Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Book Review - Deadly Viper Character Assassins

Ethur was kind of enough to send me a copy of Deadly Viper Character Assassins a few weeks ago. This book occupies two extremes. One on hand, it's really fun to read. The images, graphics and overall design of the book are really cool and slick. The writing is witty, energetic and engaging. I read it in less than an hour and some of the stories had me laughing out loud.

On the opposite extreme, this book deals with some very sobering topics related to how you and I can torpedo our leadership and influence quickly. This is an honest book written by influential leaders that shoots straight.

Here are some snippets that stood out to me:

:: On Character Creep --
We are saying there is an inefficiency in the market place because the market place doesn't properly value this characteristic of character. And all we're doing is taking advantage of that mispricing in the market and trying to make money off of it. We don't approach our investment from a moralistic standpoint, but we believe that the world and the market place doesn't fully understand the value of character. Really at the heart of it is that being good wins. - Dan Cooper, from Rox River Financial describing their strategy of investing into companies where the integrity of the CEO is strategically valued.
Marcus Buckingham - If he doesn't feel like talking to someone, his assistant isn't allowed to lie. "He is unavailable," is okay to say, "he is on the phone," is not okay to say.
:: On Lying --
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything - Mark Twain
We travel with a buddy or family member.
If we don't travel with someone, we then stay at the homes of friends who live in the cities we're visiting.
Find yourself a good friend and give them 100% access.
:: On Emotions --
...we need to funnel our emotions toward things that really matter. If we're truly going to rock the world, we need to stop wasting so much juice on stupid, trivial stuff. Some of us need to grow up and stop acting like junior high wieners and stop thinking everything is about us.

- Refrain from reading attacks on ourselves whether it be in blogs, forums or letters.
- If we are getting frustrated or irritated, call a Coca-Cola break
- Be the Duck - let it roll off your back
- When we are really ticked or irritated, we go to a movie.
- We do not use email to handle relationally-sensitive subjects or issues.
- Remind ourselves that if we crush or destroy someone in the organization, they will cease to contribute to the organization.
- Be fast to forgive
:: On Work and Rest --
Fast Company theme - Balance is bunk
You must lead yourself.
Day off each week.
What fills you up, emotionally, spiritually, physically. Baseball game, reading, evening schedule as well as who [what relationships you keep] fill you up.
Push the limit but not beyond the limit. Furious work = furious rest - Louie Giglio
:: On Sexuality --
Most people in leadership will get the opportunity to hop into the sack with someone inappropriately.
When we are on a business trip, we leave our homes on the latest flight possible and come back home on the earliest flight possible. We don't hang out.
Sexuality is powerful and mysterious. We must honestly respect its influence in our lives.
:: On Materialism --
Junky Car Club
The danger of drawing personal value from your stuff.
If you think for one split second that your possessions will define you as a significant leader, think again.
:: On Pride --
The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we would become - Charles Du Bois
Overall, a fun and important read that highlights some character assassins and encourages putting together plans to beat them.

Related - The Deadly Viper blog

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