Book Review

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Achieving success, whether it is in a personal, social, or professional setting, is often the end goal of most human efforts. Most of the time, acquiring that success requires hard work, perseverance, and dedication. Yet it is often difficult to maintain the continual motivation needed to overcome the frequent obstacles and setbacks that litter the road to success. C.P Neck’s and C. Manz’s book, Mastering Self-Leadership: Empowering Yourself for Personal Excellence, explores strategies and tools to strengthen the key attribute that provides sustenance for an individual’s motivation, self-leadership. The tools encompass ideas such as world-altering strategies, natural reward system, and positive thinking. While each is a different, unique technique, they all result in the same outcome: improving one’s self-leadership and motivational skills. Mastering Self-Leadership defines self-leadership as “the process of influencing oneself”. Different factors provide inputs of influence on a person’s mindset; how we respond to these factors determines the magnitude of the effect the influence will exert. Manz and Neck begin by introducing the idea that the external world around us directly affects our day-to-day behavior. They iterate that our own behavior is the central focus around which we can structure self-leadership. By choosing how we interact with the world can alter our behavior patterns, leading to potentially positive growth in our self-motivation ability. The first broad strategy the authors discuss is that of altering our immediate world; we may use physical reminders to focus us on what we need to do. We can avoid “negative cues”, those things that distract us from our tasks. Next, the authors suggest self-imposed strategies such as self-observation, setting goals, and self-reward. Reward strategies were the following category. Two types of rewards were discussed: external awards such as praise, and natural rewards, which became author’s focus. Natural rewards...
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