Good Read: The One Thing:The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

Review by: Angela Fieler, MPA, CMQ/OE – Baird Group Consultant

I am not an impulse shopper. I research, I compare, I weigh needs against wants; except when it comes to books. With books, I am a sucker for a beloved author, a catchy title, or an enticing jacket cover summary. And so it was with “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller, with Jay Papasan.

Who could resist that book? The title alone promises a silver bullet – the secret to becoming extraordinary. And if that isn’t enough, the jacket cover assures the reader that we all want to and are absolutely able to decrease the distractions and responsibilities that “keep you from your most important work.” Just read the book and you will be more productive, get more satisfaction from life, and have time for yourself and your family.

I liked the book. It’s an easy read, the premise is pretty simple, and I learned some interesting things in general, and about myself. The author has highlighted key concepts, which is cool unless you don’t think that what he highlighted is important. Each chapter concludes with “Big Ideas.” Don’t confuse these with summary points – you can’t skip to the end and just read those – but they do a great job of pulling the key concepts together.

The material is divided into three parts: Part One sets the stage, using research and examples to help us understand what stops most of us from being extraordinary. Everyone would benefit from reading this section and contemplating how the “6 lies” have impacted their personal and professional path to success. Part Two reveals the secret. It is short, sweet, and to the point. I am pretty sure copyright laws would prevent me from revealing “the truth,” but I wouldn’t anyway. I would encourage you to read this section and then go through the samples provided to wrap your brain around what the author is saying. For me, that alone was worth the price of the book! And Part Three is about how to best put that secret into practice.

If I am being honest, I would say Part Three, which is supposed to be about unlocking each reader’s possibilities, will provide a challenge for most people, but for different reasons. In Myers-Briggs terms, I am an INTJ. I like things ordered and organized. I take a very process oriented approach to everything I do. I am naturally inclined to take this book, use it as a “how to manual,” and be off to the races, but not necessarily arriving at those extraordinary results. I might get so focused on the process, I would lose sight of the reason for following it. Someone near and dear to me, who is an ENFP and who also read the book, broke into an anxiety-driven sweat after reading this section. This person thinks about time and how to manage it in an entirely different way than I do, and there is no book in the world that is going to change that! I think we would both need some coaching to help us apply these concepts in a way that is consistent with our personalities, while at the same time keeping us focused on the end game.

The bottom line for me is that I know many Patient Experience professionals are feeling overwhelmed and are being pulled in more than a few directions. I wish I had a silver bullet to help each and every one. Unfortunately, I don’t. I do know that success is dependent on your ability to focus your thought, energy, and productivity on what is most important – the patient. This book could help you do that, but probably not without additional support. Couple it with the PXP Advisor, which includes role specific activities and coaching, and you too can be extraordinary.

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