Convinced! A book review by Bob Morris

Convinced!: How to Prove Your Competence & Win People Over
Jack Nasher
Berrett-Koehler Publishers (November 2018)

How and why perceived competence “gives you the power to convince, influence, and lead others”

Perceptions are realities but are not necessarily “real.” What they seem to be is not necessarily true. Charles Ponzi and Bernard Madoff are excellent cases in point. For me, one of Jack Nasher’s most valuable insights is that “brilliance does not speak for itself: you can, in fact, be the best in the world and no one will notice.” No question about it: charlatans such as Ponzi and Madoff master the skills that give them “the power to convince, influence, and lead others.” Nasher wrote this book to help those worthy to gain “an inexplicable advantage over others who can deliver a similar quality.”

It is noteworthy that all of the major research studies of what is most important to employees indicates that “feeling appreciated” is ranked at or near the top. Gallup surveys indicate that, on average, less than 30% of employees in a U.S. company are actively and positively engaged;  the others are either passively engaged (“mailing it in”) or actively engaged in undermining the success of their employer. As Nasher explains, “I will show you the most effective techniques to convince others of your worth by demonstrating competence, but it is up to you to decide if and how.”

Nasher shares his thoughts about subjects that include these:

o Actual versus perceived competence
o “The Anticipation Effect”
o The power of association
o Framing competence
o Effective verbal communication
o Effective non-verbal communication
o Developing an appealing presence
o The power of symbols

It is also noteworthy that, as Jack Nasher’s Notes (see Pages 189-207) and Bibliography ((209-248) indicate, he shares valuable lessons that he learned from a wide and deep range of primary sources as well as from his own extensive experiences during the last several decades. These sources and experiences help to guide and inform his narrative. He really does know what he’s talking about as he also demonstrates superior communication skills.

One final thought I presume to add: Many people are far more effective selling themselves and their abilities than they are delivering results that validate their competence. Here in Texas, there are ranchers who have a big hat and no cattle. Those who “talk a good game” better be prepared to play it well. You get the idea.


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