Are You Ready to Succeed?

Are-you-ready-succeed-unconventional-strategies-achieving-personal-srikumar-rao-hardcover-cover-art Perhaps the best way to explain the difference between success through personal mastery and what the current misunderstanding about success tells you is by reading together part of a review of Srikumar S. Rao's course and book Are You Ready to Succeed? (Amazon affiliate link).

From Brandon Peele's review, which in my view reflects where so many get stuck, even today:

[…] Prior to taking Creativity and Personal Mastery, the course upon which the book is based, I was an obnoxious, mechanistic, sociopathic prince of capitalism. I viewed wealth as a means to exert dominance over others, as well as a vehicle to procure hedonic bliss. I found a happy home for this way of thinking in the world of investment banking, venture capital and startups. I drank, drugged, womanized, broke the law; I created a world in which those without a similar plunderer-type mentality were weak and destined to be dominated. […]

[…] the wisdom and exercises from the course (and book) did not do all of this (Note: the many things he lists changed in his life will be different for you), I did, but it was the seed crystal that allowed me to embark on a path of rapid transformation and achieve an infinitely more rewarding life. […]

By the way, you will note that a couple of people who commented on this review show resistance to the story. In my experience, resistance to new ideas, or different points of view, is to be expected. Going along and getting along as in not questioning or challenging the status quo is also a way to get stuck.

Everyone acts in their own self interest. Once you see that with clarity and without judgment, you have a better way to utilize your own energy towards the work you want to do to achieve your own personal mastery, along with resilience.

The book, any book, the course, a conversation, are the sparks that will inspire you to get going. Which is the same as strategy — it's motivation, it's not the journey. Even with a detailed plan, you still determine the execution. What and how you do it and why it matters to you. The external help is a guiding light in the process.

Essentially, what you need to do is lead yourself.

As Rao writes, mental models are pernicious creations and stoutly resist attempts to tamper with them. That's why to learn, you will need to do the book, not just read it, and keep it to yourself, so you don't open the door to negativity and resistance while you strengthen your core.

What are the kinds of changes Rao outlines?

  1. individual attitudinal change — we do not function in isolation.
  2. organization structural change — the old command and control hierarchies are totally unsuited to the present era of instant multilevel communication.
  3. societal value change — better leaders will emerge only when we change what we honor.

It works as ripples, one affects the others. As Woodrow Wilson said "We are not here merely to earn a living or to create value for our shareholders. We are here to enrich the world and make it a finer place to live. We will impoverish ourselves if we fail to do so."

Are you ready to succeed?

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0 responses to “Are You Ready to Succeed?”

  1. Well Valeria, based on your review I just “one-clicked” and bought it at Amazon. I am not sure exactly what to expect, but I am sure it will be though provoking. I agree that everyone… everyone… acts in their on self interest, I am only hoping for a bit more enlightened self interest to emerge in society at-large. I feel myself being drawn more and more toward a “Doing well – by doing good” mentality where great success gives one great opportunity to help others… but you must help yourself first. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention — by the way, read a very good and probably similar book recently called: “The Pecunious Life” by M.L. Dolan — a truly wonderful little book!

  2. GAAAAAAAH! You’re doing it again, Valeria.
    I’m pretty sure you’re the one who convinced me to pick up “Herd,” by Mark Earls. I went from reading one book a decade to half a dozen in a year.
    Fast forward: I was all set to pre-order Olivier Blanchard’s authoritative new book about social media ROI. I suspect it will stand as one of the few books on the subject which provide value (and should prove immediately actionable in my new role here at the office). I met Mr. Blanchard through you.
    Then Umair Haque (who you also tipped me to) announces his “New Capitalist Manifesto” is available. DO WANT.
    And now, after a busy morning of incredible conversations around the web, I finally get a minute to hit the first blog on my list of dailies, and you’re sharing a book where the author outlines…
    1. Individual attitude adjustments. We can’t do this on our own (but we have to start there). YES PLZ.
    2. The corporate world is running out of time to get their shit together. Nothing stands before the endless march of sand. YES PLZ.
    3. Societal value change; when we put society before our balance sheets. YES PLZ.
    Truly, we all stand to benefit from our mutual efforts to make the world a better – NOT MORE PROFITABLE – place. At this rate, I’m gonna have to do a book a month to keep up!
    (Taking a deep breath now…)
    Thank you. 🙂

  3. @Jack — in fact, it is very private. I’m not sure where you got the sense it was public. Behavior, on the other hand, tends to be quite public, especially nowadays.
    @John — your optimism and outlook on life are contagious. Thank you for both, they are a gift. Enlightened self interest is what Rao talks about, you’ll be right at home with the material, and I know you have values in sight when you talk about doing well by doing good. It is time to be outraged at passive acceptance of the kind of behavior the reviewer describes here in ourselves first, and our communities. Thank you for the book tip, too.
    @Brian — I warned you, I’m a bookworm. I love to read material that inspires, and gives of that deeper currency that is the human spirit through storytelling. The biggest issue I see is this constant rush to look at what others are doing and with some individuals and businesses, the expectation that they have the answers, when they don’t have their own house in order. You gave another really good chuckle with the book a month comment. The beauty is that you can come back to these reviews when the time is right. Why I publish digitally 😉

  4. Well, Valeria, I thought I would share I just 15 minutes ago finished reading Grant McCracken’s “Chief Culture Officer. The receipt in the back cover reflected a purchase date of 10/22/10, so just under three months to read it through. I’ll do a book a month one of these days!
    Just ordered Umair’s “New Capitalist Manifesto.” I think Rao’s book mentioned in this post will be my next adventure. 🙂

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