That’s a great title, isn’t it? I mean who doesn’t like simple and secrets, especially when tied to success?
The premise of the book is simple: summarize research around achievement and success then provide an example, lesson or approach that makes the research practical. (Hence the subtitle – “What scientists have learned and how you can use it.”)
Originally copyrighted in 2002, the research is in most cases at least 10 years old. That doesn’t make it incorrect or invalid, but it might seem funny compared to the rash of bestselling books in the past few years that use current research to make compelling arguments (think Blink, Switch, and Predictably Irrational as three examples).
This book takes a “less is more” approach with each short chapter detailing one secret in a couple hundred words followed by a one paragraph description of the research (a complete bibliography of the research is provided as well.).
Not all of the descriptions/applications seem completely connected to the research, but overall I liked the approach. Plus, the research is by and large very interesting – ranging from the mildly surprising (i.e. working with people who have different opinions and approaches increases productivity by 14%) to quantifying many of my long-held assumptions (i.e. having concrete goals increases confidence by 50%).
If you are looking for a serious research book, this isn’t it (though all of the research used seemed solid and is cited carefully). However, it does provide clues and approaches to greater personal (and in some cases leadership) effectiveness in an interesting package.
I enjoyed it and I have and will use some of what I learned in the future.