Congratulations, you made it to the finish line!

We had a great time with you on social media and hope to hear more from you in the future. The reading challenge is over, but your journey toward a more efficient you is just beginning – and we’ll be there with you, every step of the way. Keep reading and stay focused on your goals.

And now the winners: You read, you liked, you shared, you commented and you won! Congratulations!

Karishma S. Coaching session with author Beverly Kaye
Julie K. E. Coaching session with author Bill Treasurer
Kathi L. Coaching session with author Chris Surdack
Tyson W. Coaching session with author Jason Womack
Dan L. 12-month getAbstract Gold Subscription
Rob. V 12-month getAbstract Gold Subscription
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Ilker A. 12-month getAbstract Gold Subscription
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Ashgar A. 12-month getAbstract Gold Subscription
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Scott M. 12-month getAbstract Gold Subscription
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Miranda J. $50 Gift card (Amazon, iTunes or B&N)
Jie W. $50 Gift card (Amazon, iTunes or B&N)
Miguel A. C. A. $50 Gift card (Amazon, iTunes or B&N)
Ed M. $50 Gift card (Amazon, iTunes or B&N)
Dinesh H. $50 Gift card (Amazon, iTunes or B&N)
Noon K. Signed book
Alison G. Signed book
Doug S. Signed book
Jonathan T. Signed book
Terri C. Signed book
Emma J. S. Signed book
Eduardo F. Signed book
Patsy K. D. R. Signed book
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Sharon W. Signed book
Wim A. signed book
Richard A. D. Signed book
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Sue L. Signed book
Herbert G. Signed book
Yuullia D. Signed book
Jenny M. Signed book
Loan V. Signed book
Frances W. Signed book



Go back to challenge tasks from previous days:

January 2: The One Thing

January 3: Everyday Leadership

January 4: Leading Through Language

January 5: Doing the Right Things Right

January 6: A Leadership Kick in the Ass

January 7: Advice from Women Who Lead

January 8: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe

January 9: Get Momentum

January 10: How Too Many Rules at Work Keep You from Getting Things Done

January 11: The Power of Habit

January 12: The Little Book of Big Change

January 13: The Daily Edge

January 14: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

January 15: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work

January 16: The 5 Choices

January 17: Yesterbox

January 18: 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management

January 19: No More Pointless Meetings

January 20: Love It, Don’t Lose It

January 21: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator

January 22: The Time Bandit Solution

January 23: Singletasking

January 24: Learning Leadership

January 25: The Decision Book

January 26: Personal Productivity Secrets

January 27: Data Crush

January 28: Mindful Tech

January 29: I Used to Be a Human Being

January 30: Deep Work

January 31: Before Happiness


Start the year right and become the most efficient version of yourself. To help your personal and professional development, we’re challenging you to #30DaysOfSummaries with getAbstract from January 2 to 31.

Sign up for the challenge, participate on social media and win a prize!

What you’ll get:

  • Follow our #30DaysOfSummaries posts and read FREE daily summaries
  • FREE 1-month getAbstract Gold Subscription with access to +15,000 summaries of the best business books *
  • Many awesome prizes

 How it works:

  • Sign up to be eligible to win a prize
  • Follow us on social media
  • Read our #30DaysOfSummaries posts
  • Comment or share our posts with the hashtag #30DaysOfSummaries


At the end of the challenge, we’ll randomly choose several lucky winners from the most active participants. You’ll have the chance to win one of these prizes:

  • 4 one-on-one coaching sessions with renowned authors:
    • Beverly Kaye
    • Chris Surdak
    • Bill Treasurer
    • Jason Womack
  • 15 signed books from top business authors
  • 10 getAbstract 12-month Gold Subscriptions
  • 5 x $50 Gift cards (Amazon, iTunes or B&N)

 Sign me up!


* For all participants without an active subscription.



getAbstract is the world’s largest resource of business knowledge. The best business book summaries, plus relevant articles, reports and videos, compressed.
On our blog we share summary recommendations, author interviews, and much more.

