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SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together

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Are You Scaring Your People into Mediocrity?
All leaders want to outperform, outsell, and outin­novate the competition. And most teams are fully capable of doing so. The problem: we consistently say and do things that spark unconscious fears and keep our people stuck in their Critter State. This primitive fight, flight, or freeze mode distills all decision mak­ing to ...

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SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together

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Are You Scaring Your People into Mediocrity?
All leaders want to outperform, outsell, and outin­novate the competition. And most teams are fully capable of doing so. The problem: we consistently say and do things that spark unconscious fears and keep our people stuck in their Critter State. This primitive fight, flight, or freeze mode distills all decision mak­ing to one question: What will keep me safest?
Lying low, sucking up, procrastinating, and doing a good enough job may keep employees breathing, but it doesn’t make for vital organizations. Leaders have to get their people unstuck and fully engaged, replacing their old, limiting mental patterns with new patterns that foster optimal performance.
New York Times bestselling author and applied neuroscience expert Christine Comaford knows what it takes to move people from the Critter State into the Smart State, where they have full access to their own creativity, innovation, higher consciousness, and emotional engagement. When an entire culture maintains that state, it becomes what she calls a SmartTribe. Focused. Accountable. Collaborative. Imbued with the energy and passion to solve problems and do what needs doing, again and again and again.
Comaford brings to this book more than thirty years of company-building experience, combined with her expertise in behavioral modification and organizational development. She has helped hun­dreds of leaders navigate rapid growth, maximize performance, resolve internal conflicts, and execute turnarounds with the full support of their people.
Now she shares potent yet easy-to-learn neuro­science techniques that will help you do the same. You’ll learn how to move your team forward and reach your next revenue inflection point using the five key Accelerators of the Smart State—focus, clar­ity, accountability, influence, and sustainability. You’ll get better at anticipating and moving through your own stuck spots and those of your people.
Using her proven system, Comaford’s clients have already created hundreds of millions of dollars in new value. They’ve seen their revenues and profits increase by up to 210% annually; individuals become up to 50% more productive and 100% more account­able; marketing demand generation grow by up to 237%; new products and services created up to 48% faster; and sales close up to 50% faster. They spot changes in their markets more quickly, then pounce on them to create the future they want.
Ultimately, SmartTribes will help you and your team achieve optimal performance and engagement—brilliance—and leave competitors in the dust.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her latest book, consultant Comaford (Rules for Renegades) offers sound advice for making merely acceptable business teams great. Using neuroscience research, the author defines two major states of being: “Smart State,” in which intelligent and thoughtful decisions are made; and “Critter State,” in which people behave in ways that are reactive, rather than proactive. Comaford then examines the myriad reasons teams hit speed bumps. Using major U.S. companies as examples, she shows readers how to achieve clarity, accountability, and develop a sustainable culture. Finally, the author outlines an action plan for readers and discusses how to transform even the bleakest of corporate cultures. Comaford deftly weaves in marketing prompts for her book throughout, with “Twitter Takeaways” at the end of nearly every chapter (and a request to use the hashtag #SmartTribes), as well as references to relevant information on her Web site. Despite some annoying buzzwords, the author provides an effective roadmap for business success. Agent: Jim Levine, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
Standard techniques from the fields of self-help and salesmanship, repackaged as neuroscience and presented as a method to build effective teams. Business consultant Comaford (Rules for Renegades: How to Make More Money, Rock Your Career and Revel in Your Individuality, 2007) claims to offer a way to grow businesses into their next phase of activity by focusing on what she calls the brain's "smart state," rather than its opposing "critter state." These states are derived from her view of the functions of different physical parts of the brain, brain stem/reptilian part, mammalian limbic system and neocortex. The prefrontal cortex, where "everyone from quantum physicists to voodoo doctors knows there is a huge untapped potential," is responsible for advanced behaviors. From these divisions, Comaford proceeds to discuss how to mobilize the powers of the smart state to take advantage of inflection points that arise in the course of a business' development. Like the exponents of sales and closing techniques marketed in real estate, the author offers herself as "your scout and your coach, not your professor." Her emphasis is on the practical, and she concludes each section with a wrap-up, featuring action points and expected returns--but little substantiation for her claims. Meanwhile, such techniques as "mirroring" and "matching," which involve copying physical movements and postures of others, adopting their tones of voice and inflection, and inferring personality types from word use, are neither new nor related to neuroscience but rather are established parts of a salesman's repertoire. Not surprisingly, creating more effective marketing and sales messages is one of the projected results of adopting these techniques, along with closing deals faster. Comaford has experienced undeniable success in the business world, but she fails to adequately translate her methods into a compelling narrative.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591846482
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover
  • Publication date: 5/30/2013
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 258,009
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Comaford is a thought leader who helps midsized and Fortune 1000 companies navigate growth and change, an expert in human behavior and applied neurosci­ence, and the bestselling author of Rules for Renegades.
Bill Gates calls her “super high bandwidth.” Bill Clinton has thanked her for “fostering American entrepreneurship.” Newsweek says, “By reputation, Christine is the person you want to partner with.”
During her diverse career, she has consulted to two White Houses, has built and sold five of her own businesses, and has helped more than fifty clients exit their businesses at record high valuations. She writes a leadership column for and is frequently quoted in the business and technology media. She lives in the hills north of San Francisco.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 24, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    An excellent book about how to be a good leader and build a stro

    An excellent book about how to be a good leader and build a strong team.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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