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Smarts: Are We Hardwired for Success?

Book Description

Twelve specific and very important cognitive functions begin developing in the brain at birth. These "skills" are built in to every individual and are fully developed -- and unchangeable -- by adulthood. Everyone has these same capabilities, but to varying degrees. And it is this unique and unalterable combination of one's strengths and weaknesses that determines success or failure in any given role.

Smarts contains the groundbreaking Executive Skills Profile: a powerful self-assessment tool that will identify, once and for all, a person's innate strengths and weaknesses. The results offer tangible proof of why we gravitate to certain tasks and struggle with others. With this newfound clarity, readers will learn to play to their stronger skills, and avoid wasting time on lesser ones they can never improve upon. Most important, they will discover their own unique potential for excellence.

Supported by proprietary primary research and grounded in widely accepted principles of clinical and neuro-psychology, Smarts is a truly eye-opening book that will change how we think about ourselves -- and others.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Acknowledgments
  3. Introduction
    1. Matching Strengths to the Situation
    2. The Executive Skills
    3. The Benefits of Understanding Executive Skills
    4. Frontal Lobes and Executive Skills
    5. Railroad Accident and Frontal Lobes
    6. Executive Skills vs. Personality
    7. How to Use This Book
    8. Background
    9. Using What You Have
  4. 1. Taking Inventory with the Executive Skills Profile
    1. Skill 1: Self-Restraint
      1. Self-Restraint Questions
    2. Skill 2: Working Memory
      1. Working Memory Questions
    3. Skill 3: Emotion Control
      1. Emotion Control Questions
    4. Skill 4: Focus
      1. Focus Questions
    5. Skill 5: Task Initiation
      1. Task Initiation Questions
    6. Skill 6: Planning/Prioritization
      1. Planning/Prioritization Questions
    7. Skill 7: Organization
      1. Organization Questions
    8. Skill 8: Time Management
      1. Time Management Questions
    9. Skill 9: Defining and Achieving Goals
      1. Defining and Achieving Goals Questions
    10. Skill 10: Flexibility
      1. Flexibility Questions
    11. Skill 11: Observation
      1. Observation Questions
    12. Skill 12: Stress Tolerance
      1. Stress Tolerance Questions
    13. Your Unique Set of Executive Skills
  5. 2. Combinations of Executive Skills and the Effortful Task
    1. What Your Strengths Look Like
      1. High in Self-Restraint
      2. High in Working Memory
      3. High in Emotion Control
      4. High in Focus
      5. High in Task Initiation
      6. High in Planning/Prioritization
      7. High in Organization
      8. High in Time Management
      9. High in Defining and Achieving Goals
      10. High in Flexibility
      11. High in Observation
      12. High in Stress Tolerance
    2. Task Effort
      1. Survey 2-1: Task Effort
    3. Don’t Save the Hardest for Last
    4. Typical Combinations of Skills
    5. Common Opposites of Skills
    6. Situations That Play to Certain Combinations of Executive Skills
    7. Working Against Type
  6. 3. Learning to Play to Your Strengths
    1. Survey 3-1: Tapping into Greatest Strengths
    2. Executive Skills Capacity: Trapped by Success
    3. Goodness of Fit
    4. Ranking Executive Skills
      1. Questionnaire 3-1: Task Skills Required for a Job or Task
    5. Task Skills Required Compared to Your Executive Skills
      1. Task Skills vs. Your Executive Skills
    6. Assessing Project Team Fit
    7. Assessing Management Team Fit
    8. When Strengths Meet Strengths
    9. When Strengths Meet Weaknesses
    10. Executive Skills and Meetings
    11. Interviewing for the Perfect Fit Job
    12. Executive Skills at Home or Work
      1. One Skill Different at Home and Work: Task Initiation
      2. Survey 3-2: Getting Started
        1. One Skill Similar at Home and at Work: Time Management
      3. Survey 3-3: Time Management
    13. External Influences
  7. 4. Dealing with Your Weaknesses
    1. Not Living a Lie
    2. Characteristics of Your Weaknesses
    3. Don’t Count on Negative Feedback
      1. Survey 4-1: Feedback
    4. The True Failure to Communicate
    5. Be the First to Highlight Your Weakness
    6. A Short List for Shortcomings
