Archive 2015

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Owning Your Career



By Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans

To resuscitate your career, own it! This attitude is key. Take steps now to plan, build, and strengthen it. Here’s how:

  • Know yourself.
  • Know your options.
  • Know how to take action.

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Contributed by Bill Treasurer, the author of Leaders Open Doors, which focuses on how leaders create growth through opportunity.

People have high, and often conflicting, expectations of leaders. At once, we expect leaders to be reasonable but passionate, decisive but inclusive, visionary but explicit, and powerful but humble. We also want leaders who are rational but emotionally intelligent, caring but impartial, and profit-driven but people-oriented. The list of expectations is so long and contradictory that the aspiring leader is right to ask, “Where on earth do I start?!”

Here are six actions that budding leaders can take to point their leadership in the right direction:

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Contributed by Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, an international pioneer in the fields of innovation, incentive competitions and commercial space. He coauthored the New York Times bestseller Abundance, as well as BOLD, the 2015 getAbstract International Book award winner.


For the first time in history, individuals have the power to change the world. So, for anyone interested in doing just that, the first step is connecting with your life’s mission – your Massively Transformative Purpose (MTP) – that will drive you to take risks, go big and impact the world.  The second step is to educate yourself about exponentials—to realize that you actually have more power today at your fingertips than the world’s largest companies and governments just 20 years ago.

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Fail Safe



In what profession can you fail most of the time yet still be considered a success – and have employers chasing after you with multi-million dollar offers?!

In major league baseball, a .300 batting average is considered the gold standard – even though that means the player fails to get a base hit seven out of 10 times at bat. Granted, professional baseball is an anomaly; a comparable performance in the workplace likely will earn you a big, fat pink slip. But failure is not necessarily a dirty word. In fact, many of the greatest leaders in history celebrated failure, believing it is life’s most effective and empowering teacher.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm,” said Winston Churchill, the former British prime minister.

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Dollars and Sense



Show us the money!

For years, a CEO’s performance was based on profitability. Is the company meeting or exceeding expectations? Are shareholders getting satisfactory returns? Is the board of directors happy? The bottom line was the bottom line.

Business is still about making money, of course, but the metrics for assessing a CEO are changing – and that’s a good thing. Look no further than the recently released Harvard Business Review annual ranking of the world’s leading chief executives. No. 1 on the list is Lars Sorenson of Novo Nordisk, a Denmark-based healthcare corporation that focuses on diabetes treatment. Yes, Novo Nordisk boasted some very impressive numbers, but the company also drew high marks for its proactivity concerning social and environmental issues.

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In the classic Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi thriller, Predator, a fearsome alien being utilizes sophisticated weaponry under a cloak of invisibility to systematically kill off a platoon of soldiers in the jungle.

Heavily armed with rifles, machines guns and bazookas, Schwarzenegger’s people seemingly are prepared for any type of conventional combat. But without warning this unforgiving foe appears out of nowhere and destroys everyone – except Arnold, of course.

Imagine a similar scenario in business. You’ve built a strong, successful operation and can hold your own against anyone. Then suddenly you’re ambushed by a competitor you never saw coming. Think Uber. The upstart wasn’t even a blip on the radar screen and now it’s putting a full-court press on the taxi industry.

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As the recent terror attacks in Paris have shown us, we are leaving behind an era of relative security and comfort, even in the western world. Terrorism threatens not only our bodies, but also our minds. These days, we are all out of our depth – our wits are paralyzed, while the terrorists grow stronger.

That’s why getAbstract would like to share with you some relevant and current information on terrorism – its causes, objectives and possible ways to defeat it. The following summaries are free to download, no strings attached:

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It’s About Time



Funny how the pendulum swings. During the Great Recession, businesses sliced and diced their workforces like Freddy Krueger at a junior high sleepover. Any perception of loyalty between employer and employee was pretty much destroyed. With the economy recovering, companies are working harder now to attract – and retain – individuals who have more options and aren’t afraid to exercise them.

The latest corporate perk? Unlimited time off. Read the rest of this entry »


Pretend the Dalai Lama has applied for an important managerial spot in your organization. You quickly scan his resume. Hmmm, no business degree – not even a formal education. Moves around a lot. Never held a real job. No verifiable income or assets.

