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Saturday, December 24, 2011

Persuasion: A Book Review

So a couple weeks ago I reviewed Kevin O'Leary's book Cold Hard Truth.

Since then, I have been reading the book of another Dragon - Arlene Dickinson.

The first big difference between the 2 is obviously the personalities.  Perhaps because Kevin has a bit more public profile, being on Shark Tank in the US, on the Lang & O'Leary Exchange on the CBC, and that new show Redemption Inc.

You want to know about Kevin O'Leary? He's a capitalist.  His words were 'he speaks on behalf of money'.  Making money is what he does, this is his story.

You want to know about Arlene Dickinson? Good - she has quite a story to tell.

I think like most people, I see Arlene as one of the quieter Dragons.  I assumed that she probably went to a major business school, majored in marketing or communications, worked her way up the corporate ladder and managed to find herself on Dragons' Den.

I was completely wrong.

Arlene's story is extremely motivational and more about the soft skills in life.  Arlene was born in South Africa and came to Canada when she was very young. 

All she ever really wanted was a family, and that is exactly what she got - pretty much right out of high school.

She says what made her the business mogul she is today, was her drive to provide for her family. 

Through out the book there were many statements she made that I loved:

Yes, you need to have some core competencies and an appetite for hard work and for learning, but the main qualities you need are tenacity, perseverance, and faith in yourself.  It's that complex and that simple.

Last impressions are almost as important as first impressions.  Remember, you are playing a long game, and the real thing that's at stake is not a particular job or piece of work but your reputation.  Your reputation is your strongest currency in business.

As everyone finds out sooner or later, persuasion does come with a cost.  Accountability.  Once you've convinced people to give you what you want, you'd better be sure you deliver.

There are tons of quotable sections, but these are 3 I particularly liked.  Now the title of the book is called Persuasion but in no means a 'how-to-guide' or anything like that.

It is full of personal anecdotes and reflections on different experiences from her life journey so far.  So if you're looking for a guide teaching you how to persuade people, this isn't it.

If you're looking to learn a little bit more about 'the quiet dragon' and how she came to her success and persuaded some of the right people along the way - then check it out!

I think most of the other Dragons' books are going to have some personal examples and some great stories.

Have you read any of the other books from the dragons? Any recommendations for my next pick?

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