Below is an entry from a book review that was published on “The Practice of Leadership” blog which I have linked. I thought that this book review really had some interesting things for those that lead. I hope you enjoy.
The book “Fire Them Up!” by Carmine Gallo is really a great read. It discusses the importance of inspiration for successful leadership. The book is divided into two parts “Part I: The 7 Simple Secrets” of success which provides the foundation principles for inspiring others and “PART II: Living the 7 Simple Secrets” discusses how people in different role apply the seven secrets. I am going to focus this book review on PART I: The Seven Simple Secrets.
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Chapter 1: Ignite Your Enthusiasm – Light a Fire in Your Heart before Sparking One in Theirs
“Inspiration begins internally. What is it about your service, product, company, or cause that pumps you up? Only after you identify what you are truly passionate about will you be in a position to motivate others.”
Chapter 2: Navigate the Way – Deliver a Specific, Consistent and Memorable Vision
“Enthusiasm opens the door, but vision grabs hold of your listeners and pulls them to the other side… A fuzzy vision will fail to rally your listeners to a better future…. For a vision to have impact, it must be simple and profound. How do you attain both? By keeping your vision to ten words or less…. If you can articulate a compelling vision of the world that is specific, consistent, and memorable, you will not only have grabbed their attention, but you will have captured their hearts. And where their hearts lead, their minds are sure to follow.”
Chapter 3: Sell the Benefit – Put Your Listeners First
“Make no mistake: When you speak, your listeners are asking themselves on question: What’s in it for me? It’s the one question that should be answered not once, but throughout your communication.”… To inspire your listeners, constantly ask yourself, ‘What am I selling?’ Think about it this way: Apple does not sell computers. It sells tools to unleash human potential. Starbucks does not sell coffee. It sells an experience, a ‘third place’ between home and work…. What are you selling?…. They are buying benefits not products.”
Chapter 4: Paint a Picture – Tell Powerful, Memorable, and Actionable Stories
“Inspiring individuals sell themselves, their vision, and their values by turning their message into a story that piques your interest, keeps you entertained, makes it easy to remember key points, and, above all, leads you to take some sort of action. Your message is not your story… Persuading individuals to follow a desired course of action requires an emotional engagements with the listener… ‘Stories speak to both parts of the human mind – its reason and emotion,’ writes Howard Gardner.”
Chapter 5: Invite Participation
“Listening is not enough. Asking for feedback, and taking action based on what you hear, makes all the difference.”
Chapter 6: Reinforce and Optimistic Outlook
“Leaders, for some reason, see a bright future in the thickest fog… As Marcus Buckingham observes in The One Thing You Need to Know, ‘The opposite of a leader isn’t a follower. The opposite of a leader is a pessimist.’ The link between optimism and inspiration is direct and immediate: Thinking optimistically will make you feel better about yourself. Speaking optimistically will give others the confidence to follow your vision.”
Chapter 7: Encourage Their Potential
“People connect with people, not things. And the best compliment you can receive from another human being is this: ‘You make me want to be a better person.’… Motivation is about bringing out the best in people, but people will not listen to your message until they know you care.”
I found this book an easy and inspiring read. Each chapter is full of useful examples describing how the principles being described in the chapter has been applied in a real world context. With the importance of inspiration for successful leadership, we all will benefit from the ideas from this book. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking for ways to inspire and motivate their team and organizations.