Win: A book review by Bob Morris

Posted on: May 22nd, 2011 by bobmorris

Win: The Key Principles to Take Your Business from Ordinary to Extraordinary
Frank Luntz
Hyperion/Harper Collins (2011)

A brilliant recycling of valuable business material

Frank Luntz identifies what he characterizes as “The 15 Universal Attributes of Winners” (on Page 2) and then “The Nine P’s of Winning: What It Takes to Get to the Top” (on Page 13) before sharing this definition: “Winning is about getting to the top and making things – great things, unprecedented things – happen. It’s about transfo0rming and completely revolutionizing products, processes, and even people. It’s about making an impact that endures long after you have gone.” An 11th century monk, Bernard of Chartres, once observed, “We are like dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants.” Those on whose shoulders Luntz stands are duly acknowledged (Pages ix-xi) and countless others are listed within the Index.

I admire the skills that he must have summoned to locate, evaluate, and then organize material from hundreds of different sources. He presents it within a series of chapters whose framework is provided by eight principles that, he claims, can take the reader’s business “from ordinary to extraordinary.” That’s Luntz’s vision and presumably he realizes that, in Thomas Edison’s familiar words, “vision without execution is hallucination.” Much of the insights and advice he has appropriated as well as what he contributes focus on “how” to achieve the given goal or objective.

Most of his contributions focus on the nature and components of effective communication (i.e. message creation and image management). For example, the “Luntz Language Lesson” (on Page 99) as well as 12 clusters of  “Luntz Lessons” elsewhere in the narrative. I am curious to know the sources of the self-audits (e.g. Are You Self-Centered?” on Page 37) as well as the material provided on Pages 111, 222, 232, and 272. Perhaps each is a consolidation of key points that Luntz has selected from a combination of sources. All are eminently sensible.

There is an abundance of information, observations, insights, aphorisms, and recommendations in this book. Obviously, it would be a fool’s errand to attempt to adopt everything that Luntz provides.

Here’s what I presume to suggest. As you read the book, keep a notebook of some kind handy and, as you work your way through the narrative, rate yourself on a 1-10 scale (with 10 = Outstanding) on the various skills that are discussed. (Here’s where the self-audits and the sets of questions will be most helpful.) Record notes including page references when you rated yourself in the 1-6 range, then compile a list of what you rated yourself in the 1-3 range and check the page references you’ve noted to focus on the relevant material that Luntz provides.  Then proceed to what you rated 4-6.

In other words, convert this hybrid (i.e. anthology/self-help narrative) into a workbook that you customize to accommodate your specific needs and interests. I also suggest you check out the wealth of resources at Finally, I wish you great success with your efforts to achieve great success.


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