The Science of Intelligent Achievement The Science of Intelligent Achievement

The Science of Intelligent Achievement
29 May 2018

The Science of Intelligent Achievement book cover

By Isaiah Hankel

 

Despite the book’s title, it is not about science or IQ. The focus instead is on achievement.

The work itself is presented in three sections: Selective Focus, Creative Ownership and Pragmatic Growth. Each consists of short, punchy paragraphs that move at the speed of light.

The first section, Selective Focus, invites readers to reflect on where they are and what takes up their time, with good pointers on how to stop being busy by wasting both time and mental energy. The observations here are sound and thought-provoking, although some of the remedies come across as a bit harsh.

The third section on Pragmatic Growth is equally insightful and comes up with some very good suggestions for how to become more effective and efficient in what you do.

But the second section has a very different, and rather jarring, tone. It seems to suggest that the answer to everyone’s problems is in blogging  – something that the author believes “is the starting point of all successful ventures in today’s world” - to drive others to their website.

It is then about simply harvesting emails, “squeezing” potential customers (page 133) to make them subscribe and subsequently exploiting the email subscription lists (page 141) you have compiled.

Such advice is followed by a tumble into the world of product launches. For example, the author states: “Your goal is to show people that they are one day late to the party” (page 157), while he also advises that your messages (page 159) should be “hard-hitting” and “laced with urgency”.

If customers fail to buy on the last day, he infers, their problems and pain will continue. But if you get them on board, “all that’s left to do is to deliver your product”.

Alternative views

Unfortunately throughout all of this, there is no suggestion that any effort on the part of the seller is required. Ethical issues are also ignored. As a result, it feels as if a smash and grab raid is being advocated.

However, the author does hint at the problems thrown up by the social media-dominated world portrayed when he says: “The blogosphere is a hungry beast. You have to feed this monster continuously. If you don’t, the monster will stop bringing new readers, users, followers and fans to you.”

An alternative view, of course, is that if you simply stop feeding it, it will go away - and what a blessing that might be. There are certainly an increasing number of articles appearing that recommend abandoning the social media rat race altogether.

By halfway through the second section, some readers may well have given up. But to do so would be a shame because, as previously mentioned, the third section changes tempo again and brings us into calmer and more measured waters.

In summary, this book is an embodiment of the 80:20 Pareto principle, which dictates that 20% of the effort will derive 80% of value. It takes readers on a lengthy and wordy journey in a bid to say as much, but at the same time throws up plenty of little nuggets for improving life and generating wealth.

Final mention should also be made of the 10 wonderful activities in “Conclusion: A practical guide to intelligent adventure” as absolutely everyone will find them fun.

 Mark Northway 

Mark Northway is director and courses co-ordinator at Deltic Training, which provides strategic administration and business management courses and accredited qualifications. He is a former director and trustee of the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), a chief IAM examiner and a Princes Trust Award winner for his role in business mentoring in the UK.

The Science of Intelligent Achievement book cover

By Isaiah Hankel

 

Despite the book’s title, it is not about science or IQ. The focus instead is on achievement.

The work itself is presented in three sections: Selective Focus, Creative Ownership and Pragmatic Growth. Each consists of short, punchy paragraphs that move at the speed of light.

The first section, Selective Focus, invites readers to reflect on where they are and what takes up their time, with good pointers on how to stop being busy by wasting both time and mental energy. The observations here are sound and thought-provoking, although some of the remedies come across as a bit harsh.

The third section on Pragmatic Growth is equally insightful and comes up with some very good suggestions for how to become more effective and efficient in what you do.

But the second section has a very different, and rather jarring, tone. It seems to suggest that the answer to everyone’s problems is in blogging  – something that the author believes “is the starting point of all successful ventures in today’s world” - to drive others to their website.

It is then about simply harvesting emails, “squeezing” potential customers (page 133) to make them subscribe and subsequently exploiting the email subscription lists (page 141) you have compiled.

Such advice is followed by a tumble into the world of product launches. For example, the author states: “Your goal is to show people that they are one day late to the party” (page 157), while he also advises that your messages (page 159) should be “hard-hitting” and “laced with urgency”.

If customers fail to buy on the last day, he infers, their problems and pain will continue. But if you get them on board, “all that’s left to do is to deliver your product”.

Alternative views

Unfortunately throughout all of this, there is no suggestion that any effort on the part of the seller is required. Ethical issues are also ignored. As a result, it feels as if a smash and grab raid is being advocated.

However, the author does hint at the problems thrown up by the social media-dominated world portrayed when he says: “The blogosphere is a hungry beast. You have to feed this monster continuously. If you don’t, the monster will stop bringing new readers, users, followers and fans to you.”

An alternative view, of course, is that if you simply stop feeding it, it will go away - and what a blessing that might be. There are certainly an increasing number of articles appearing that recommend abandoning the social media rat race altogether.

By halfway through the second section, some readers may well have given up. But to do so would be a shame because, as previously mentioned, the third section changes tempo again and brings us into calmer and more measured waters.

In summary, this book is an embodiment of the 80:20 Pareto principle, which dictates that 20% of the effort will derive 80% of value. It takes readers on a lengthy and wordy journey in a bid to say as much, but at the same time throws up plenty of little nuggets for improving life and generating wealth.

Final mention should also be made of the 10 wonderful activities in “Conclusion: A practical guide to intelligent adventure” as absolutely everyone will find them fun.

 Mark Northway 

Mark Northway is director and courses co-ordinator at Deltic Training, which provides strategic administration and business management courses and accredited qualifications. He is a former director and trustee of the Institute of Administrative Management (IAM), a chief IAM examiner and a Princes Trust Award winner for his role in business mentoring in the UK.