62 Responses to “getAbstract Challenge 2017”

  1. Loreeta R Says:

    thanks for trial 30days from today?

  2. Linda Wohlfarth Says:

    Thanks for your message! The 30 Days Trial start when the challenge starts on January, 2.

  3. Raul Says:

    Wow I love Getabstract.com
    I like the way how Getabstract summarises my favorite books in English or German

    I`m glad to learn in a easy way and getting fun

    Thanks a lot Getabstract

  4. Christopher Delametter Says:

    The getAbstract Challenge will provide an effective and efficient start to 2017.

  5. Ralf P. Says:

    Will this stop automatic after the 30 days or have I to recall

  6. Linda Wohlfarth Says:

    Dear Ralf, thanks for your comment. No worries, the trial will end automatically after the challenge.

  7. Wim Annerel Says:

    Great idea, this challenge!

    I already shared it on our companywide social network

  8. Melissa Says:

    Excited to begin the new year with a development challenge!

  9. Hasan Mansur Says:

    I am new in getAbstract but I am really exiceted to read&learn more by the getAbstract 2017 new challenge. Great opportunity for me and for my self development.

  10. Rob Says:

    Carpe diem!

  11. Rob Says:

    Having read the summary of The One Thing, I agree with the statement: “the prescription for extraordinary results is knowing what matters to you and taking daily doses of actions in alignment with it.” I am a fervent believer that we detect, rather than identify, our mission in life.
    Today I committed to asking the ‘right questions’ that might enhance selecting the ‘One Thing’. Outlining a conceptual path for my career, job and personal life requires a thematic-centric-action-oriented approach. Taking action in each domain spiritual, physical, personal, work and financial life will hopefully form a solid foundation for attaining peace-of-mind.

    As an avid multi-tacker, I feel like the Titanic approaching the ‘Iceberg’. The challenge is daunting. My wife and I worked together to develop a vision statement that provides a tool for accountability. I wonder what the reaction will be when my colleagues and assistants at work learn that they are instrumental to this goal-setting process. Will we be able to design a systematic approach to FOCUS and goal attainment? Time will tell. Fingers-crossed!

  12. Linda Wohlfarth Says:

    Thank you for your thoughts, Rob. We’ll keep our fingers crossed as well!

  13. Iryna Says:

    Excited to start with new possibilities! Thank you getAbstract!

  14. Cynthia Says:

    Great idea, keeps even more motivated to keep reading!

  15. Naveen Says:

    Link to day 2 the one thing is taking to day 1 content? Not sure if it is just for me. Can you please verify? I had no issues with Day 1 & Day 3 content though.

  16. Linda Wohlfarth Says:

    Thank you, Naveen. We just checked and corrected the links to the previous challenge tasks. They should now be working again!

  17. Douglas Says:

    I have nothing but good things to say about how informative the site is. Looking forward to this months challenge.

  18. Rob Says:

    Frankly, I was underwhelmed with Everyday Leadership by Drew Dudley. More like a church sermon. I too, am a big believer in practicing the notion of ‘daily gratitudes’. While I applaud the reference to Marianne Williamson, I found it self-serving. However I wonder if getabstract could have chosen a more impactful and convincing summary that might go further in helping its audience become more effective?
    Is this the best that we can do for Day 2 of
    #30daysofsummaries? As a longtime reader of getabstract, I expected more in this Challenge. Is this knowledge worth sharing? I think not. Nice story, but the speaker would have been more compelling with a more evidence-based articulation.
    Apologies for being negative.

  19. Linda Wohlfarth Says:

    Thank you for your comment, Rob. We’re sorry that you didn’t find yesterday’s summary worth sharing. This first week of the challenge is all about leadership and how to be an efficient leader. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll cover more topics around “efficiency”, e.g. time management. Based on your positive comment on today’s summary of “Learning Through Language”, I wish you more learning moments with our challenge!

  20. Dinesh Says:

    This is an innovative way to engage using social media ! Am excited to subscribe to this ….

