Reviewer Dean Cowan:Dean is a freelance Business Consultant, specializing in training and development in more than one sector. He also works as a private writing tutor for youngsters struggling with essays and exams at school. He is married and lives in Manchester UK with his wife of 30 years and has a son, a daughter and one grandson. His particular interests include, education, writing, social sciences and politics.A struggling blogger, he has many on-line at the moment but due to a low boredom threshold losses patience with the technology.Prefers Facebook and Twitter because of the lack of effort needed.
Author: Amy Showalter.
Author: Amy Showalter.
Are you or have you ever been an “Underdog”? Before I start sounding dangerously like Senator Joe McCarthy I will explain why I ask this question.
If you have ever tried to sell an idea, apply for a bank, loan, argue for a cause or start up a campaign on behalf of yourself or others then at certain points you have acquired that unenviable status. There are always going to be under most circumstances people who are going to be more powerful than you, the Top Dog, so to speak.
Amy Showalter's book is an exercise in identifying the strategies and mindsets that can enable the “underdog” to use this status to his or her advantage and to win.
Showalter proceeds from the premise that everyone loves an Underdog if the person shows grit. commitment and determination to overcome the obstacles to the cause. Whilst using this status to one's advantage it must never be openly exploited by the protagonist as a badge of honour or primary identity, as the illustration of how it backfired against Hilary Clinton shows, below.
Reflecting her professional background, Showalter concentrates on political, social and economic campaigns of the disadvantaged individuals and communities whether through, color, race, gender or economic background to illustrate how these essential qualities lead to success.
She also demonstrates how these qualities can be consciously and constructively used, and how misused they can end up making a campaigner appear stupid and disingenuous. She gives an example of the campaigns of Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton in seeking the Democrat nomination in their efforts to out underdog each other, with Clinton ruining her cause when it was revealed how much she spent on entertaining and molly-coddling her campaign team.
There is also the danger in becoming an inefficient underdog. According to Showalter no one will work with a pleasant and cuddly but inefficient underdog. They may feel sorry for them but they will never take them seriously. ( In my case my unkempt shambling demeanor and hapless approach to time management has brought me much success in the domestic sphere thank-you very much especially when it comes to gardening and DIY.. never trust a cuddly underdog in those situations).
No, Underdogs need to be armed with the right combination of passion, grit and know-how in order to attract the attention of the Over Dog who needs to flatter his or her ego as someone who is sensitive to the “little guy”.
Technique as ever is the ingredient for success and without it the cause can be overlooked or marginalized.
This slight parody is not a critique of the author who clearly operates in the world of real “gritty” politics. In fact it is a very good book for anyone who needs to fulfil l their or their community’s goals from a weak base and such approaches should not be entirely limited to the entrepreneurs of this world whose main purpose is to make themselves rich.
The book is excellently designed with summaries for revision at the end of each chapter emphasising that this is as much a training tool as well as a straight read.
Click Here To Purchase The Underdog Edge: How Ordinary People Change the Minds of the Powerful and Live to Tell About It