ME 2.0 Book Review

ME 2.0When I was young and learned what a job was and that people had to apply for them, I was taught that a curriculum vitae, or a resume, was the gold standard for embodying a parson’s life and qualifications. If something was not on a person’s resume, then essentially it never happened.

Things have changed dramatically since then. Today, modern technology brings us lightning fast information and powerful and in-depth searches from search engines such as Google. Social media networks share billions of pieces of data between people every day. In fact, the level of detail gathered from these searches and social media can reveal intimate details of a person’s life without their prior knowledge or approval.

No longer are people limited by short resumes. Online resumes and portfolios are becoming more and more common. In fact many employers now routinely “Google” potential employees for standard background checking.

ME 2.0: 4 Steps to Building your Future, a personal branding book by Dan Schawbel, embrace these new technological realities and reveals new and creative ways to fully utilize the age of social media and searching.

This is actually the updated version of the original ME 2.0 originally released in 2009. Let me tell you, he added a lot of updates.

He covers most of the most popular social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogging and provides invaluable tools and guidelines to handle each platform to their fullest potential. He covers the concepts in great detail of finding and creating your personal brand. His updates are so recent he even makes references to Justin Bieber. His material is very current and also specifically applicable with today’s generation Y.

Schawbel puts his concepts into very simple terms that even non-tech savvy individuals will not have any issues following along. His main focus is this: It’s not who you know anymore. It’s who knows you. He reveals his rules on how to get people to know you.

There is no such thing as privacy on the internet anymore. While you cannot control what decisions people make about you, you can control what they see, and this is your opportunity to create those lasting first impressions.

For me personally, the concepts of personal branding were quite new to me and almost a little frightening. I did not realize how elementary a concept it really is. It is something that I subconsciously do every day, and this book reveals how you can take control of your brand, and your destiny.

As a person that is more tech savvy than average, while the concept of personal branding was new, many of the platforms he writes about is not new to me, so certain sections in which I already had extensive knowledge proved not as useful. However, as a whole Schawbel provides adequate and clear information that most will be able to enjoy and put into practice.

The Halo Effect Book Review

The Halo Effect: And Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers, a business management book by Phil Rosenzweig, unmasks and explores many of the errors of logic and flawed judgments commonly found in the corporate world. The Halo Effect provides serious and striking arguments to help sharpen understandings of what drives businesses to succeed or fail, all the while doing it in a witty and sometimes humorous manner free of suffocating business jargon. With that, I must give The Halo Effect my highest recommendation.

At its core, The Halo Effect is still a book about business and management. It covers success and failure, and science and storytelling. However, instead of promising to reveal the secrets of success or the formula to dominate the market, Rosezweig takes a revolutionary approach. He does not tell us “how” we should conduct business or the “what”, but asks the “why” questions so many are either afraid to ask or unable to answer. Why is it so hard to determine the factors that lead to success? Why is it that even intellectual researchers that sincerely want to uncover the secrets of success cannot find answers, even with enormous amounts of references and data gathered over many years at their disposal? Why is it so hard to understand high performance? Additionally, he focuses on the central idea that our thinking about business is shaped by a number of delusions.

His goal is to help managers think for themselves, rather than follow the never-ending parade of business and management experts, consultants, and celebrity CEO’s all claiming to have the new formula for success.

Rosenzweig specifically identifies nine specific business delusions:

The Halo Effect

  • The tendency to make attributions about a company’s culture, leadership, values, and more based simply on that company’s overall performance

The Delusion of Correlation and Causality

  • Two things may be correlated, but we may not know which one causes which

The Delusion of Single Explanations

  • Many studies show that a particular factor leads to improved performance. But since many of these factors are highly correlated, the effect of each one is usually less than suggested

The Delusion of Connecting the Winning Dots

  • By only searching for what successful companies have in common, the reasons for success will never be isolated because there is no way of comparing them with less successful companies

The Delusion of Rigorous Research

  • No matter how much data is gathered or how sophisticated research methods are, if the data are not of good quality then so are the results

The Delusion of Lasting Success

  • Almost all high-performing companies regress over time.

The Delusion of Absolute Performance

  • Company performance is relative, not absolute. A company can improve and fall further behind its rivals at the same time

The Delusion of the Wrong End of the Stick

  • It may be true that successful companies often pursued a highly focused strategy, but that does not mean highly focused strategies often lead to success

The Delusion of Organizational Physics

  • Company performance does not obey immutable laws of nature and cannot be predicted with the accuracy of science – despite our desire for certainty and order

He presents many real-world examples from leading companies such as Lego, Cisco Systems, Nokia, IBM, and ABB, and calls into question the validity of previous business bestsellers such as In Search of Excellence, Build to Last, and Good to Great.