worked any harder, but they could have worked smarter."

Effort is the single most overrated trait in producing success. People rank it as the best predictor of success when in reality it is one of the least significant factors. Effort, by itself, is a terrible predictor of outcomes because inefficient effort is a tremendous source of discouragement, leaving people to conclude that they can never succeed since even expending maximum effort has not produced results.
Scherneck 1998

Chapter Three

Creativity Comes from Within

Everyone wants to think of something new--solve a problem no one else can solve, offer a valuable idea no else has conceived of. And every business wants to encourage its employees to have the next great idea.

So when a business offers its employees a bonus for creative ideas, a flood of great, original thoughts should come pouring in. Right?

We think that creativity, like any other task, can be bought and sold. But creativity is not the same as hard work and effort; it requires genuine inspiration. It is the product of a mind thoroughly intrigued by a question, a situation, a possibility.

Thus, creativity comes not in exchange for money or rewards but when we focus our attention on something because we want to.

Japan Railways East had the contract to build a bullet train between Tokyo and Nagano to be put in place in time for the 1998 Winter Olympics.

Unfortunately, tunnels built by the company through the mountains kept filling with water. The company brought in a team of engineers, who were highly paid to come up with the best solution. The engineers analyzed the problems and drew up an extensive set of plans to build an expensive drain and a system of aqueducts to divert the water out of the tunnels.

A thirsty maintenance worker one day came up with a different solution when he bent over and took a large swallow of the tunnel water. It tasted great, better than the bottled water he had in his lunch pail.

He told his boss they should bottle it and sell it as premium mineral water.

Thus was born Oshimizu bottled water . . .



Continues...

Excerpted from 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People by David Niven Copyright © 2006 by David Niven. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

David Niven, Ph.D., bestselling author of the 100 Simple Secrets series, is a psychologist and social scientist who teaches at Ohio State University.

David Niven, Ph.D., es el autor de los bestsellers internacionales Los 100 Secretos de la Gente Exitosa, y Los 100 Secretos de las Buenas Relaciones. Es psicólogo y científico social, y enseña en la Florida Atlantic University.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >