Seek the Bigger Story or Tell a New One

I’ve been thinking a lot about lessons that I learned while reading Alan M. Webber’s Rules of Thumb. To me, it’s a book for the field. It’s a book that says, “You’re a leader, whether or not you’re the boss, and you’ve gotta get in there and make things better.” The book has 52 big ideas in it. That’s like… 47 more than Trust Agents. Webber has something there.

And I see the story as something more.

He has some other ideas up his sleeve, and I know he’ll come out with them some time soon. Alan blogs faithfully at the Rules of Thumb blog and I can see him trying on different ways to apply the book to ideas.

And that’s just it. I think that’s exactly the thing you should want to do with a great book. Take it, absorb it, make it your own, and then use it to tell your own story.

This is what you should do with ALL good products, but right now, I’m obsessing over Alan Webber’s book. Do you see it? If something really gets inside you, take it, make it your own, and then start telling new stories with the pieces.

You probably didn’t pick up Rules of Thumb the first time. But right now, swing by a bookstore or a library (I recommend a bookstore because I ripped this book to SHREDS when I read it, filled it with notes, and refuse to let it out of my sight), and get it. Give it some real time. Don’t just browse and walk off. It’s worth more than that.

And tell me what you get out of it.

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  • http://twitter.com/douglaswelch Douglas E. Welch

    I was similarly impressed with the book. I spent a lot of time working my way through it, as I kept having to stop and make notes and simply think about the issues at hand.

    I got my copy out of the LA Public Library, as I do with most new books, but I would certainly consider it for inclusion in my permanent collection.

  • http://twitter.com/beaconhillnw Jim Gray

    i've read his blog before…good point on spending time with the book. i speed read too much to get through stuff

  • chrisstocker

    Thanks Chris. I'm heading out to the book store this weekend with a long list and this has moved up to the top. Don't cut yourself short, Trust Agents had more than 5 big ideas, ha.

  • karendouglas

    I have been talking about Alan ever since I followed the link that Mitch Joel posted to Alan's Authors at Google talk. I watched, was inspired and ordered the book immediately. I am going through the book slowly – lots to think about and make notes on. But Alan said two things in that talk that have stayed with me and that I have shared over and over – in conversations and in my blog on personal success.
    The first is his perspective on the fact that he doesn't set goals. Instead he evaluates who he does not want to be in five years. What do you not want to say about yourself in five years? That is a really powerful question to get you focused on what you need to do.
    Secondly – Alan said he views his book as the start of a conversation. His blog, this blog, my blog … all of them proves that it is – for him and for all of us. What a wonderful way to think about a book – as the start of something.
    His voice is now inside my head … and I play with his rules daily!
    PS … apologies if I post a similar comment twice. Had a computer problem.

  • pamhoelzle

    I've been reading it and my take on this book is that it will become a classic and a book we go back to time and time again to remind us of another nugget of pure wisdom. I see it as a business devotional- something you can return to, pick up and read an excerpt or so- pass on. Must have for social and world changers.

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  • http://musicroad.blogspot.com kerrydexter

    I have not read the book yet, but I was struck by your comment ,Chris
    “Do you see it? If something really gets inside you, take it, make it your own, and then start telling new stories with the pieces.”

    I work quite a bit in folk and Celtic music — same process bards have ben doing for centuries. good writers still do today.

  • dbreakenridge

    Thanks for letting me know about Webber's book. I definitely want to read it, especially after checking out his blog and the write up about the book on Amazon. I know that you are an avid reader and I was wondering if you could share your top five favorite books … the ones that really made a difference in your life, business book, or other :)

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  • http://www.alexascordato.com Alexa Scordato

    Steve Rosenbaum put me in touch with Alan this past summer and I have to say, there's some magical DNA strand that you, Steve, and Alan all have in common. It's the giving gene.

    You've all given me tons as a young professional and I'm forever thankful for that.

  • http://thelostjacket.com Stuart Foster

    Having spoken with Alan once (I'm a lucky guy) you can definitely hear the patience, care and thought that went into writing this book. It's complicated as heck to market as well. However, it's messages are so important to impart on a lot of different people. Especially up and comers like myself. (I put myself in this category…well because I don't know how else to describe myself.)

  • MaryAlan

    I'll have to check it out, thanks, I'm heading to the bookstore this weekend!

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  • http://wwwo.joescarpati.wordpress.com/ Joe Scarpati

    Thanks Chris. I just purchased the book online based on your post and some reviews that I read. I'm looking forward to reading it (after Trust Agents, of course).

    I documented and took a deeper look at the steps to this social media purchase on my blog, http://www.joescarpati.wordpress.com.

  • http://AlexLimInc.com/ Alex Lim

    “Take it, absorb it, make it your own and then use it to tell your own story.”

    Reading books is one of the best ways to spend time on. I can't agree more with the passage above. Get the most out of a book; you can only see how it will be helpful once you take time to absorb the contents. Don't let the ideas be trap in the pages. Play with it and explore to have your own version of a valuable piece. ss

  • dbvolpe

    Chris,
    When are you coming to Atlanta? Your blog does not currently have anything in the Upcoming Events section.

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    I was just going to relax and read this morning then in the meantime I got your blog to read. Really good one.
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