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In this book, Sally Hogshead develops several of the concepts and insights she provided in a previously published book, Fascinate, that she characterizes as "the science of fascination." However, there is more - much more - in this later book as she continues to share all that she has learned (thus far) about three separate but related, indeed interdependent dimensions of human interaction: how we may think others see us, how in fact they do, and - if there is a significant difference -- what is needed to achieve the desired perceptions. She is convinced - and I agreed with her - that people can improve and enhance their impact on others, especially in terms of appearance/presence as well as body language and tone of voice.

The key is to identify one's highest value. That is, "The pinnacle of who you already are; what makes you exceptional. How you are different: Your specialized ability to deliver above and beyond what's expected."

The Japanese term "kaizen" usually refers to an organization's continuous improvement but it can also refer to an individual's. Once you identify your highest value (whatever it is, however high it is), you can then focus on increasing it because, Hogshead observes, "When you live according to your highest distinct value, you become your most fascinating -- and most valuable self."

She makes an excellent point about the power of focus: "Ever watch a 3-D movie without 3-D glasses? It's a distorted jumble of information. You're more likely to feel confused than impressed. But then, when you put on those plastic 3-D glasses, your vision whips into focus. Suddenly, the confusing jumble becomes clear. The scene has depth and meaning. You can grasp the information in front of you, and understanding everything that is happening."

Hogshead identifies and examines the Seven Advantages:

1. Power: lead with command and communicate with authority and confidence
2. Passion: connect with emotion (empathy) and build connections with your warmth and enthusiasm
3. Mystique: communicate with substance and impress with your analytical skills and thoughtful communication
4. Prestige: earn respect by setting and meeting higher standards
5. Alert: prevent problems and keep people and projects on track by managing the details
6. Innovation: "change the game" by pushing a company to innovate with creative ideas
7. Trust: build and sustain loyalty with a consistent and familiar presence

Think of each as a primary advantage, a defining advantage. Also, keep in mind that there is always room for improvement of each. Hogshead also identifies 49 Archetypes; seven per Advantage. For example, for Trust: Evolutionary (curious, adaptable, open-minded), Authentic (approachable, dependable, trustworthy), Gravitas (dignified, stable, hardworking), Diplomat (levelheaded, subtle, capable), Old Guard (predictable, safe, unmovable), Anchor (protective, purposeful, analytical), and Good Citizen (principle, prepared, conscientious). These are Hogshead's terms and descriptives. There is an appropriate synonym for each. The point is, that each of us has a primary, defining Advantage and the challenge is to increase its value, to bring it into sharper focus.

These are among the dozens of business subjects and issues in Part I ("How Does the World See You?") that were/are of special interest and value to me, also listed to indicate the scope of Hogshead's coverage.

o The Art and Science of Fascination (Pages 7-9)
o The Threat of Distraction (25-29)
o The Threat of Competition (29-33)
o The Threat of Commoditization (33-37)
o Your Dimensional Personality (41-44)
o The Fascination Flow, and, The Science of Fascination (48-53)
o Stand Out, or Don't Bother (67-70)
o The Seven Fascination Advantages (81-91)
o The Power Advantage: Leading Through Authority (93-116)

Hogshead does an especially skillful job of framing key material with crisp but informative mini-introductions and then, later, with brief but inclusive "reviews" of key points. I also commend her on a formula she devised when discussing the 49 Archetypes within the seven categories of Advantages in Chapter 4, Pages 117-339. For example, "How the World Sees the Change Agent," "The Change Agent's Top 5 Adjectives," "'Highest and Best Value' of the Change Agent," "What Is Not the 'Highest and Best Value' of the Change Agent?" "How to Work with a Change Agent," "Archetypes That Can Optimize the Change Agent," "A Lesson That Everyone Can learn from the Change Agent," "One Minute Coaching to My Change Agents," "Famous Change Agents," "Example of an Anthem for the Change Agent," and "How the Change Agent Might Apply This Anthem."

With regard to the anthem, "It is a short phrase that describes how you are different, and what you do best. This makes it easy for people to understand why they should work with you. They can quickly 'get you, because they immediately grasp what you do best." Hogshead devotes Chapter 7 to explaining with which her readers can formulate a high-impact anthem for themselves. While reading this chapter, an interesting exercise occurred to me: Supervisors formulate an anthem for each of their direct reports before completing one for themselves. Hmmm.....

