A three-step process to access and activate your full potential
Imagine switching on the television to see a highlight reel of the best moments from your life. Like a professional athlete, you’d learn with every clip how to repeat past successes, pinpoint your blind spots and build confidence.
In Exceptional, London Business School professor and expert social scientist Daniel Cable reveals how building your own personal highlight reel — a collection of positive memories about you from your network — is key to accessing your potential. Cable has worked with tens of thousands of people to create their highlight reels and make the most of their gifts. Using the latest science and proven research behind best-self activation, his three-step process will help you improve your life by teaching you to:
• Focus on what you do best
• Craft a life around your strengths
• Increase your confidence and resilience
By living up to your full potential you can strengthen the relationships you value most and transform your mindset to one of possibility. Every one of us has a version of ourselves that is uniquely outstanding. It’s a version of ourselves that already exists — all we have to do is access it.
“A bold, new approach to improving your performance and deepening your purpose.”
Daniel Pink, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Drive, When and To Sell Is Human
“Exceptional vividly and helpfully shows how ‘playing to your strengths’ is not about coasting to success, but importantly involves using a growth mindset to fulfill your potential.”
Carol Dweck PhD, author of Mindset
“Athletes achieve excellence by compiling and studying their personal highlight reels. There’s no reason why the rest of us can’t do the same thing. In this buoyant, evidence-backed book, Dan Cable shows us how.”
Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Originals, Give and Take and host of the chart-topping TED podcast WorkLife
“Useful, uplifting and a joy to read.”
Robert Sutton, Stanford professor and author of The No Asshole Rule and Scaling Up Excellence
“Powerful and practical…if you want to see the very best of yourself, please devour this book.”
Marcus Buckingham, international bestselling co-author of First, Break All the Rules and author of Go Put Your Strengths to Work
Alive at Work
The Neuroscience of Helping Your People Love What They Do
An alarming majority of the workforce is disengaged and unmotivated. They are not helping their organizations with much-needed creativity and innovation.
In Alive at Work, I show that the reason for all the unhappiness at work is biological: organizations, in an effort to routinize work and establish clear-cut performance metrics, are suppressing what neuroscientists call our ‘seeking systems’. Organizations are shutting off the part of our brain that craves exploration and learning. The good news is that leaders can activate employees’ seeking systems, and it doesn’t take huge financial investments to do so. With small changes, leaders can make a meaningful impact on our lives and restore our zest for work.
Filled with real-life examples from around the world paired with evidence-based claims, Alive at Work equips managers – and anyone looking to find more joy in their nine-to-five existence – with the guidance to ignite the curiosity and passion that lives within each of us.
Download chapter 7 on humble leadership for FREE.
Listen to Dan talk about Alive at Work in the video below.
“In this smart, insightful book, Daniel Cable argues that too many organizations suppress our innate, biological drive to learn and grow — and thereby leave us feeling listless and unproductive. The solution, Cable says, is a set of small redesigns to bring organizations into harmony with our true selves. Well-researched and eminently practical, Alive at Work is an essential read for leaders at every level.”
Daniel H. Pink, author of Drive and To Sell is Human
“If you care about improving the quality of life at work, you’ll enjoy this lively book. Daniel Cable presents a bold vision and practical ideas for breathing life into every organization.”
Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, Originals and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg
“Once every ten years a book comes along that lights the way for us. Not since Daniel Pink’s Drive has a book so clearly illuminated what the future of leadership should look like.”
Bruce Daisley, Vice-President Europe, Twitter
“Daniel Cable lends an energetic and inspirational voice to a problem that nags leaders: how do we encourage people to inject more passion into what they do? Dan’s deep insights will make you think about engagement and motivation in an entirely new way.”
Gary Hamel, author of The Future of Management
“Alive at Work offers an illuminating look into our minds and emotions – what inspires us, what lights a fire inside of us, and what drives us to achieve more at work and in our lives. Daniel Cable’s eye-opening insights will help leaders unleash the passion and purpose inside of others.”
William P. Lauder, Executive Chairman, The Estée Lauder Companies
“The principles of managing people have changed little since the Industrial Revolution. Daniel Cable has blown those principles apart to create a playbook for the next revolution – the People Revolution.”
David Fairhurst, Executive Vice-President and Chief People Officer, McDonald’s Corporation
Change to Strange
Create a Great Organisation by Building a Strange Workforce
To achieve sustained competitive advantage, you must create and deliver something that’s valuable, rare and hard to imitate – and you can’t do that with a run-of-the-mill workforce. Your workforce needs to be strikingly different, obsessively focused on delivering on your unique value proposition. Compared with everyone else’s workforce, your people need to be downright strange.
This book is about everything it takes to build a workforce that’s strange and extraordinary enough to execute your most powerful strategies and your unique value proposition. It’s about understanding exactly how your workforce needs to be different. The goal is an end-to-end Strange Workforce Value Chain – implementing workforce systems that support your unique goals. It is important to establish metrics based on what makes you unique, because they will drive clarity throughout your entire organization and steer it toward success.
If you’re tasked with executing strategy through people (and ‘balanced scorecards’ and ‘strategy maps’ just haven’t been enough) take your next and greatest leap forward: make the Change to Strange.
“At SAS we have our own definition of ‘strange’ and it has yielded more than three decades of continual growth. What’s your definition? Use Cable’s book to figure it out. Then be prepared to be extraordinary!”
Jeff Chambers, Vice-President Human Resources, SAS
“One word about this book: terrific. It’s time for companies to stop saying people are their competitive advantage when they don’t know what it means. Cable’s book is essential reading if you want to do more than hope that your people are your competitive advantage.”
Michael Sayeau, Former Executive Vice-President, Nabisco
“If you want your organisation to attain and sustain a competitive advantage, Change to Strange is a must-read. This is the book to help you develop a winning a workforce that will impress your customers and overwhelm your competitors.”
Vice-Admiral Gerald Hoewing, Retired Chief of Naval Personnel, US Navy
“Dan Cable hits the nail on the head with regard to several critical issues facing today’s business leaders. Change to Strange will help you select the right things to measure, which will determine the culture and ultimate success of your organisation.”
Jim Parker, Former CEO of Southwest Airlines
“Change to Strange…a fascinating and thought-provoking approach to extracting value from your human value chain. A must-read for leaders engaged in reinvigorating enterprises in highly competitive markets.”
Sean Crane, Senior Vice-President of Operations, The Fresh Market
“You can’t be great if you just do what everybody else does. Dan Cable sheds light on how companies can get extraordinary business results by creating a workforce that consistently ‘wow’ their customers.”