“Stress free sustainability. Leverage your emotions. Avoid burnout and Influence anyone”by Adam Hammes

A useful reading for anyone involved in advocacy and campaigning for good causes. Project managers might find it handy, in change management and in dealing with stakeholders. Contrary to first impressions, this is not a biology book. Animal images are metaphors the author uses skillfully. The polar bear is the image of a survivor in spite of harsh conditions it lives in. The Killer Bee gives a clear sense of why aggressiveness does not work well with sustainability. The description of a Sea Otter gives a sense of playfulness to learn from.c60fbc7e0fa4273ce10b5b8714e7a983

The book is centered around the author’s personal journey from sadness and loneliness to pride and arrogance and invasiveness. All to the detriment of causes he believed in, but failed to secure the support they needed. As the book unfolds, evidence from science comes in smoothly. The big secret he shares is to leverage your emotions and listen to people. Make your passion less about you and more about communities. Anger and pride cloud judgment. Courage and acceptance have a funny way of leading to truth and mastery. This book is about how to create positive change for someone.

“Focus. Be selective. Work smarter not harder. Be more strategic. Leverage your emotions. Do not be taken over by them. Avoid burn out. Eliminate stress” advice which is very much valid for the project management world.

Part Two of the book is about How to eliminate stress by understanding the three stages of influence people go through – Contempt, Curiosity, Commitment. Strategies for moving from one stage to another: showing, sharing, shaping, are explained. Many aspects are based on science of how people make changes. This book made me discover or rediscover a number of highlights:

– Focus on similarities instead of differences to understand.

– Change and organisation need each other.

– Change is difficult, even when it’s positive.

– Practice active listening.

– Maintain integrity while building trust.

– Be playful, not pushy.

– Story telling is a critical skill.

On couple of instances, I missed the interpretation of exercises’ results and an analysis of what to expect from them. At the same time, the book offers free tips via eco-influence website and real world, easy-to-use examples. The author uses neurological science to prove his points. And for more, warmly recommend to immerse yourself into a stress-free journey for anything you’d like to achieve. Happy and Stress-free sailing to all!

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