Obviously, no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the scope and depth as well as the quality of the information, insights, and counsel that Sally Hogshead provides. However, I hope I have at least indicated why I think so highly of it.

One final point: I think it is ridiculous that a volume of 428 pages (including appendices) has no index. It is imperative that one be added if and when there is a second edition.
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on 25 February 2016
The book does not say much, it's not worth more comment than that. The author encourages you to give your email to them to get more information then you cannot unsubscribe and you are getting spam from both from Sally and even a third party (Jeff Walker) jeff.plf@gmail.com.

So the book is one star, but I wish I could give negative rating for the spam
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on 10 August 2014
Sally Hogshead has combined hundreds of thousands of profiles and produced a simple chart of 49 archetypes to help you pigeon hole yourself and others people's strongest advantages. Armed with that information, communication becomes a whole lot easier. This book is, I guess, the conclusion to the work she started in her first book back in 2010.

Having just finished it, I have to say I am now fascinated by her work. She's also using a pretty neat viral marketing method to spread the word (see the end of this review). There's no incentive to do this other than the simple fact that you can give your friends a free coupon code (that normally costs 37 bucks - or just the price of the book if you choose to buy it).

Because of that I was able to take the test twice (a week apart so I would have very little memory of what I answered the first time). My result was the same in the most important areas (there was a very slight variance in percentages of 1-2% - amazingly accurate!).

I highly recommend this book. It helped me see myself in a different light. I've done StrengthFinder and other Myers Briggs self-evaluation style tests, but this does it using a very different angle.

If you want to take the test, use my code: BL-QuentinPain (this is the viral part I mentioned earlier - by invoking her fans to pass the word on and add value to everyone). Very neat. I apologise now if it has expired. I've no idea how long it will be valid for. But regardless, this book is brilliant.
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on 20 September 2014
There are endless personality assessments on the market about how you see the world based on psychology. What makes this one different is it takes an outside-in view instead of an inside-out one and is based on marketing. It really is about Brand You. I took the online assessment first and then read the book. Sally Hogshead has a solid research base to back up her assertions and the writing reflects her passion for branding. The book and the tool are an accessible and timely contribution to help anyone struggling to articulate what makes them different and what they are good at amongst the noise in a VUCA world (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous). This Mastermind liked the book's purposeful intent to enable us all to be more of who we are in the service of our goals.One minor gripe, hence only 4 stars, I found the book's structure difficult to navigate, especially if you want to easily find information on your specific archetype.
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My favourite phrase in this book is "if you are not adding value, you're taking up space". That sounds a bit harsh but Sally Hogshead's concept is based on the idea of adding value by being different and being different is all about being more of yourself.

In this book Sally Hogshead is less interested in in what you do, what your strengths are, than in 'who you are' - your natural advantages that distinguish you from those around you. "When you live according to your highest district value, you become your most fascinating, and most valuable self". Fascination and Flow are key themes of this book.

The book provides the opportunity to take online Sally's 'Fascination Advantage' questionnaire to assess your own archetype and gives lots of useful tips on how you might use it to attract customers. Her approach can be also used to improve the wellbeing and productivity of teams.

At a time when most people have the attention span of a goldfish and distraction is a huge challenge, this book provides an interesting and valuable perspective on how to 'fascinate' and thrive.
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on 14 July 2014
I took the Fascination Advantage report and then read the book. The book is well researched and written, describing how we can all communicate to our own best advantage according to our strongest advantages and our own personal archetype. This will be so useful to me in my business and personal life, now that I understand best how I can fascinate people with my advantages and my anthem.
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on 5 March 2015
I love this book! It gives you energy and strenght - it is desribed the way for you so that you can quickly discover your strenghts and weaknesses. It helps you to see how valuable you are. The language of the book it also easy to read and causes you really want to see another page of the book. Interesting approach - I believe this book should be read by every Manager and employee to better understand the potential of employees and his own. Recommended.
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on 28 February 2015
I bought the kindle version but I recommend the book as it's easier to refer back to. And this is certainly a book I find myself referring to a lot! I've really enjoyed reading it. I look at people so differently now and am more able to appreciate the differences (and strengths) that each displays now.
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on 23 June 2015
My work as a portrait photographer involves empowering women by showing them how others see them in the physical sense. Reading about Sally's work has enabled me to understand more fully the value of what I do, as well as helped me to discover my own "highest value".
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on 22 September 2015
Very insightful - another useful way to manage and create teams, accept your strengths and weaknesses and make the most of both. Now my preferred method of personality matching
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