Book Review: Running the Gauntlet


Running the Gauntlet: Essential Business Lessons to Lead, Drive Change and Grow Profits by Jeffery Hayzlett is my kind of book. I like books about leadership, handling and overcoming obstacles to change and generally getting off your … and getting things done.

More than once I had to put the book down to make some notes or go and do something as the author suggested. There is a consistent thread about your Conditions of Satisfaction. This drives much of the discussion in the book, and is an insightful way to think about whether or not you’re getting what you want out of ________ (a project, job, life, etc.)

What’s great about this book:
It’s well organized. The information is provided in short chapters. This worked well for me since I tend to think about what I read. When I’m presented with information I can use, I stop and make a note, send an e-mail or take some other action. Short chapters make it easy to take a quick break and pick up where you left off.
The real-world stories and examples from others made the advice feel real and helped drive the author’s points home.
The 118 concept is a great take-away  – Grab their attention in the first 8 seconds, then sell them in then next 110 seconds. There’s a specific formula for putting this together that you can use right away.
If you haven’t read much on change, this makes a great first book. Lots of topical coverage and interesting examples.

Limiting Factors:
If you weren’t sure before reading this, you’ll learn multiple times (I stopped counting) that the author also wrote a book called The Mirror Test.
The sports analogies seem a bit off. In one case, an american football analogy morphs into the business lesson, and is concluded with the need to “swing and swing hard, not bunt safely.”
If you’ve read multiple books on change, this one may not feel like a revelation to you. But you’ll still get a fresh perspective on change.

Great Quotes:
“Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good”
“You can’t be cool and look like Elmer Fudd”
“What’s your 118?”
“A brand is nothing more than a promise delivered”

This book is an excellent eye-opener, and if you find yourself struggling with nay-sayers and other obstacles to change, then this book is a must read. Of course, unless your the one human out there who doesn’t need to change to stay competitive.

Rob’s Rating system (bolded, the rating is)
Buy now at full price
Buy if you get a discount (of course, it’s already discounted on-line)
Wait for the paperback
Wait for someone else to be done with the paperback
If you’ve read my review, you got the gist of it

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Note: This was a different experience, because the publisher (McGraw Hill) contacted me, said they had read other book reviews I’ve done and asked if I would read this book and post a review on Amazon. I’m telling you up this so there’s no misrepresentation. I’d post this review whether or not I recommended the book.

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