  21. Navin Raigaga Says:

    Awesome initiative to get us starting with a growth mindset. Thank you

  22. Tom Randle Says:

    Thanks for the challenge to put “First things first” and start setting goals and priorities instead of just letting life happen.

  23. Christi Jella Says:

    A little late to the challenge, but looking forward to it! A great way to start 2017!

  24. Linda Wohlfarth Says:

    It’s not too late! Welcome to the challenge and wishing you many new insights!

  25. Rob Says:

    On the heels of yesterday’s rant, I found Bret Egnal’s Leading Through Language a great reminder to strive for precision when communicating. This summary provided an appropriate segue from yesterday’s summary. Admittedly, the themes are ironically not too far apart, as Egnal underscores, “Great leadership inspires others to act. No matter what your role or level of seniority, if you can communicate skillfully, that ability gives you the strongest opportunity to lead.” Perhaps, this perspective shed-a-different-light on Dudley’s TedX Talk. A learning moment indeed!

  26. Rob Says:

    Laura Stack’s three “T’s” of leadership – “strategic thinking, team focus and tactical work” – advances Drucker’s seminal message on effective leadership. Though this is only Day 4, I found this particular summary to be most impactful. The organizing rubric for 12 critical management goals offers an evidence-based approach to management innovation. In fact, I plan to implement many of the tactics explained in the summary towards a more cohesive enterprise plan at work. Never a static document, concentrating on results, leveraging resources and strengths, prioritizing tangible work-related tasks and making results-oriented decisions offers a scaffolding for designed thinking. Better project management enhances the likelihood that our TEAM can more efficiently nurture a sense of clarity in mission-driven opportunities. Focusing on doing the “right things”, can always be a challenge to effective leadership.
    This thought-provoking summary is most practical; allowing for analysis and concepts to be apply to real-world problem-solving.
    Excellent read!

  27. Rob Says:

    Bill Treasurer’s opinion-laden book, A Leadership Kick in the Ass…underscores the attributes of confidence and humility. Unfortunately, we live in a ‘fear-based society’. My experience has taught me that the notions of empathy and agility are far better barometers to measure the character and potential of a person (i.e., effective leader).

  28. Robin Paulsen Says:

    Just recived the email to join- few days late but will commit to the challenge

  29. balabhaskar Says:

    its really great challenge of 2017 for book lovers

  30. Chong Says:

    I like this challenge as it keeps me reading everyday a little bit more and also introduces me to new insights I would not choose by myself. Thank you^^

  31. Rob Says:

    Pamela Reeves’ group at Aspen Ideas Forum, Advice from Women Who Lead, is gender neutral; applies to all leaders. “Failure isn’t the opposite of success; it’s actually a stepping stone closer to it.” Love the quote!

  32. Rob Says:

    Sinek’s Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe, made me think of a correlation with attachment-parenting. I fervently believe that EQ is a more important attribute than IQ to the career trajectory of a rising leader. I agree with quote, “Rank does not connote leadership; rather, it is simply a position of authority.” My father, a journalist, was a Sports Editor. He taught me, “never ask someone who reports to you to do anything that you haven’t done yourself!”

  33. Dianne Says:

    Really loving the choices of summaries selected for the 2017 getAbstract Summary challenge. So far my favorite is Get Momentum by Jason W. Womack and Jodi Womack (Wiley, 2016).

  34. getAbstract Says:

    Thank you very much for your kind words, Dianne!

  35. James Miranda Says:

    This is awesome!

  36. Douglas Says:

    I liked Morieux’s perspective in, How Too Many Rules at Work Keep You from Getting Things Done, on passing the baton in relation to departments working together by encouraging collaboration over silo work efficiency. More companies should foster an environment for innovation as opposed to just measuring productivity.

  37. Karishma Says:

    I have been running behind on the reading, and am closely catching up on my comments. Found the One thing very interesting, having to identify with the 1 thing that really matters to you. It definitely prompts you to think of the one thing, and take smaller actions. Amazing concept.

  38. Joy Says:

    this is awesome! Get started, now!

  39. Gary W. Kunsman Says:

    Links for Jan 7 and Jan 8 of the Challenge do not take me to the Summaries.
    Otherwise this is a great idea and I am pleased to participate.
    Thanks for your assistance.

  40. getAbstract Says:

    Thanks a lot for your comment, Gary. The links are fixed now – sorry for the inconvenience!

  41. Rob Says:

    Pursuant to the summary, Get Momentum, “I’m overwhelmed” – seems to be my constant state-of-mind. As the authors Womack point out, Life is complicated enough! I like the idea of “non-essential goals”: one of the attributes getabstracts #30DaysOfSummaries Challenge! While there is no pressure to complete, I find the daily readings give me a sense of accomplishment i.e., achievable short-term goals. As this is the eighth reading I am feeling the “momentum” 🙂

  42. Rob Says:

    Wow! Organizational consultant Yves Morieux, shed light on a management issue for which I am currently facing. My colleagues in senior leadership are increasingly obsessed with ‘dashboard analytics’, ironically they are among the most inefficient? In the past, I too, have been proud to be a disciple of dashboard management. However,recently I have become increasingly agitated by those who have become slow to adapt and adjust. In my ind, the key attribute of effective leadership is the notion of agility. The author illuminates that the “tenets of “clarity, measurement and accountability” suppresses innovation and collaboration”. If the current business mantra is “what gets measured gets done”; my preference would the aim towards collective ambition. Just today. I witnessed incompetence resulting from misguided tasks, seemingly irrelevant to the firm’s core purpose. The realization, a tone-deaf team. Now I ask, how does one enlighten others, bent on reading from ‘right to left’.

  43. Rob Says:

    Enjoyed the summary of The Power of Habit. Charles Duhigg’s descriptive snippets were fun to read. I won’t enter a Starbucks again without thinking about the acronym L.A.T.T.E. ! and its corporate approach: “Listen, acknowledge, take action, thank and explain.” 
    I have been fortunate on occasions when returning to the West Coast to experience Rick Warren’s incredibly successful Saddleback Churc. Whether or not one is religious, this culture is the ‘real deal’.
    The Power of Habit offers valuable insight to management strategy.

  44. Rob Says:

    Truly enjoyed David Horsager’s practical guide to propel productivity. Personally, this summary is timely for me as I returned from work after yet another day of multiple interruptions and challenges. I particularly liked the reference: “Aristotle said that people create their own destiny through the habits they choose. What you spend most of your time doing will shape the narrative of your life.”

  45. Rob Says:

    Mark Manson’s ‘Subtle Art’ of self-reflection without angst is an appreciated point-of-view. However, one that runs counter to my instincts. People’s behaviors are a manifestation of the inner feelings. While I often admire those who seemingly do not allow others to rent space in their head, I find myself challenged to be the same. Pursuing realistic expectations, is challenging in itself. I am proud to not live in the dogma of other people’s dreams. Unfortunately, I do suffer from an acute sense of propriety when it comes to trying to please others. I do agree with Manson, when the summary states: “With maturity, we realize that others don’t care what we do as much as we thought. This frees us not to care either.”
    My sense of peace and contentment is my unabashed passion for life. The notion of ‘agility’ helps me threw my challenges. I choose to live life in crescendo…don’t give a fu*k whether or not that bothers others. Hopefully, my four kids will agree that their father always tried; whether it striving to be the best that I can be; seeing another’s perspective; or combating a bully. In the end, I guess I do give a fu*k.

  46. Rob Says:

    I too, found myself nodding my head throughout Fried’s TedX Talk, Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work . It simply makes sense, identifies with my current reality at work. As he states, “You cannot sleep properly if disturbances wake you; similarly, you cannot work properly if people or events interrupt you.” I lead an operation that is in a constant state of ‘controlled chaos’. I laughed in agreement with the idea, “Why most people are not productive in the office during working hours.” Frankly, I am most productive between 4:30am and 8am (precious time with the Chief of Staff, before the ‘hooligans arrive!). The tranquility allows me to focus. Hooray for the notion, “Meetings are just toxic, terrible, poisonous things.” I could not agree more. To find time, my assistants are renowned for making-up meetings so as to block-out my schedule. To each, his own. And, forever the quest for solitude!

  47. Rob Says:

    Having experienced the FranklinCovey approach, as a certified facilitator, I am familiar with the concepts offered in the summary. PCD approach equates to ‘Mindfulness’. My personal quest for Quadrant II is a constant battle for perfection and therefore disappointment. I plan to spend time recalibrating a Life Wheel. When the ‘30/10 Promise’ becomes a habit, time management becomes a way of life. Unfortunately, I am far from where I hope to someday be with due to deadlines and commitments.

  48. Rob Says:

    Tony Hsieh’s, Yesterbox recommends to“Delete, file or forward” incoming emails, what a thought! For someone who is forever inundated with emails, such a process is unlikely. Years ago, the Technology Office informed me that I led the Foundation with 367 incoming emails/day. I have yet to find a solution. Recently, I learned that a colleague told her staff that she would not read emails beyond two lines. Brilliant, if not realistic. This mandate can only be successful should it become entwined in the corporate culture. Allocate, three hours every morning to read emails is a farce.

  49. Rob Says:

    Best Summary thus far (18th Day)!
    The essence of Kevin Kruse’s seminal work on the 15 Secrets of Succcessful People Know About Tie Management is the quote, ““The single most important thing when it comes to time and productivity isn’t a tactic or a trick – it’s a shift in mind-set.” The 1,440-minute mind-set, is a worthwhile cultural doctorine. I learned that, “Research indicates that most list-makers never complete 41% of their planned jobs. Daily lists tend to randomize the order of importance among your tasks, thus muddling your focus.”
    Discovered that 1/3 of a typical executive’s day is reading and replying to emails. Sad and believable. Being aware that “email is a great way for other people to put their priorities into your life” resonated with me. Use the “321-Zero” i.e., three times a day, spend 21 minutes reviewing your messages. Mark Cuban’s advise, “Never do meetings unless someone is writing a check” this is spot-on! Protect your most valuable asset, ‘time’, from any request that doesn’t further their long-term priorities. “If you send less email, you’ll also receive less email.”

  50. Rob Says:

    Most do not realize, or worse, are oblivious to the idea that, “The fundamental purpose of meetings is to utilize the collective human capital of a group to get things accomplished.” This is not the first or even second time that I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Martin Murphy’s revolutionary idea of ‘Breakout Sessions’. I HATE meetings! Yet, I continue to evolve and refine my Team’s efforts to optimize relevant and worthy meetings.
    To be relevant, I agree that the planning process needs to be timely, ongoing and fluid. Just as static Business Plans are unrealistic and out of vogue, so too are meetings for-the-sake of meeting!
    I find graphical facilitation is an excellent way to record and document input and output. Recently, I learned that an effective way to run a meeting is to force people to stand rather than sit…creates an appetite for brevity and efficiency; not to mention enhancing one’s health! Food-for-thought.

  51. Rob Says:

    Love it, Don’t Leave it, offers a different perspective for approaching job dissatisfaction: rather than bolt, first consider the people, place and purpose. Just as it often cost an employer 1.75Xs to rehire for a position, jumping to the proverbial ‘greener-pasture’ can also be costly. Before one follows their passions and/or intuitions I agree with authors Kaye and Jordan-Evans that a review and analysis enhances the likelihood that such action will result in a positive…not just for you, but also your family/friends. I am constantly reminded the harder I work on something, the better the result. Find the optimal career is second only to identifying the right partner. Including others in these pivotal decisions reduces stress while gaining different perspectives on the job shift.
    Career recalibration is not only imperative, it is a natural phenomenon for which everyone should pursue in life’s journey. ‘WIIFT’: “What’s In It For Them.” Should be a daily mantra in the survival guide foe life.

  52. Rob Says:

    I enjoyed the TedX Talk by Tim Urban, particularly the idea that our brains have a “rational decision-maker” and our emotions often monitored by what Urban states is the “panic monster” in the summary entitled, Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator. Perhaps, some scientific references would have made the talk a little more credible. Despite this, Urban’s theme made me self-reflect and served as a reminder of the perils of procrastination.

    No doubt, we all suffer from procrastination, though this is not my primary weakness. I simply am too over-scheduled and overworked to afford the luxury of procrastination. As an Investment banker years ago, I used think it was cool to wait until the last minute to catch a flight, now I find procrastination simply an additional needless stress. Nonetheless, I lapse once-in-a-while, as was the case this past year in preparing the Father-of-the-Bride Speech. I lecture and/or deliver 5-10 speeches a week, so public speaking doesn’t typically overwhelm me. However, when my wife reminded me that I might want to begin thinking about this paramount moment while on the beach in July, I just laughed and exclaimed, Amanda’s wedding is until October 22! Like a dunce, I continued to procrastinate with unwitting confidence. Fast-forward (pun intended) I had one paragraph written the day before the wedding. Ouch! The self-inflicted stress was hideous and only served to remind me that it doesn’t pay to wait. The good news, after waking up at 6am, thinking and writing for 2-hours, I delivered the best speech of life. Emotions and memories just flowed, one of those ‘kwon’ moments that I am forever grateful. Lesson learned: the procrastination not only stressed me out, but also those dear to me….not worth the agony!

  53. Rob Says:

    Time Bandit Solution proved to be a tedious deed due to outside distractions ie., joke. On a more serious note, having an office with floor-to-ceiling windows that look out to the floor, I know all too well about the perils of interruptions and distractions. In fact, this summary is timely as I am in the midst of identifying more effective ways for both my staff and I to become more efficient. Transparency is not our challenge, but rather designed culture of ‘controlled chaos’ which naturally causes turbulence. I appreciated Brown’s notions of work momentum and ‘batch-processing’. On the other-hand, the suggestion of ‘scripting’ and ‘role-playing’ in order for people to better understand the basics, likely will not be embraced my colleagues and friends.

  54. Rob Says:

    Devora’s Zack’s, Singletasking, emphasizes the practice of approaching tasks sequentially, one-by-one, not simultaneously. Although this is an interesting read, I fear that in my particular case it may be a bit optimistic. While Singletasking makes sense, I wonder if it is a universal approach. For instance, I simply have a wide-array of interdisciplinary entities reporting to me; most of whom have different agendas. I applaud Zack’s evidence-based reference to science and human nature (e.g., reference to ancient “hunter-gathering days) as many studies have apparently proven that multitasking doesn’t work. I wonder then, how C-Level executives actually get things done. I suppose they delegate better than others? One look at the POTUS Daily Briefing (PDB) and it is reasonable to assume that the theory of Singletasking is not for everyone. No doubt, I am proof of the author’s inference that many multitaskers possess an “undisciplined cerebellum.” I definitely agree with Zack, “We are collectively losing the ability to sustain prolonged attention.” In fact, the story of Buddhists speaking of ‘monkey minds’, a mind that is unsettled and out of control, aptly underscores symptoms of multitasking. This is your mind when you multitask. A constantly confused and restless mind-set is a natural by-product of multitasking.
    Nonetheless, I have taken some valuable lessons from this summary. Namely, “successful singletasking involves managing your thoughts, relationships and environment.”
    As mentioned, to handle myriad responsibilities, people like myself often turn to multitasking. And as a result, multitasking is the “de facto response to life’s extreme busyness.” Sadly, this sums-up my current state-of-mind. Perhaps, Clustertasking will enhance my capacity to be an effective leader? Regardless, refreshing to read well researched summary.

  55. Rob Says:

    Learning Leader, by Kouzes & Posner, inspired me in two specific ways: it is research-centric and offered five fundamentals for which are not out-of-reach. Work-ethic, self-efficacy, perseverance, self-reflection and renewal are attributes that mere mortals can lasso. For me, one of the greatest attributes of the human species is adaptability. The notion of agility is imperative for personal and professional effectiveness. I liked the quote: “Only three things happen naturally in organizations: friction, confusion and underperformance; everything else requires leadership.”
    I love the idea presented of listing the people you rely on most. Equally the notion that one should spend more time working on their weaknesses as opposed their strengths. Perhaps, most importantly is the importance of genuine listening.