Heck, the Dalai Lama wouldn’t appear to qualify for even an entry level position, yet people around the globe benefit from his wise counsel and admire his philosophical approach to life. While seemingly the polar opposite of the prototypical, hard-charging corporate executive, the Dalai Lama in fact promotes values and expectations that every workplace should emulate.

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Say you wanted to find out why a particular corporation – Southwest Airlines, for instance – is so successful. We’ll give you two options – you can extract information from the charts, graphs and statistics in the company’s annual reports. Or you can listen to founder Herb Kelleher describe his philosophy and the values that make the organization great.

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For the 15th time, getAbstract has selected four outstanding business books for its annual International Book Award. The winners were announced, as always, at the Frankfurt Book Fair. And here’s this year’s finest:

In German:

  • Update, Warum die Datenrevolution uns alle betrifft, Michael Steinbrecher / Rolf Schumann, Campus Verlag
  • Die neue Ordnung des Geldes, Warum wir eine Geldreform brauchen, Thomas Mayer, FinanzBuch Verlag

In English:

  • BOLD, How to Go Big, Create Wealth, and Impact the World, Peter H. Diamandis / Steven Kotler, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
  • SAPIENS, A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari, Harper/HarperCollins Publishers

getAbstract is continually screening new publications from all corners of the world, with special focus on the fields of Management, Strategy, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources, Economics, Politics, Finance, Career, and Trends. If something looks promising, we examine it closer and our editorial team decides whether it is really good enough to be summarized. Hence, our pick is already the crème de la crème. To pick four titles that stand out from this elite group is no easy task. Still, year after year, we rise to the challenge.

That’s why the getAbstract International Book Award is not only the longest-standing but, perhaps more importantly, is also one of the most prestigious business book awards on the planet.

“There is no group of people in the whole world that reads more business books than the people at getAbstract”, says Rolf Dobelli, best-selling author and co-founder of getAbstract, “And there is no group of people that rates books better than the editorial team of getAbstract. So if you look for an ideal group of people to select these books it’s really the people at getAbstract.”


For more information about the getAbstract International Book Award visit us at And this link gets you to a video about the award.


We are pleased to announce that getAbstract will be a sponsor of the Global Peter Drucker Forum 2015 on November 5-6, 2015 in Vienna, Austria.

The 7th Drucker Forum touches a key theme of our time: It will look at the technology Tsunami – with Robotics, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, and The Internet of Things – through the lens of humanity.

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As you know, getAbstract summarizes not only written content such as books, articles or reports but also choice video talks. Our two-page summaries are based exclusively on TED Talks, where eminent thinkers, entrepreneurs and innovators – including Bill Gates, Stephen Hawking, Seth Godin and Sheryl Sandberg – inspire a global audience with daring thoughts and enlightening insights.

But TED Talk summaries were just the beginning! getAbstract has widened its scope to include other video talks as well. We screen a vast array of diverse content, looking for cutting-edge material that will pique your intellectual curiosity. Then our authors expertly turn it into concise summaries.

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Years ago, the unemployed really looked forward to Sunday – and not just because they could pray for their luck to change. No, Sunday meant a big, fat newspaper with pages of promising classified ads. You’d bang out a couple of cover letters, fold them into envelopes with your resume, slap on some stamps and head to the nearest mailbox.

Well, with newspapers going the way of the wooly mammoth you’re fortunate if you find a handful of decent want ads these days. What used to be a primary go-to source is essentially an afterthought. Let’s face it – job hunting changed dramatically following the Great Recession. And utilizing career websites, social media and networking isn’t enough to snag a good job. The experts say you need to separate yourself from the field.

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In honor of a new school year, let’s take a quick tour of the Museum of the Obsolete. Just look at all the prehistoric remnants – typewriters, floppy discs, slide rules, three-ring binders and Palm Pilots. Oh, and here is a colorful assortment of ballpoint pens high school and college students actually used to take notes before smartphones and laptops became so popular.

Talk about profound changes. Not only are the physical tools different in the field of education, but also traditional practices and theories are being challenged and transformed. For decades, students sat in neat rows, obediently scribbling notes as teachers lectured from the front of a classroom. Passive learning – most educational professionals now agree – is the least effective way of disseminating information, particularly as attention spans grow shorter and shorter. Memorization still has its place, but the general consensus is that young people must develop critical thinking and analytical skills.

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