The Success Effect Book Review

success_effect.jpgThe Success Effect takes a different tack to many books with interviews by printing them in question and answer format. Such an approach doesn’t always succeed. However, Eckberg successfully culled great material from past interviews and put them together to create a conversational and educational resource.
A chapter consists of an interview and interviews range from a couple of pages to over ten pages and every bit — no matter the length — is worth reading. Eckberg adds a dash of color to the interview by including the interviewee’s current music and reads. These appear as “Books on the nightstand” and “CDs in the changer” (obviously these interviews occurred before MP3 players became commonplace). Some interviewees share their favorite meal or what’s on their coffee tables.
The chapter titles for the interviews come from the interview’s main theme, which covers risks, persistence, communication, loyalty. Interviewees hail from various careers and industries including doctors, entrepreneurs, professors, and inventors in the industries of high tech, real estate, sports, and more.
Eckberg, a business reporter with The Cincinnati Inquirer, kept his tapes from interviews he conducted as a reporter. He discovered he had a gold mine in his tapes as the interviews together offer unusual tidbits and insight into the minds of these successful, innovative, and intelligent people. The result is a lovely quilt where the patches come from the leaders’ stories.
Neil Rackham of Huthwaite, Inc. discusses how people buy today and how sales personnel must change to remain successful. David Pelz, golf coach, advises that practicing good habits helps players improve. If you repeatedly practice using bad form, you don’t improve — instead you “become a more consistently mediocre player.” It doesn’t take much to see how valuable this advice would be in other aspects of life.
Thanks to Eckberg’s atypical questions, the answers don’t sound like anything you’ve read or heard before in a business magazine, a news interview, or a Web site’s contents. Furthermore, these interviews could be over a few years old, but most of the shared thoughts are timeless.
Whether you’ve heard of the person interviewed doesn’t matter. In fact, the interview with Donald Trump wasn’t insightful. Reading The Success Effect resembles listening to a conversation between two intellects without the big words. This coupled with Eckberg’s conversational style writing makes the interviews with successful people who have become significant an enjoyable read.

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