Tuesday, February 24, 2009

what I'm reading: made to stick

I'm teaching at Towson again this semester, which means back to the really long commute (at least its not every day).  I've decided to make really good use of my driving time by tackling some books that have been on my list - as audiobooks, of course.

First up, Made to Stick.  By studying everything from urban legends to advertising, authors Chip and Dan Heath (they're brothers) figured out that there are common factors in ideas that endure over time.  They've boiled these ideas down, allowing anyone to apply these principles to make their ideas more memorable.

Sticky ideas, according the the authors, are Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, and Stories.  (Remembered as SUCCES.)  That in and of itself stuck with me, because I'm now able to recite this checklist without referring to the book.

This book is such a fabulous tool!  As I was listening, my brain was churning, thinking of ways to apply these principles to my business, my teaching, and my bike advocacy.  

One of my favorites quotes from the book was from Mother Teresa, "If I look at the mass, I will never act.  If I look at one, I will."  This might be my new mantra.  Every time I feel frustrated by a seemingly daunting task in front of me, I will remember this quote, and try to think of one little person or thing to move forward with.  That way, I can continue moving forward.

The authors used this quote as part of the chapter on Emotional, and yes, I'm totally using it out of context, but hey, it stuck with me.  What can you do?

Regardless, I highly recommend this book.  There is so much information, that I know I didn't absorb it all the first time around.  This is definitely worth repeated listenings.  I might even put it on while I sleep, just to give something else the chance to stick.


Laura Crawford said...

Megan - I think you are single-handedly populating my "to-read" list. This books sounds great - I have wondered what makes something stand the test of time.

christy said...

I just finished listening to this book. I want to go back and reread it because I missed the pnemonics of Success in the listening.

I too loved this read, see so many ways to apply the information to all that I do.

Love your recommendations.