Charlton reviews

poisitive book.jpg   Positive Thinking, Positive Action

by Douglas Miller

BBC Books


Little is as emblematic of modern life as corporate and product brands. Each day our senses are assailed by them, be they clothing labels or fizzy drinks. Many have been so suckered by the brand con trick that they are slaves to its shallowness.

I predict it won’t be long before individuals create their own brands.

Personal brand building features in Douglas Miller’s book Positive Thinking, Positive Action, which purports to give simple advice on how to take a more positive approach to life in general and objectives in particular.

He lists descriptive words that readers can use to build their own brands. These include, ‘trusting’, ‘confident’, ‘challenging’, ‘energetic’ and ‘optimistic’, which sound remarkably like the qualities listed by my local MP when she sought my vote at the last general election.

The ones I would have chosen, such as ‘power-mad’, ‘shallow’ and ‘hypocritical’, were surprisingly, absent, but that’s the great thing about building your own brand – it’s in your hands.

Miller also suggests that readers build their own personal mission statements. What worries me is that some already have. Such silliness gives positive thinking a bad name, and Miller ought to have known better than to include them.

Otherwise, the book sticks to sensible positive thinking territory, and is an easy-to-read explanation of how to achieve life and career goals.

This leads us to SMART, SMARTER and GOAT territory.

As training managers, you will know all about SMART. GOAT, however, stands for Goal, Objective, Aim, Target.

Miller says that we must add Energising and Reviewed to make our objectives SMARTER: Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, Timed, Energising and Reviewed.

He uses case studies as proof for his theories. But, for training folk, the most useful features are the exercises that measure an individual’s potential.

And who knows? You may have a SMARTER GOAT on your hands – or at least in your team.

Positive Thinking, Positive Action, by Douglas Miller, BBC Books, £7.99

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