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THE ONE THING by Gary Keller


The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results

by Gary Keller with Jay Papasan

Pub Date: April 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-885167-77-4
Publisher: Bard Press

The founder of Keller Williams Realty outlines approach patterns for achieving great results in your work life.

Keller opens with a scene from City Slickers, in which Billy Crystal turns to Jack Palance and asks him to divulge the “one thing” that is the secret to life: “ ‘But what’s the ‘one thing?’ ‘That’s what you got to figure out.’ ” This is an appropriate opening, as Keller, with the assistance of Keller Williams vice president of publishing Papasan, also leads readers up to the edge, then abjures specifics. Not that there aren’t scads of sound, if generalized, opinions about getting something done well—e.g., narrow your concentration, focus, get to the point, get to the heart: “If today your company doesn’t know what its ONE Thing is, then the company’s ONE Thing is to find out.” Success is geometric, not linear. You must embrace chaos, find a supportive environment, block out your time, be committed, accept responsibility and have no regrets—some failure is a given. Pay attention to scale; both the big picture and the small focus are important. Perhaps the best piece of advice is to find a mentor: “No one succeeds alone. No one.” Yet the nub is elusive; “here’s how you get to the answer” is in short supply. So much is circular (“the only actions that become springboards to succeeding big are those informed by big thinking to begin with”), tautological or disconnected: “When you make faster decisions, you’ll often be the one who makes the first decisions and winds up with the best choices.”

Encouraging bones of advice worth gnawing on, but absent substantial meat to sink your teeth into.