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Success Built to Last: Creating a Life that Matters

Book Description

Chosen by BusinessWeek as one of the top 5 books of 2006 in careers.  Read the full story at 

Imagine discovering what successful people have in common, distilling it into a set of simple practices, and using them to transform your life and work. Authored by three legends in leadership and self-help — including Built to Last co-author Jerry Porras — it challenges conventional wisdom at every step. Success Built to Last draws on face-to-face, unscripted conversations with hundreds of remarkable human beings from around the world. Meet billionaires, CEOs, presidents of nations, Nobel laureates and celebrities — the rich, the famous and the unknown. Meet unsung heroes who've achieved lasting impact without obvious power or charisma. Famous or not, most started out ordinary. Discover how successful people "harvest" their strengths and their weaknesses, their victories and their surprising failures. Discover how you can find meaning in your life and work just as they did and summon the courage to follow your passions. Above all, see how they've sustained success for decades and you can too.

Foreword by Senator John McCain


Introduction–From Built to Last to Success Built to Last

Chapter 1: From Great to Lasting–Redefining Success

Part I: Meaning–How Successful People Stay Successful

Chapter 2: Love it or Lose–Passions and the Quest for Meaning

Chapter 3: Portfolio of Passions–It’s Not About Balance

Chapter 4: Why Successful People Stay Successful–Integrity to Meaning

Part II: ThoughtStyles–Extreme Makeovers Start in Your Head

Chapter 5: The Silent Scream–Why It’s So Damn Hard to Do What Matters

Chapter 6: The Cause Has Charisma–You Don’t Have to Be Charismatic to Be Successful

Chapter 7: The Tripping Point–Always Make New Mistakes

Chapter 8: Wounds to Wisdom–Trusting Your Weaknesses and Using Your Core Incompetencies

Part III: ActionStyles–Turning Passion into Action

Chapter 9: Earning Your Luck–Preparing for Serendipity by Using Big Hairy Audacious Goals

Chapter 10: Naked Conversations–Harvesting Contention

Chapter 11: Creating Alignment–The Environment Always Wins

The Pleasure of Finding Things Out–A Look at the Research Behind Success Built to Last