    The recommendation of a ‘Personal Board of Directors resonated with me. I am a huge believer of institutional intent under the umbrella of collective ambition. In my personal life, the act of journal writing is not new to me, to apply this specifically to fostering better leadership skills is a welcomed idea.

  56. Rob Says:

    The Decision Book, by Krogerus & Tschappeler is a basically a summary within a summary. I chose to execute “The Drexler-Sibbet team performance model”, a good reminder of how to manage an effective meeting. These guidelines provided more tangible milestones toward establishing and achieving goals. Recently implementing this practice, gave participants better clarity and purpose which resulted in practical action items.

    The Decision Book, by Krogerus & Tschappeler is a basically a summary within a summary. Like popcorn, digestible and forgotten quickly; a commentary on a collection of theories and anecdotes. Perhaps, useful as a resource for citing stories to enhance a future speech or cocktail trivia chatter. This is not to say, that I disliked the summary, merely that it assembled brief abstracts of complex management theories. In this way, the summary kind of reads like a ‘cut’n paste’ from Wikipedia.

    In the end, this chronicle of management theories is a fun read; if not, then the notion of Harrah’s “luck ambassador” arrives at precisely the right moment to give the despairing summary reader a sense of achievement and another box to check on the journey of the #30daychallenge. 

  57. Rob Says:

    In the summary, Personal Productivity Secrets, I like the author’s reference to being “in the zone” and avoiding the siren call of life’s distractions. A skill for which I must find ways to master. I learned that the more information I can strive to convert into ambient data, the more productive I will likely become. Thus, I have set-up a meeting with my three assistants to encourage this practice and others mentioned in this valuable summary. The technology is here, it’s the way we practice and execute that is the determining factor to efficient leadership.

    Maura Nevel Thomas’s emphasis on ‘attention management as opposed to ‘time management’ may have been ahead of its time when published in 2012, however with the emergence of data analytics it seems common place today. I applaud the notion of a “Empowered Productivity System”. Daily, I use an electronic Dashboard to monitor and measure performance. This allows me to keep my focus on the pulse of the organization. This quantitative analysis, combined with qualitative assessment guides our leadership team’s strategy and tactics. The summary is a good reminder of effective management practices and organizational protocols. Reaffirmation that leveraging technology and analytics streamlines effective leadership. The proliferation of PIM tools is supposed to propel efficiency, but we are not getting to a point that I fear these technologies are being used as a priority to ole fashioned interpersonal management. EQ almost always out flanks IQ. This includes Artificial Intelligence…at least for now.

  58. Rob Says:

    Who likes change?! I have posed this question at the beginning of many team meetings this month. As the summary warns, Data Crush by Christopher Surdak is a wake-up call for those hoping in vain that business-as-usual will endure. Despite being written in 2014, the emergence and acceptance of Big Data is upon us and those who choose not to accept this fact will do so at their own peril. The summary pointed out that 16% of the world’s population engaged in social media in 2014, I wonder out-loud what the percentage is today? It’s not a stretch to call social media a revolution in human communications e.g., take the recent Presidential election. With 19 million twitter followers, Donald Trump was able to engage his constituency into action demonstrating that social media celebrity can ‘trump’ traditional networks and campaign tactics. The fashion retailer Zara, has helped revolutionize fashion merchandizing and design. Instead of the traditional four seasons, Zara uses 24/7 data analysis to stock inventory on a weekly and regional basis.

    Thanks, in-large-part to our CTO’s commitment to data analysis i.e., the concept Socialification where social media intersects with operations, our data dashboard is able to vet, identify and act upon data in ways that significantly differentiate. For example, I regularly use ‘bubble-charts’ of targeted audiences and Muckety mapping of social networks prior to traveling as to enhance my knowledge of the populace and better target a more relevant audience to engage. This type of “micromarketing” to individuals and “social tribes”, is a proactive approach to engagement.

