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Play to Win!: Choosing Growth Over Fear in Work and Life [Paperback]

Larry Wilson , Hersch Wilson , Ken Blanchard
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 18 2004
Packed with time-tested techniques and real-life case studies, this work and life field guide is based on the famous training program of the same name. Now you can put this powerful resource to work in your search for fulfillment in your professional and personal life.

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Product Description

From Booklist

Larry Wilson is a case study in how the self-help business has "gone corporate." He founded Wilson Learning Corporation in 1965, sold that company, and in 1983 started Pecos River, a training and consulting firm specializing in "accelerating and facilitating individual and organizational change and growth." Pecos River is now Pecos River Change Management Division of Aon Consulting Worldwide, a firm that can trace its own lineage back to insurance tycoon and self-help maven W. Clement Stone's Combined Insurance Company of America. With a nod to Abraham Maslow and his theory of self-actualization, the Wilsons challenge readers to "thrive instead of survive," grow up emotionally and spiritually, and think in new ways. For them winning is not beating out others but avoiding the mindset of simply "playing not to lose." Presented effectively in low-key, straightforward fashion, this book is based on techniques Wilson's firm has developed and utilized in work with more than 500,000 persons. David Rouse --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Falls short in some aspects April 6 2003
The message of the book is very easy to understand. It boils down to not having fear or letting fear and emotions control our reactions. Always STOP, CHALLENGE and CHOOSE in the face of crisis. Stop to think. Challenge your moment's thoughts and reactions. Choose the optimal course of action. The definition of the author for winning is lovely indeed: to do the best that one can with all that one has.
Now, in terms of implementation, there is a lot of space devoted to the what, but barely one chapter devoted to the how to put the book's ideas in practice, although it's fair to say that there's a good number of examples and cases brought forward. The second to last chapter is dedicated to putting together a Statement of Purpose, followed by a Vision and a plan to set it all in motion, but I can't help remembering the level of detail that Stephen Covey goes into in his book "The 7 Habits..." when discussing this same topic, and this is one that he covers early on in his book, devoting the rest of it to ways to make it happen.
All in all, it feels like a useful Step 1 book, whose key message (STOP, CHALLENGE and CHOOSE) is helpful to have present at all times, but not a book that will help make a huge step in changing your life for the long term: it falls short in some aspects, which is why I recommend Stephen Covey's work more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A guide to life as an adventure! Aug. 21 1998
By A Customer
Reading 'Play to Win: Choosing Growth over Fear in Work and Life' was, like its authors profess life to the fullest should be -- an adventure! Instead of focusing on success, it focused on fulfillment (of which success is a byproduct). 'Play to Win' acknowledged and identifed elements that keep one from a fulfilled life. It educated and provided processes, complete with catch phrases, to achieve an adventuresome life. The only reason it took me two nights to read was that I was stopped in my tracks when I came to, what was for me, a powerful quotation at the beginning of Part V, " One has to abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living with both arms."--Morris L. West. How on earth would I begin to abandon my need for security? I was afraid to read on because 'Play To Win' might tell me how and then, my life would be . . . different. Could I choose Growth Over Fear?(the subtitle). The book presents many familiar methods, and for me, new defintions and processes to live a more fulfilled, balanced life. I use the "Stop Challenge Choose" mantra daily in trying to overcome my usual reactionary attitude. I had always thought of my life as a journey, but I want the adventure set forth by the Wilsons! By completing the simple written exercise using easy-to-understand definitions, 'Play To Win' helped me re-affirm my life purpose and establish a new vision (what do I want) for a balanced, fulfilled life and a flexible plan of -- what can I give up to get what I want?/What do I need to DO to get what I want? I recommend this book for anyone seeking self-understanding or anyone who may feel discontent with their life but do not know why or what is missing. It really helped me sort things out and gave me a vision for today of where I want to be and tools to get me there. I shared my copy with a friend, who immediately wanted her own copy to pass along to others as well.
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By A Customer
The insights shared in "Play To Win!" have had deep and profound impact on me, both personally and professionally. In business, I have new tools to greatly improve my results -- and enjoy my work in the process. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to leaders and shop floor employees alike. The learnings are too important to "discriminate" based on corporate caste systems. Personally, what I've learned from "Play To Win!" has helped me survive the stress and devastation of watching my six- year-old son undergo a bone marrow transplant to beat cancer. This book IS about choosing growth over fear, no matter what our situations in life. From Larry and Hersch Wilson, I now understand that while we cannot control all the events that happen in our lives, we have a great deal of choice in how we respond to them. Do yourself a favor -- don't just read this book -- USE IT.
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Larry Wilson and Hersch Wilson have got another best seller on their hands with "PLAY TO WIN" (Choosing Growth Over Fear In Work and Life). This revealing book will change your life and how you do business. Larry was a pioneer in the corporate training field in America and around the world.
Larry and Hersch have now laid it all out on the line. In a nutshell--living with integrity is a choice. Sometimes it's tough, but leaders must stand up for principles and values. That's what I teach in my seminars and training courses. I personally recommend this book to everyone . . . if you only read one book this year--make this the one.--LINDA CHANDLER, Author of "Winning Strategies For Capital Formation" and "Compelling Selling: Pathways to Sales Mastery." (CEO of Chandler Leadership & Development, LLC).
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Open letter to Larry, Let me tell how much I enjoyed "Playing to Win." I'm not sure if it was the timing - I read while on vacation in Puerto Villarta -or just the content, but I have experienced a profound calming in my life since finishing your new book. I've re-taken control of my feelings. Because we pretty much deserve what we get, I'm now getting along better with life and my employees by stopping; challenging; and then choosing.
I have been through many of your original courses from the early 80's. Therefore, I could envision what a challenge it was to take ideas that come so alive in a classroom and translate them to readable learning theory in the book. Great job on a challenging task.
Thanks again, Mark Rikess
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A game-changer
For me, this is the quintessential leadership book. It's easy to read, deeply reflective and spot-on accurate. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Todd Attridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Play To Win - is a Classic Personal and Professional Self-Help Book
Play To Win, is in my professional opinion, more valuable and practical than Dr. Stephen Covey's - 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
Published 10 months ago by Chris B. Rush
5.0 out of 5 stars Choosing growth over fear.
This great book by Larry Wilson is all about choosing growth over fear. It's about the miracle of personal development and no one knows more about personal development than Larry... Read more
Published on Feb. 17 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Play to Win
Read this excellent book only if you dare to risk change. My life changed entirely when I began focussing on fulfillment rather than safety.
Published on Feb. 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully Inspiring and Practical Book
"Play to Win" provides a rare combination of inspiration with solid tips on how to be more effective in life and in business. Read more
Published on March 5 2001 by Douglas OLoughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars OK but not perfect
I stopped reading after chapter 5 and went on to a new book
Published on Jan. 13 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Larry Wilson does it again!
Play to Win is the finest, most on-target business book I have ever read.Since he founded Wilson learning corporation in 1965, Larry Wilson has been teaching the worlds largest... Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2000 by Steve Siebold
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolute life changing book!!
This is a book to live your life by! If a generation X person(or younger) could read and comprehend what is being shared in this book, their life would be so much more. Read more
Published on Oct. 24 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, common-sense approach to development.
Readable, step-by-step approach to personal and professional growth and development. While adhering to the maxim there's nothing new under the sun, I find some people combine a... Read more
Published on Aug. 2 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars I keep recommending it & I am on my second reading.
This is the best book I have read on self improvement. I can't stop reading it and keep recommending it. I wish I owned stock in the concept. Read more
Published on April 3 1999
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