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Adversity Quotient: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities Paperback – May 25 1999
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
Stoltz offers a potentially viable remedy to the debilitating effects of adversity for those he terms "quitters" and "campers". Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2007 by Daniel Armishaw
This book is a stinker. Here's the deal...think of some catchy metaphor (e.g., life is a climb, life is a portrait, life is a ladder...something like that). Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2001
Some of this book is very simplistic if you have taken any psychology. The writing can be repetitive. Read morePublished on June 29 2000 by Ms Diva
Learn to face and grow through adversity is what this book is all about. Paul Stoltz explains why some people succeed while others stop short in their mission when exposed to... Read morePublished on Nov. 22 1999 by Simões, Fabricio
This is yet another gimmicky kind of book disguised as science. I can save everyone allot of time and describe what's really in here---think in a positive way and some good things... Read morePublished on May 3 1999
In today's environment of mega changes, it's easy to forget about the most important differentiators of success. Read morePublished on March 9 1999
Paul has offered us a model for understanding our own and others ability to cope with adversity.
A primer book for the challenges that the new millenium offers us as a... Read more
Paul has cut to the chase on how one deals with adversity in a solutions-based model. I have used the Adversity Response Profile with both clients and family and they work. Read morePublished on March 6 1999
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