978-0-609-80880-1 / 9780609808801

The Other 90%: How to Unlock Your Vast Untapped Potential for Leadership and Life


Publisher:Crown Business



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About the book:

Some 10-to-90-percent splits are good, like giving one-tenth of what you make to those less fortunate or putting 10 percent of it into a smart saving plan. Others are bad, like being a miserly 10-percent tipper or using only that tiny portion of the capabilities of your powerful computer software. Worst of all is the fact that most of us use only 10 percent of our intelligence and creativity potential, leaving vast quantities of what we're capable lying dormant, unused and untapped. It's this ratio that Robert Cooper hopes to help reverse with The Other 90%, his inspirational guide to waking the sleeping giant within each of us.

Cooper groups his observations and advice under four keystones: trust, energy, farsightedness, and nerve. In a diagram at the beginning, he illustrates each of these keystones with insights quoted from an unusual mixture of literary and political figures, setting the tone for a book that mixes tales of the famous with those of the unknown and moments of ordinary life with the eureka moments of exceptional triumphs. He promotes trust in its broadest sense, such as incorporating and blending all three streams of intelligence (brain, heart, and gut) into decision making, and trusting oneself enough to escape the trap of comparison. He shares simple suggestions for cultivating calm energy, so as to be quick and effective without rushing, and encourages readers to learn the difference between the trivia in life that counts (and drains us of precious energy) and that which doesn't. Being farsighted, for Cooper, is essentially learning to align more of your actions--and ultimately your life--with your biggest dreams. And nerve is the art of developing a thick skin and making adversity your ally on the road to achieving those hopes and ambitions.

The Other 90% suffers a bit from the problem of many inspirational books, being so densely packed with anecdotes that the good advice is sometimes lost in a blur of well-intentioned examples. Indeed, some of Cooper's most profound comments leap out of the least elaborate stories, such as the memory of his grandfather gazing at Sirius, one of the brightest but most distant stars, and explaining that he did this "because it draws my gaze the farthest away from where I'm standing right now." But Cooper's enthusiasm is timely; the accepted notion that we only use one-tenth of our capabilities was revised a few years ago by studies indicating we only use one ten-thousandth. So there's room for all kinds of improvement. --S. Ketchum

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