Switch:  How to Change Things When Change is Hard


Chip Heath and Dan Heath

I loved it!  Five Stars!


I have had friends AND coworkers make fun of me for reading every single word of every book I read, starting with the table of contents.  I need context people!  I started this book with a search for the relationship between the authors.  In case you are not as neurotic as I am (or in case you are), the last sentence of the “about the authors” synopsis on the back cover reveals that they are brothers.  Now I was ready to begin.

I often say I do not like change.  In the middle of change, I moan about it.  After change, I gripe about it.  A year later, I look around and realize that change was the best thing for me.  As a new change comes up, I complain about it…

The authors challenged that attitude almost right from the beginning (p.4).  I liked getting married…that was change.  I liked having both kids enter our life…that was change.  I liked moving home to Omaha…that was change.  In response to their challenge to rethink our attitudes towards change, I have decided never to say “I just don’t like change” again.  There.  That will not change.  Ha!

They explained how to motivate others or even ourselves by breaking down the components of change into our rationality (rider), our emotions (elephant) and the path to change.  While I was reading, I kept coming back to some of my own “What if” big change dreams…

What if kids in Haiti were not hungry?

What if puppy mills were gone?

I already obsess about this and other stuff, of course.  We all have our “What if” dreams, I guess.  This book made me think “What if…I could have something to do with the changes?”  And that is huge.

Also, this book made me cry, which of course, even given my overly sappy nature, leadership books are not supposed to do.  The story that got me was the story about the transformation of an underachieving high school to a very successful high school brought about by the incoming principal (p. 173-175). She changed the entire school’s outlook on learning by changing the school’s grading system from A, B, C, D, F to A, B, C and NY (not yet).

(Side note:  Comments in parenthesis – Five Stars!  ✩✩✩✩✩  If the authors write a book containing everything they say in parenthesis in this book, and add some equally smart alec material, I will pay anything for it.  I found myself flipping ahead to read their usually related, always hilarious, smarty-pants side comments.)

One more “This Book is Awesome” point, then I will just let you read the book for yourself.  Anyone who mentions FlyLady and Dave Ramsey, two of my favorite leaders and authors, in the same sentence (p. 134), gets five stars just for that.

Bunny Trails: The images of an elephant and his rider as a person’s sometimes dueling emotions and mind are borrowed from The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt.  I have a feeling if these authors like a book, I will too.  So that’s on my “What’s Next” list.  Chip Heath and Dan Heath also wrote a book before Switch called Made to Stick which I assume is equally awesome.

Pile it on!  I’ve got plenty of bookmarks!  I’ve had bigger stacks on my nightstand!

This is number…something…of the twenty-five books I am reading in Veterinary Economics Leadership Series. As of this past weekend, I have all of the 25 books tracked down, and only seven more of them to get my hands on.  Thank you for all of your help with this fun project!

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