Biographical Index


Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. Praise for Success Built to Last
  3. Wharton School Publishing
  4. Foreword
  5. Acknowledgements
  6. Introduction: From Built to Last to Success Built to Last
    1. The Mandela Effect
    2. From Built to Last to Success Built to Last
    3. Conversations with Enduringly Successful People
    4. How We Found the People
    5. Avoiding the Apprentice Trap
    6. Successful People Have a History of Mistakes and They Harvest Their Failures
    7. Our Approach to the Interviews
    8. Why Take This Journey?
  7. 1. From Great to Lasting—Redefining Success
    1. It’s Time to Redefine Success
    2. To Achieve Success, First Abandon Popular Delusions
    3. Betrayed by Success and Searching for Meaning
    4. Three Essential Elements of Success Built to Last
    5. Three Simple, But Not Easy, Pieces that Must Fit Together
    6. Teen Detective Meets Ravishing Reporter
    7. From Great to Lasting
  8. I. Meaning—How Successful People Stay Successful
    1. 2. Love It or Lose—Passions and the Quest for Meaning
      1. All You Have Is Your Personal Capital
      2. It’s Like Saving Up Sex for Old Age
      3. The Secret of Life
      4. Being in the Zone—The Flow Experience
      5. Builders Are More Like Nerds Than Supermodels
      6. Death by PowerPoint
      7. Rational Optimism or Irrational Exuberance?
    2. 3. Portfolio of Passions—It’s Not About Balance
      1. The Reward for the Doing Must Be the Doing
      2. The Answer Is Very Rarely Just One Thing
        1. Balance Is Bullshit
      3. Endowing Others with a Portfolio of Passions
      4. Your Passions Provide Peripheral Vision
      5. Stealth Passions and the Power of Peripheral Thinking
      6. Where You Can Be Paid For Passionate Distractions
      7. Transforming Lives for 64 Cents Apiece
      8. From Begging Bowls to Cash Boxes
      9. The Paranoid Survive, But the Passionate Prosper
      10. For Builders, Every Passion Counts
      11. Leaders Give What Is Needed, Not What Is Expected
    3. 4. Why Successful People Stay Successful—Integrity to Meaning
      1. Don’t Treat Passion Like a Trivial Pursuit
      2. One Value That Builders Have in Common
  9. II. ThoughtStyles—Extreme Makeovers Start in Your Head
    1. 5. The Silent Scream—Why It’s So Damn Hard to Do What Matters
      1. The Silent Scream
      2. Four Good Reasons to Give Up Right Now, Before You Do Something Really Stupid
        1. Trap #1: It’s Not Considered a Worthy Career
        2. Trap #2: Bright Shiny Objects for Our Driveways, Resumes, and Ring Fingers
          1. Do We Have Our Things or Do Our Things Have us?
          2. BSOs and the Afterlife
        3. Trap #3: The Seduction of Competence
          1. Joy in this World is Always in Spite of Something
          2. When Humor Isn’t a Laughing Matter
          3. If You Crave Adulation, Go Work on Stage
          4. You Can’t Wait for a Standing Ovation to Validate What Matters to You
        4. Trap #4: The “Tyranny of the OR”
          1. If You Haven’t Found Your Lover Yet, Keep Looking
    2. 6. The Cause Has Charisma—You Don’t Have to Be Charismatic to Be Successful
      1. The Courage to Move Forward
      2. When the Cause Has Charisma, Shrinking Violets Bloom in Public
      3. Making Your Passion Take Flight
      4. What If Your Dream Never Becomes Popular?
      5. Trust Your Passion Enough to Become an Expert at It
      6. Whatever You Are, Be a Great One
      7. It Starts with You, But Ultimately, It’s Not About You
      8. The World Would Be a Darker Place Without You
      9. Self-Esteem Is Highly Overrated
    3. 7. The Tripping Point—Always Make New Mistakes
      1. Life Is Short, But Some Days Are Really Long
      2. When Positive Thinking Doesn’t Work
      3. Why Yoda Is Actually Misunderstood
      4. Would You Be Willing to Learn if It Saved Your Life?
      5. When the Going Gets Tough, Feelings Come Last
      6. There Is a Dark Side to Every Best Practice
      7. Losers Call It Failure; Winners Call It Learning
      8. You’ve Paid the Tuition, So Now Collect Your Payback
      9. Always Make New Mistakes
      10. The Day I Blew up the Factory
      11. Innovation Is Failure Sped Up
      12. A Great Cause and Almost Pointless Defeat
      13. Hard Work Rewarded by Bad Headlines
    4. 8. Wounds to Wisdom—Trusting Your Weaknesses and Using Your Core Incompetencies
      1. There Is No Cure
      2. Don’t Use a Weakness as Reason to Distrust Yourself
      3. You Can’t Have It All Until You Use All You Have
      4. When Tragedy Strikes
      5. Greatness Comes at the Intersection of Pain and Passion
      6. Pain Had Finally Freed His Passion
      7. Pain or Passion Will Make You Good Enough—Pain + Passion Will Point You to Greatness
      8. Letting Go of What Doesn’t Work
      9. Case Dismissed
      10. Beyond Blame—Creating a Future That Matters
  10. III. ActionStyles—Turning Passion into Action
    1. 9. Earning Your Luck—Preparing for Serendipity by Using Big Hairy Audacious Goals
      1. You Earn Your Luck
      2. Are Builders Saying Goals and Plans Are Pointless?
      3. The Myth of Authenticity
      4. Too Much Presidential Information
      5. The Explorer Mentality
      6. Bold Risks Measured in Small Steps
      7. Responsible Chutzpah or Audacious Accountability
      8. For Lasting Success, Size Doesn’t Matter
      9. Measuring What Matters and Keeping Score
      10. When Bad Goals Happen to Good People
      11. The Secret Life of Goals
      12. Keeping Your Goals Honest
    2. 10. Naked Conversations—Harvesting Contention
      1. Contention as a Perk
      2. Struggle with the Issue, Not Each Other
      3. Avoiding Delusions of Grandeur
      4. Ground Rules for Creative Contention
      5. Creating a Safe Time and Place for Contention
      6. Creative Contention Is an Art that Builders Master
      7. Attention, Intention, and Contention
      8. You Walk in the Door and the Best Idea Wins
      9. Don’t Be Right, Be Effective
    3. 11. Creating Alignment—The Environment Always Wins
      1. Recruiting a Team in Support of Your Dream
      2. Relationships Built to Last
      3. You’re Only as Good as Your People and Other Tired Clichés
      4. Don’t Believe in Words—Only Believe in Behaviors
      5. The Power of Language
      6. The Environment Always Wins
      7. In Search of the Miraculous
      8. It’s About Understanding Incentives
      9. The Secret
  11. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out—A Look at the Research Behind Success Built to Last
    1. Background and Methodology
    2. Exploratory Field Research
    3. The World Success Survey
      1. Regression Analysis and Impact Scores
    4. Overall Conclusions
    5. Section I: Selected Key Findings: Successful People
    6. Section II: Selected Key Findings: Professional Success Versus Personal Success
    7. Section III: Selected Key Findings: Attitude Segments—A Surprising Breakthrough
      1. Meaning
      2. ThoughtStyle
        1. Harvesting Contention
        2. Harvesting Failure
      3. ActionStyle
    8. Section IV: Selected Key Findings—Demographic Categories
    9. Exhibit 1
      1. The Personal Interviews and Other Data Analysis
        1. Step 1: Exploratory Inquiry
        2. Step 2: Content Analysis—Organizational Theme Codes (OTC)
        3. Step 3: Behavioral Point of View (BPOV)—Archetype Positioning Statements/Identity Narratives
        4. Step 4: The World Success Survey
    10. Exhibit 2
    11. Exhibit 3
    12. Exhibit 4
    13. Exhibit 5
      1. The Regression Model
    14. Exhibit 6
      1. Impact Scores for the World Survey
  12. Endnotes
    1. Introduction
    2. Chapter 1
    3. Chapter 2
    4. Chapter 3
    5. Chapter 4
    6. Chapter 5
    7. Chapter 6
    8. Chapter 7
    9. Chapter 8
    10. Chapter 9
    11. Chapter 10
    12. Chapter 11
    13. The Pleasure of Finding Things Out—A Look at the Research Behind Success Built to Last
  13. Biographical Index