The Only Way to Win: How Building Character Drives Higher Achievement and Greater Fulfillment in Business and Life Hardcover – May 8 2012
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"Jim takes the challenge to achieve success to a new level--one where winning with character and values leads to a life of significance and long-term happiness."―Steve Reinemund, Dean of Wake Forest Schools of Business and Former CEO, PepsiCo
"Jim's latest book, The Only Way to Win, builds on his four decades of work with high achievers in sport and business linking character and purpose in an extraordinary way."―Chip Bergh, CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.
"If you read no other book this year, give this gift to yourself, to those you lead, your family, and to anyone for whom you wish to make a positive impact on their lives."―Phebe Farrow Port, Senior Vice President, Global Management Strategies, The Estée Lauder Companies
"Over the years of working with Jim, I have learned how to make a deep investment in character and push my employees and colleagues to achieve more. Jim has it exactly right--character trumps everything!"―Charlie Kim, CEO, Next Jump
"Jim Loehr has plumbed the depths of human endeavor and offers us an opportunity to confront our most cherished life goals and come out a winner."―Rear Admiral Ray Smith, US Navy (Ret), Former Commander, US Navy SEALs
About the Author
Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist, Co-Founder of the Human Performance Institute, and author of 15 books including his most recent, The Power of Story. He also co-authored the national bestseller The Power of Full Engagement. Over the course of his career, Loehr has worked with hundreds of world-class performers from the arenas of sport, business, medicine and law enforcement including Fortune 100 executives, FBI Hostage Rescue Teams, and military Special Forces. Corporate clients of the Institute represent hundreds of Fortune 500 companies including Procter & Gamble, The Estée Lauder Companies, Dell, FBI, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, and Citigroup Smith Barney. A sampling of his elite clients from the world of sport include: golfers Mark O'Meara and Justin Rose; tennis players Jim Courier, Monica Seles, and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario; boxer Ray Mancini; hockey players Eric Lindros and Mike Richter; and Olympic gold medal speed skater Dan Jansen. Loehr and his work have been mentioned in leading national publications including the Harvard Business Review, Business Week, Fortune, Newsweek, Time, US News and World Report, Success, Fast Company and Omni. He has appeared on NBC's Today Show, ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel, The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CBS Morning News and the Oprah Winfrey Show. He lives in Orlando, Florida.
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I like this book because it's based on thorough research and first-hand experience. Dr. Loehr's ideas are articulated well and supported with fascinating research and examples. I'm not a CEO, Navy Seal, or a professional athlete but I appreciate the mental, physical, emotional and ethical challenges these folks address on a daily basis. There is no shortage of bad behavior out there, but Dr. Loehr provides remarkable examples of the good, too. The book breaks down the biggest human challenges and provides a solid roadmap for creating a meaningful and rich life that is rooted in individual values and beliefs. The ideas in this book apply to everyone. Recommending "The Only Way to Win" is a no brainer. It's worth reading.
I am a business coach and I will use the powerful questions and scorecard in this book in my coaching starting tomorrow!
It is filled with real-life stories that are moving. It also offers practical ways to evaluate and teach yourself and those around you about moral character strengths, performance character strengths, how to tell the difference and why that's important.
Sadly, most folks dismiss the discussion of moral values as too idealistic and unrealistic, despite the overwhelming evidence that they are the only enduring legacy anyone ever leaves. Most of us cannot recognize that every daily difficulty is an opportunity to build something of value in our lives. Most of us have no clue that our character really is our destiny.
This book should be required reading for every member of Congress, every chief executive officer of a business and every parent.
Moral leadership is the strongest kind of all, but the one most missing in our political and business arenas. Teaching moral character to children is the most important parental job, yet the most neglected.
Building one's own character is the key to life fulfillment, yet most of us seek happiness everywhere else first.
This book is for everyone of us in life who is struggling with great life and death challenges. Really, who isn't?
But, there is a strongly worded message in Chapter 10, page 216. It comes from a sign on the hospital door of a seriously wounded Navy SEAL and echos the message of this book.
The sign on the door reads:
"Don't feel sorry for me. The wounds I received I got in a job I love, doing it for people I love, supporting the freedom of a country I deeply love. I am incredibly tough. I promise to fully recover. This hospital room is a place of fun, optimism and instense and rapid re-growth. If you are not prepared for that, GO ELSEWHERE."
This book is a place where moral character strengths count. If you can't handle it, DON'T READ IT.
