The No Complaining Rule – Jon Gordon – Book Review

Having read the book, The Carpenter by the same author, I picked up this book as well. I had some idea of what to expect. Jon Gordon’s books are quick reads and you can literally breeze through them as the concepts that he propounds are neither new nor heavy. But he gives practical advice in the form of a story. I quickly recognized the pattern which is quite predictable. It goes like this:

The protagonist is in some problem both at professional and personal front. She/He meets a mentor who gives valuable advice. The protagonist applies the same in his life and work and miracles happen.

In this book, the protagonist is Hope, the HR Head of a computer software firm. She has been divorced recently and having issues with raising 2 teen age children. Again, there are issues at work – negativity, bad culture and some pestering colleagues. To top it all, she also has some medical issues.

Amidst all these, she meets a nurse who helps her with the No Complaining Rule. She uses this in her office, at board rooms, in workshops and everything, including her personal life is sorted out.

Some of the good lessons from this book are – 

The complaining fast - This is a concept where the author says that we just go through 1 day without any complains. Then extend it by a week.

The 3 No Complaining Tools –
1.       The But … Positive technique –
This is a simple tool to covert complains into positive thoughts. E.g: I don’t like driving in traffic BUT I am thankful that I can drive and that I have a job!
2.       Focus on ‘Get To’ instead of ‘Have To’ –
Instead of saying ‘I have to do this’ say ‘I get to do this’. Focus on what you get to do. Focus on feeling blessed instead of stressed. Focus on gratitude.
3.       Turn Complains into solutions –
Every complaint represents an opportunity to turn a negative into a positive.

Five Things to Do Instead of Complain
1.       Practice Gratitude
2.       Praise Others
3.       Focus on Success
4.       Let Go
5.       Pray and Meditate

Now comes the critical part of my review. The book is well structured and the story is well told, with its suspense, dénouement and ending, and the core principle propagated is based on ‘The Success’ i.e you attract to yourself what you project to the world. However, having worked in a corporate environment for more than 17 years, I felt that the ideas and methods from this book cannot be used in a corporate environment. These principles and rules are more personal in nature and usage. If someone tries to really implement them in the corporate world, they would quickly become the butt of all jokes. I feel, todays’ organizations are not ready to espouse this.

My verdict: You can read this book if you get for free as you can complete it in a day. But not worth buying it to read.

The Carpenter – Jon Gordon – Book Review

This is a light weight book by Jon Gordon. It is a motivational book. Michael is an entrepreneur who is stuck in his business. One morning, during his run, he passes out and a carpenter saves his life.

Later he meets this amazing carpenter who becomes his mentor and Michael revives his business. He also becomes mentors to numerous others.

The lessons from this book are not something that is new. They are the same old stuff but packaged in a new way. You get to see a blend of ‘The Secret’ – attracting what you want, affirmations, and secrets of success.

Some of the ideas that stuck with me was - Designing a masterpiece. The author says that our life is a masterpiece and before building it, we need to design it. He says, most people go through life living by chance. But if you really want to build a masterpiece, you have to live intentionally. He says, one must ask oneself: What does it look like when you are at your healthiest, strongest and best? What does your family situation look like? Are you ignoring people you love the most or making more time for them? What matters most? What priorities drive your day? What are you doing that makes you come alive? What are you doing to live and share your purpose? When you look back on your life, what do you want to be able to say about it? How do you want to feel? What will you have wanted to accomplish? What legacy will you have left? What stories people will be telling about you?

The Author says, once you design your masterpiece, you must be a craftsman in your approach to life and your work. A craftsman views everything as an art, not work. A craftsman wants to make his next work of art, his best work.

Believe that you can do it and talk to yourself to motivate, instead of listening to your self talk, which may be discouraging. The overall advise is to have a positive mindset.

The carpenter shares 3 greatest success strategies of all as its heart of success.

The first greatest success strategy is to love everything and operate from love than fear.
·         Love the struggle
·         Love the challenges
·         Love the competition
·         Love negative people
·         Love those who hurt you
·         Love fear

The second greatest success strategy is Serve others. Become a servant leader.

The third greatest success strategy is to care for others
·         Care about the work you do
·         Surround yourself with people who care
·         Show your team you care about them
·         Build a team that cares about one another
·         Show your customers you care about them

This is how you stand out and succeed

The other lessons that Michael learns are that success takes time and failure is a gift.  He learns that he is a work in progress and he needs to have courage to keep moving forward.
Don’t focus on building your business. Focus on using your business to love, serve, care and build up others. If you do this, your business will build and multiply exponentially. 

Focus on one person at a time, one interaction at a time, one moment at a time.

Finally, success is meant to be shared. Be generous and share your wealth and knowledge. It comes back to you!

Overall, I liked the book. It has some great messages that are told in a nice story. One can read it once. But I would not read it again if someone asks me to! Is this a must addition to my library? I don't think so!