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Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities Paperback – May 25 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Revised ed. edition (May 25 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471344133
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471344131
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.4 x 23 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #118,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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First there was IQ, then there was EQ. Now, there's yet another quotient to worry about--AQ. Designed especially for business owners of quickly growing companies, Adversity Quotient draws upon the sciences of psychoneuroimmunology, neurophysiology, and cognitive psychology. As scientifically based as it is, the book manages to be compellingly readable.

Author Paul G. Stoltz, Ph.D., says individual AQs explain why some people, no matter what their intelligence or educational or social background, succeed where others fail. It's been used in workshops for Olympic athletes and at companies including Deloitte & Touche, Minnesota Power, and U.S. West. Defined as the measure of one's resilience and ability to persevere in the face of constant change, stress, and difficulty, AQ is touted as "the most important factor in achieving success." Stoltz also calls it an indicator of one's general ambitiousness, creativity, happiness, energy, and physical and emotional health; he therefore recommends that business executives use the book's guidelines to pinpoint top performers in the workplace.

While the book is filled with acronyms and buzzwords (LEAD, "unconscious incompetence," ARP, and CO2RE among them), the book's tests--reminiscent of Myers-Briggs questionnaires--are fun to take and easy to analyze. Stoltz has given the tests to nearly 8,000 people, so he obviously knows what he's talking about here. He offers specific advice on how to cultivate AQ in employees, and, perhaps even more useful, 22 ways to crush the AQs of your followers. (One of them, "Be consistently inconsistent," could explain many "Dilbert" strips!)

While Stoltz derives many of his ideas from psychologist Abraham Maslow, psychologist and Learned Optimism author Martin Seligman, and 7 Habits of Highly Effective People writer Stephen R. Covey, he gives credit where it's due, and he's done an outstanding job of synthesizing various classic and contemporary theories into one solidly inspirational book. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal

Proud of your IQ? It may indicate your raw intelligence, but experts say it's only a partial predictor of your future success. Recently, Daniel Goleman pointed toward emotional intelligence (Emotional Intelligence, LJ 9/1/95) as a key factor; now, organizational communication expert Stoltz writes about his theory that one's ability to thrive under adverse conditions may be the best indicator of overall success. The author presents an overview of prior research on what qualities of character and personality combine to create a successful person. There follows an explanation of the Adversity Quotient (AQ) theory and a shortened version of Stolz's AQ Profile. Detailed interpretations of AQ scores in the areas of control, ownership, reach, and endurance point to areas that are strong and those that could use improvement. Graphs and charts clearly illustrate ideas, and concepts are well organized and build logically, but the writing is stilted at times. The absence of footnotes is offset by a lengthy, detailed bibliography. Recommended for academic and public library collections.?Catherine T. Charvat, John Marshall Lib., Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on Jan. 29 2001
Format: Paperback
FIrst of all, Let's estimate ourselves more strictly to approach. You need to know you are such a hesitater, slow- actioner or risk-taking pal. If you became a hesitater to do something, your life should be encouraged to change. If you are a slow-actioner, throw away your convenience-originated attitude to all the way. Fortunately, if you think you are a risk-taker or would-be-risk-taker, you will have to play a key role to encourage and vigorous one another, right away. There is a good news for us. Adveristy Quotient can be able to improve depending on your efforts while IQ and EQ is more natural. That means if we continue to do our best to develop our AQ, then it allows us a enforced risk-taking attitude to cope all problems we face. Please fill out the AQ test as he directed and analyze your advantage versus disadvantage points. And Make a list what you do today to change your attitude more constructively. Estimate your outcome what points were improved while not, on a regular base. Then make sure that you find out you become a real challenger. Don't forget to share your marvelous experience with your close friends, neighbours, subordinates and senior citizens to help their difficulties.
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By A Customer on March 27 2000
Format: Hardcover
I have read alot of self-help books, but none of them ever "stayed" with me after the last page was turned.
This one is really different.
I have a sometimes nasty, insulting boss. Shortly after reading this book, she pitched an insult at me. For the first time in my life, I was able to look at her, say nothing, and walk away. A couple hours later, not believing what she had seen, she came back and repeated the same insult. I repeated the behavior above. This time, she smiled, with some respect, and walked away.
Shortly after this incident, I was waiting in line in a store I visit frequently. When I got to the counter, the clerk asked, "Well, how was your vacation?" I told her I hadn't been on vacation. She asked, "Then, what's NEW?" I was puzzled by these questions, but then realized that she had seen some change in me I wasn't aware of. I told her that the only new thing in my life was this book. She got very excited and wanted to know all about it. It turns out that she was a Psychology major and had seen something new in me that I didn't even know had happened.
This book seemed to "put it all together" for me.
Hope it will do the same for others who read it.
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Format: Paperback
Anyone who thinks this book is about a "having a good attitude" or "positive thinking" hasn't read the book.
Stoltz states at the beginning, "It's more important to know how to deal with the negative than to be 'positive.'" This mirrors the I Ching, which says, "The event is not important, but the response to the event is everything." Stoltz says it's not only how we _respond_ to adversity, but how we _perceive_ adversity.
Stoltz breaks down our response to adversity into five categories -- Control (how much control do we perceive over the adverse situation?), Origin (are we to blame for the adverse situation?), Ownership (are we responsible for fixing the adverse situation?), Reach (how far will this adverse situation reach into other areas of my life?), and Endurance (how long will this adverse situation last?). He provides abundant examples (everyday and historical), hypotheticals, and even a test where we can score how we tend to respond to adversity, and improve our response.
He lists 22 helpful ways to _destroy_ the adversity of those around us (#4 -- Model victimhood. Act depressed -- it's contagious; #9 -- Frame success as a freak accident; #19 -- Uproot enthusiasm before it can grow).
Problems with the book? Sure there are. It's a bit padded, especially in the beginning. Much of the book deals with overcoming adversity in business situations. He also criticizes those who decide to "camp" on the hillside instead of always "climbing" to the top of the mountain. I feel we can have success and happiness, not to mention a family life, by "camping," just as I suspect "climber" is another word for "workaholic."
In all, it's a very worthwhile book.
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Format: Hardcover
As a coach/consultant in personal and organizational development for 20 years I read hundreds of 'self-help' books. Only a few have something new and useful to offer. Stolz's Adversity Quotient is one of the best of those. Its easy-to-use assesment of my habitual way of responding to adversity gave me critical feedback I needed to re-invent my own life/work strategies. And his CORE skills and LEAD sequence (based largely on Martin Seligman's work on learned helplessness and learned optimism which was deemed the 'landmark theory of the century' by the American Psychological Association) are powerful, pragmatic tools for dealing with adversity of any sort. AQ is simple, clear and easy to use, but it is definitely not a gimmick. As a professional in this field and as an individual who has used Stolz's insights and tools to produce more outstanding results than ever before--and with less effort and stress--I can attest to both its scientific solidness and its practical usefulness. It has my highest recommendation.
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