How the World Sees You: Discover Your Highest Value Through the Science of Fascination by Sally Hogshead, HarperBusiness, 428 pages, $29.99, Hardcover, ISBN 9780062230690, July 2014
The massive amount of research that went into Sally Hogshead’s new book, How the World Sees You, is staggering. For the past decade, she’s been scouring books and source materials, conducting polls and surveys with hundreds of thousands of people, and working with teams in the real world social labs of companies like AT&T, General Electric, and Cisco to discover how fascination works in both the business and the broader world.
It was in “a dusty old journal” that she learned fascination was “one of the oldest and most feared words in written language.”
Tracing back the Latin roots, it means “to bewitch.” […] Since the dawn of written history, ancient and modern civilizations have precisely described the same force of influence. From Renaissance scholars to Sigmund Freud, scholars have used the word fascination to describe the same hypnotic power of persuasion. […] But then, abruptly, in the twentieth century, the exploration of fascination just stopped. Fascination was toppled from its mighty throne by a new form of persuasion … modern marketing.
It is ironic that it is Ms. Hogshead that is reviving the exploration of fascination, because she comes from that very world of modern marketing that dethroned it. Her first life was in advertising, and she was very good at it—rising to the top of that profession in her early twenties. I suppose you could say that, with this book, you are her new advertising client. But, instead of developing the campaign, she will be teaching you how to advertise yourself in the best, most authentic, honest, and effective way—individually or as an organization.
The book includes an online assessment tool, and like any assessment tool (Myers Briggs, Social Styles, StrengthFinder, etc.), there is a philosophy and a construct behind it, but this is not your typical assessment book. Coming from the mind of Sally Hogshead, it’s positively overflowing with good energy, great stories, interesting characters, and compelling writing. Part I of the book explores why you must know how the world sees you, revisits the seven Advantages detailed in her previous book, Fascinate: Your 7 Triggers to Persuasion and Captivation, and sends you off to take the Fascination Advantage assessment. Part II explores different Personality Archtypes, and teaches you how to identify, navigate, and organize them to improve your organization’s teams and personal results. In Part III, you’ll create a tagline for your personality—or your “Anthem”—a two- or three-word phrase for yourself or your organization that will help you define yourself quickly and cut through the triple-threat of distraction, competition, and commoditization that surrounds us all in the modern world.
The book is more than the sum of its parts, though. It is not just a tool or set of exercises—it is a process. And Ms. Hogshead puts it perfectly when she says:
This process is not about changing who you are. It’s about seeing what you’re already doing right, so you can do it on purpose.
The book will help you differentiate yourself and your business from others, to put what is unique and exciting about you on the table for the world to see. You will learn “the best of how the world sees you” and how to use it to communicate more effectively, because as she so succinctly reminds us, “Having an important message means nothing if nobody notices or cares.”
With Sally Hogshead’s help, people will care, because you’re going to fascinate them.