    7. Change Behaviors: Improving Enough to Get By
    8. Change the Environment
    9. Complement Your Weakness
    10. You ARE the Coach
  8. 5. Managing Executive Skills in Others
    1. Survey 5-1: Weaknesses in Others
    2. Deciding What to Change
    3. Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses in Others
      1. Questionnaire 5-1: Executive Skills Profile of Others
      2. Self-Restraint
      3. Working Memory
      4. Emotion Control
      5. Focus
      6. Task Initiation
      7. Planning and Prioritization
      8. Organization
      9. Time Management
      10. Defining and Achieving Goals
      11. Flexibility
      12. Observation
      13. Stress Tolerance
    4. Behavioral and Environmental Change
      1. Change the Behavior
      2. Change the Environment
    5. Solutions for Specific Executive Skills Weaknesses
      1. Self-Restraint
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      2. Working Memory
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      3. Emotion Control
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      4. Focus
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      5. Task Initiation
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      6. Planning/Prioritization
        1. Environment Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      7. Organization
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      8. Time Management
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      9. Defining and Achieving Goals
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      10. Flexibility
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      11. Observation
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
      12. Stress Tolerance
        1. Environmental Change
        2. Teaching the Skill
    6. Under the Gun
  9. 6. Matching Tasks to People’s Executive Skills
    1. How Well Jobs Match
    2. Finding the Right Match
    3. Job Skills Profile
      1. Questionnaire 6-1: Executive Skills Required for a Job or Task
    4. Task Skills vs. Executive Skills
      1. Executive Skills Required for Task vs. Person’s Executive Skills
    5. Interview Questions to Find Strongest Executive Skills
      1. 1. Self-Restraint Questions
        1. Self-Restraint Rating Scale
      2. 2. Working Memory Questions
        1. Working Memory Rating Scale
      3. 3. Emotion Control Questions
        1. Emotion Control Rating Scale
      4. 4. Focus Questions
        1. Focus Rating Scale
      5. 5. Task Initiation Questions
        1. Task Initiation Rating Scale
      6. 6. Planning/Prioritization Questions
        1. Planning/Prioritization Rating Scale
      7. 7. Organization Questions
        1. Organization Rating Scale
      8. 8. Time Management Questions
        1. Time Management Rating Scale
      9. 9. Defining and Achieving Goals Questions
        1. Defining and Achieving Goals Rating Scale
      10. 10. Flexibility Questions
        1. Flexibility Rating Scale
      11. 11. Observation Questions
        1. Observation Rating Scale
      12. 12. Stress Tolerance Questions
        1. Stress Tolerance Rating Scale
    6. The Case of the Over-Learned Domain
    7. And Then the Job Changed
  10. 7. Aligning Your Skills to What Is Valued
    1. What Business Leaders Value
      1. Survey 7-1: Values
    2. Task Skills Most Valued Compared to Your Executive Skills
      1. Executive Skills vs. Skills Most Valued by Company
    3. Long-Term Goodness of Fit
    4. Matching Values to Your Skills
    5. The Halo Effect: Look More Valuable
    6. Executive Skills Alignment as a Career Strategy
    7. Outsourcing Your Weaknesses
  11. 8. Reaching and Dealing with Cognitive Bandwidth
    1. Exceeding Cognitive Bandwidth
    2. Stress at Work
      1. Survey 8-1: Stress at Work
    3. E-Mail Overload
      1. Survey 8-2: E-Mail Management
    4. Working Too Many Hours
      1. Survey 8-3: Work Time
    5. Identifying Outside Forces
    6. Dealing with Outside Forces
    7. The Final Frontier
  12. A. About NFI Research
  13. B. Executive Skills Assessments and Questionnaires
    1. 1. Executive Skills Profile: Self
      1. Score Chart: Self-Asessment
    2. 2. Executive Skills Profile: Job or Task
      1. Job or Task Skills Required
    3. 3. Executive Skills Profile: Others
      1. Score Chart: Assessment of Others
    4. 4. Matching Executive Skills, Job Skills, and Skills Most Valued by Organization