Arthur Ashe personally told me in the early 1980's sincerly and directly that Jim Loehr was the most important person in the development of the game of tennis and for that matter sports. Jim has softly disclosed that fear based processes don't have long lasting fuel for success in life nor contribute to longevity of consistent performances. He never mentions the biggest epidemic of our time ,escapism ,enmeshment issues and lack of authentic pedigrees because of this.. I honor his insights in that he doesn't alarm or frighten us, but teachs that the fuel to a complete fulfilling life comes from the human condition deep within our psyche and souls and all true long lasting champions have had this value system in one way or another.. !!!
My Hat is off to You Jim.. your maker would say Job well done... This is the most increduible sports book of the 21st Century.. for damm sure!!John Wooden would have proclaimed you the Best Coach of our time as well...
Thomas J. Monahan
Independent Financial Group LLC
Del Mar , California
From the time we’re young and trying to make a sports team or gain acceptance into college, we’re under tremendous pressure to succeed. The stakes are high, the rewards can be enormous and the cost of failure is sometimes devastating. Dr. Loehr, points out that ‘winning is the only thing’ for too many people. More to the point, he argues that competing vigorously and winning is good, but if we win the wrong way we always lose.
“The Only Way to Win” might be the most important book of the year for anyone who questions what our society has become and wants to achieve to a different, better and more sustainable standard. Loehr reveals that 80 percent of high school and college students admit to cheating to attain higher grades. Worse, most high-level athletes admit that they would not only take performance-enhancing drugs if they could not get caught and would attain their goals by doing so, but they would take those drugs even if it were to cause their certain death in five years. Of course, the depressing fact is that none of this will surprise anyone who follows the news.
The best thing about Dr. Loehr’s book is that it does not preach ethics for goodness sake alone. Instead, he tells us how we can strive to win the right way and still win our share. He points out that the goals we’re most often measured against are not our own, but society’s goals – the nice house, fancy car, job title and corner office. There’s nothing wrong with those things but when those goals are also your “ends”, you’ll be unsatisfied even if you accomplish them (and even if you achieve them honestly). Whether you work in high finance, lead armies into battle or make decisions about how to spend public money, you’ll have plenty of opportunity along the way to lie, cheat or otherwise make unethical choices in order to further your goals. If you don’t have a greater purpose -- one based on values and character -- you’ll have very little reason not to cheat and lie. Indeed, as Loehr infers, cheating in those circumstances might only be logical.
Even with all the unethical behavior around us, Loehr demonstrated that we can compete while being a person of character. Indeed, as he points our. you’ll actually win more often and in a way that sticks. Better yet, you’ll finally feel fulfilled and happy because you will have won the right way.
With this new book he brings in another level, seldom discussed in such works, into the paradigm - the spiritual. That level is characterized by the concept of building character: developing ethical and moral values, showing humility, and displaying honesty, compassion, respect and moral leadership. Over the last thirty years working with first elite athletes then with major corporate leaders, he witnessed these people saying while at the top of their professions that they were still unfulfilled; they still did not feel successful; they were not satisfied. Only when they began to examine the spiritual side and recognized in themselves an absence of such values did they begin to change. This wonderful work tells the stories of numerous people, including his own, coming to understand the paramount place of these characteristics in their professional and personal lives. Often the external goals and achievements they sought so blindly for early on in their careers came along with the new shifting of focus in their lives. They were the byproduct of Dr. Loehr's insights and the training system he has devised to fully integrate these values into their lives.
He challenges the reader - whether president of a Fortune 500 company, a top fifty golfer, a star for a professional sports team, or a nurse, a plumber or grade school teacher - to design for themselves their unique mission statement. He says that statement for all should begin: "I want to be a person of great character, both moral and performance, who became a . . . " Each of us fills in this last word or phrase and each uniquely works through a process of honest self-evaluation and recognition. He provides that system anecdotally and in practical, written exercise forms that enable us to ground our lives on ethical and moral character "blocks". With those in place a system can be constructed and maintained throughout our lives. His vast experience clearly shows itself in this book. He brings the latest scientific, medical and psychological research to support his thesis. He also very openly and honestly brings his own personal history and struggles to light. With the research, by his own example and that of numerous clients from all walks of life, he makes a powerful case for living a truly successful life based on attributes seldom associated with elite athletes and corporate bosses. I most highly recommend this book to everyone. It is clearly and straightforwardly written with an urgency in his words for all of us to continually strive to bring out the best in our natures. Doing so will ultimately bring us to that elusive word in our culture - success. But that will not just be defined by trophies, records, profits or the fame that comes from them, but by our inherent uniqueness as human beings to exhibit and follow ethical and moral imperatives in all that we do.
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