    That said, for over a decade in the past I lead trading and sales operations at a major investment bank, where the ‘Alpha-Male’ typically ruled. However today, it is evident that the primary skill necessary to excel is ‘data mining’ is the capacity to identify and analyze most swiftly.
    No doubt, cutting-edge practices in data analysis offer competitive differential advantage. However, because it is becoming increasingly common today to leverage data collection, those that strive to complement technology with personal-touch to spur growth, will likely win!

  59. Rob Says:

    The summary of David Levy’s, Mindful Tech, often states the obvious. Yet, it made me more aware of the way technology is obstructing my life and harming society. Perhaps, the greatest value of #30DaysOfSummaries to me personally is the realization that I have chosen to over-complicate my life. Chief weakness being multi-tasking! The concept of ‘mindful unplugging’ inspired me to encourage my family to try to unplug for 24 hours weekly (i.e., from 5pm Friday until 5pm Saturday). I have no illusions that this will be challenging for my wife and me, but worthy when considering the mental and emotional growth of our two youngest children. I have the distinction of having two adult children (29 and 32 from a previous marriage of 17 years) and two young boys ages 2 ad 5. When people learn this about me, their response is astonishment. After the pause, I am often asked, how different is parenting today versus yesteryear? My answer is always the advancement of technology. In my view, social media is not your ‘best friend’…it is your ‘worst enemy’!

  60. Rob Says:

    My wife is a BIG fan of Andrew Sullivan. I too, have always appreciated Sulivan’s observations on politics and humanity. His perspective often enriches one’s intellectual curiosity. This summary impacted me, so much so that I forwarded getabstract to my wife, a therapist and frequent user of social media.

    Recently, I lost my cell phone and for a period of time used an old flip-phone. As a senior leader with a Ph.D. in Engineering, I was taken back by the overwhelming reaction to the replacement, a flip-phone; less about fashion than the pretense of judgement. The majority of people have become increasingly dependent on connecting to the internet, to the point of blind arrogance. One of my biggest resentments is a sidewalk full of pedestrians, head-down buried in their cell phones. Frankly, this zombie-like behavior makes me wonder if people are just sleepwalking through life? Is this thirst for electronic connectivity really necessary?

    For over a decade, I lead trading and sales operations at a major investment bank, where the ‘Alpha-Male’ typically ruled. However today, it is evident that the primary skill necessary to excel is ‘data mining’ i.e., the capacity to identify and analyze information most swiftly. No doubt, cutting-edge practices in data analysis offer competitive differential advantage. However, because this phenomenon today to leverage data collection is becoming increasingly common, those that strive to complement technology with a interpersonal skills will likely win!
    I still have faith in humanity. Here’s to flip phones .

  61. Rob Says:

    Actions speak are louder than words! I truly enjoyed the #30daysofsummaries !

    Frankly, I would embrace another get abstract challenge. It has been said that it takes 30-40 days to develop a habit. I feel like the readings not only enlightened me, but disciplined me towards greater enrichment. In fact, I just bought an Echo Stereo from Amazon, perfect complement for reading sessions. Get abstract beats TV or internet surfing. I was a subscribed to get abstract in the 90s when six abstracts/month were mailed and filed into binders. Still have them!

    I have applied many of the learnings at work. My staff is revising operations, a small step towards reducing multitasking and the like. Hopefully, getabstract will foster collective ambition toward more efficient leadership. Proof-point will be increasing usage among the 26 licenses that I underwrote.

    Thank you Linda Wohlfarth, Jacqueline Cisneros and the rest of the get abstract TEAM!


    Rob Valli, Ph.D

  62. Rob Says:

    Sparked by #30DaysofSummaries, I have been able to self-reflect more than I have in a long time. My focus has been sharpened, however in all honest not to the degree professed in Cal Newport’s Deep Work. I have marveled at the thought of Bill Gates, annual withdraw from the world. While this is not me, nor would it be practical, I applaud those who are able to practice Deep Work. For now, my family is committed to unplug one day a week. Let’s hope that this recalibration of time and effort will forge deeper intellectual curiosity and togetherness.

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