Taking Flight: A book review by Bob Morris

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 by bobmorris

Taking FlightTaking Flight!: Master the DISC Styles to Transform Your Career, Your Relationships…Your Life
Merrick Rosenberg and Daniel Silvert
FT Press/Pearson Group (2012)

Birdseye views on how to transform individual people as well as the relationships and organizations they share

The effectiveness of a business fable depends on (a) the quality of the material on which the setting, characters, plot, etc. are based and (b) the storytelling skills of the author. In terms of both criteria, I rate this book well above average but not of a quality comparable with that of business fables created by Eli Goldratt and Patrick Lencioni. That may seem like damning with faint praise but it really isn’t. There is much of substantial value in what Merrick Rosenberg and Daniel Silvert provide. To borrow a basic truth from residential real estate, for every book there’s a buyer.

I think many executives who read this book will appreciate and then apply to their benefit DISC, a model of behavior with a framework, a pattern of behavior that is “hidden in everything we do, and it just might be the most powerful tool [actually, a methodology] you ever discover because it will enable you to maximize your potential and deepen your connection with everyone you know.” I think it will be especially valuable to those who are now actively involved – or who are now planning to be actively involved – with one or more social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The details of the business fable (Part I) are best revealed in context, within the narrative. Suffice to say now that Merrick Rosenberg and Daniel Silvert, perhaps inspired at least to some extent by Aesop’s fables, focus on four types of birds whose personalities have metaphorical significance with regard to the DISC acronym: Eagle (Dominant), Parrot (Interactive), Dove (Supportive), and Owl (Conscientious). Unlike birds, obviously, humans develop personalities that are a combination of several qualities that are not necessarily mutually-exclusive. Moreover, expediency often determines which quality is most appropriate in the given situation.

These are among the points made in Parts II and III of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to suggest the range of subjects that Rosenberg and Silver explore with rigor and eloquence:

o Four important points to consider with regard to DISC (Page 119)
o The Four Styles: Fast-Paced & Verbal, Task-Oriented, People-Oriented, and Even-Paced & Reserved (121-126)
o Seven Transformative DISC Principles (133-135)
o Principle 6 — Apply the Right Style at the Right Time (148-150)
o Steps for Reaching Your Highest Potential (157-165)
o DISC in the Work Environment (170-174)
o Steps to Tapping the Power of Style in Teams (183-184)

In my opinion, Merrick Rosenberg and Daniel Silvert could have — and should have — more fully developed the fable’s narrative (Part I) so that it facilitates more and better correlations with the material in Parts 11 and III. No brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the scope of material that they provide but I hope that those who read this commentary will be better prepared to determine whether or not they wish to read the book and, in that event, will have at least some idea of how understanding the DISC styles could perhaps be of substantial benefit to them as well as to their own organization.

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