The last book I mentioned that was worth your attention with the book Decisive by Dan and Chip Heath. I still have many books in my stack, but here are a couple that are worthy of your attention.

Contagious: Why Things Catch On – Jonah Berger

This was an instant best seller. Like the Heath Bros, Berger is an academic and a social scientist. He is compelling like other social scientists (like Dan Ariely), Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions and Steven D. Levitt Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.)but with one super difference, he has the audacity to disagree with Malcolm Gladwell in the Tipping Point The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.

This is one of my favorite conclusions of Berger’s. Why? Because it substantiates my high performance position that people want to be heard . . . more than money.

People are willing to forgo money to share their opinions. Overall, they were willing to take a 25 percent pay cut to share their thoughts. Compared to doing nothing for five seconds, people valued sharing their opinion at just under a cent. This puts a new spin on the old maxim. Maybe instead of giving people a penny for their thoughts, we should get paid a penny for listening.

– Jonah Berger

To Sell is Human – Dan Pink

I’m a big fan of Pink’s. I continue to be a big fan. To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others is packed full of classic Pink-isms. This time all about selling. Sure he steals a lot of them from others, but he tells lots of great stories and simplifies concepts to substantiate ideas you may have heard already. His premise is that everyone sells. Everyone sells all the time. And in our changed world and economy, the better and more meaningful your sales ability the more able and valuable you become.

Ideas I particularly like:

  • Ask people to choose their reaction on a scale of 1-10, and then ask them why they didn’t pick a lower number.
  • Ask five whys to get not the right answer but to get to the right problem.
  • Add contrast to build stickiness.
  • Create a one word elevator pitch.
  • Use rhyme.
  • Usefulness always wins over intrigue, but in either case, use one or the other, not both.
  • Specificity.

Click here to see my short list of all time great reads and use my affiliate link to buy them (thank you).

Tell me what you’ve been reading in the comments below. I’m always interested in the interesting.


Ruth Schwartz

Ruth Schwartz is the author of "The Key to the Golden Handcuffs". She is a high performance business consultant and leadership coach. Connect with Ruth to participate in the conversation. Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube .