The Power of Choice Book Summary - The Power of Choice Book explained in key points
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The Power of Choice summary

Michael C. Hyter

Embracing Efficacy to Drive Your Career

4.3 (170 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

The Power of Choice by Michael C. Hyter is a career development book that focuses on the power of making strategic choices. It provides techniques for defining goals, aligning values, and embracing change to create a fulfilling and successful career path.

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    The Power of Choice
    Summary of 6 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 6

    Bypass others’ low expectations of you by focusing on what you can control.

    Say you’re a confident graduate who gets hired by a top firm in your field. Then, on your first day at your new job, you notice you’re one of the few people among your peers from a minority background. A week later, you overhear a senior partner invite the only other junior hire out to lunch. Over the next few weeks, that junior benefits from personal mentorship, while you get little if any coaching. 

    Just as you’re questioning whether you fit in, you miss an important deadline. After your manager rebukes you in front of your peers, you’re left completely dejected. You’re sure that it’s time to throw in the towel. 

    But is it really? Or could it just be that you are caught in a downward spiral of low expectations

    The key message here is: Bypass others’ low expectations of you by focusing on what you can control.

    Despite the progress toward diversity in the workplace, many of us still have to confront lingering stereotypes: People doubting a woman’s ability to make a tough call, or an executive of color’s ability to lead an all-white organization. Although it's certainly demoralizing to confront low expectations from others, the greater harm happens when you internalize their doubts in your own mind.

    Sometimes all it takes is detecting suspicion in a colleague's voice, or noticing that you're not being considered for opportunities as regularly as your peers. This can trigger the downward spiral of low expectations mentioned earlier. Say someone’s overt or subtle skepticism about your abilities leads you to seriously question whether you have what it takes. Once confidence is compromised, people tend to exert less effort; as a result, performance is less likely to be satisfactory, which ultimately acts to confirm the original low expectations.

    To avoid getting caught in this downward spiral, the author – who heads a leadership development organization for Black CEOs and senior executives – recommends focusing on what you can control. Regardless of what others say or do, he maintains that your power to achieve your desired outcomes rests on how you respond. In his own words, “It's not the stimulus, it's the response.” 

    The response he recommends focuses on embracing personal responsibility in your career development and expanding your sense of possibility about what you can accomplish. In these blinks, we’ll look at the underlying principles, which involve cultivating the technical, relational, and influential skills required to grow your network and career. 

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    What is The Power of Choice about?

    The Power of Choice (2020) is a guide for professionals who are underrepresented in their fields or who are struggling to fit into their workplace cultures. Drawing on a practical set of principles, it shows how anyone can navigate setbacks at work by embracing personal responsibility. It also includes tips on how to improve self-confidence and mobilize professional relationships for long-term career growth.

    The Power of Choice Review

    The Power of Choice (2020) by Michael C. Hyter is a book that explores the importance of making conscious choices and the impact they have on our personal and professional lives. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides practical insights and strategies to help individuals make informed decisions and take control of their lives.
    • The book includes real-life stories and examples that bring the content to life, making it relatable and engaging.
    • By emphasizing the power and significance of choice, the book inspires readers to reflect on their own decision-making processes and motivates them to make positive changes.

    Who should read The Power of Choice?

    • Professionals with underrepresented identities and backgrounds
    • Managers and leaders seeking to become more influential
    • Career-driven individuals who are interested in self-improvement

    About the Author

    Michael C. Hyter is President and CEO of the Executive Leadership Council, a membership organization for Black CEOs, board directors, and senior executives. He was previously Chief Diversity Officer at the global consulting firm Korn Ferry, and he also headed its Washington, DC, office. He is the coauthor of The Power of Inclusion.

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    The Power of Choice FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Power of Choice?

    The main message of The Power of Choice is that our decisions shape our future and determine our success.

    How long does it take to read The Power of Choice?

    The reading time for The Power of Choice varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Power of Choice a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Power of Choice is worth reading for its insightful perspective on decision-making. It provides practical guidance to help you make better choices.

    Who is the author of The Power of Choice?

    The author of The Power of Choice is Michael C. Hyter.

    What to read after The Power of Choice?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Power of Choice, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • Just the Good Stuff by Jim VandeHei
    • The First 90 Days by Michael D. Watkins
    • The Science of Getting Started by Patrick King
    • Unstoppable Mindset by Alden Mills
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman