“’Synergy’ means the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This book introduces a superior, synergistic product on a subject of immense importance.”
- Stephen R. Covey
"Fake Work is a seriously instructive book that illuminates the pitfalls of work that lacks authenticity. Peterson and Nielson explore the depth and breadth of a subtle yet intriguing phenomenon that plagues contemporary work-life. No one can afford to be without this book since it probes an issue central to continued productivity and success.”
- Hyrum Smith Co-Founder, FranklinCovey, CEO Galileo
“At a time when most management literature rehashes the same old stuff, it is refreshing to be exposed to some fresh ideas with enormous practical relevance. Better yet the authors propose actionable cures for this silent disease of fake work that most business don’t recognize they have.”
- Jack Zenger CEO of Zenger Folkman, coauthor of the bestselling The Extraordinary Leader
"Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson bring to light a rarely examined activity that occurs daily in many organizations: Fake Work. Fake work wastes a precious resource—the time and talent of valuable employees. The authors underscore the problem—and solution pathways—with real-life examples that are at times disturbingly familiar. Read this book and get real!”
- Ken Blanchard coauthor of The One Minute Manager® and Great Leaders Grow
“Brent Peterson and Gaylan Nielson have delivered! Their intriguing book, Fake Work, powerfully diagnoses why most organizations and people are overworked and yet are underperforming, being trapped in the ‘thick of thin things.’ This book is filled with illuminating insight while at the same time being immensely practical and useful. Above all, it will forever change how you and your organization look at work—and better yet how real work is identified and done, and the results that follow.”
- Stephen M. R. Covey author of twelve New York Times bestseller The Speed of Trust
"Buzzing blackberries, compulsive emailing and deadly powerpoints are indicators that your workforce may be busy doing Fake Work. Let's refocus our work on the goals and strategies that really matter. Peterson & Nielson provide a clear pathway to Real Work!"
- Elliott Masie Chair, The Learning CONSORTIUM
“After just a few pages Fake Work forced me to begin asking myself hard questions about my organization—and about my own work. We all want to think our work is real, important, and makes a difference. The truth is that much of it isn’t and doesn’t. The damage fake work does to our organizations is incalculable. Leaders who care passionately about both performance and people should pay close attention to this important book.”
- Craig Swenson President, Argosy University
“Fake Work provides a different view of how to get people impacting their organizational goals and results. Using many simple but painfully true and recognizable stories, the book unravels the numerous issues organizations face around having ‘extremely busy and hardworking’ employees who may not, in many cases, be impacting the bottom line. The good news is Peterson and Nielson layout deceptively simple but effective steps to resolve this."
- Stephen Krempl President, Krempl Communications International
“Fake Work takes the reader on a comprehensive journey to the central core of what causes low productivity in companies and other organizations. With captivating narrative the authors help us see how universally debilitating the problem is and how it can be fixed. This remarkable book, backed by years of research, is a how to do it road map leading to peak performance.”
- Dr. Charles R. Hobbs President, Unified Power, LLC, and creator of the internationally acclaimed “Time Power Seminar” for Achieving High Productivity.
"When I look around any organization, everyone is very busy, working very hard and staying very late to get work done. When I look at results, somehow there is a mismatch between all the work that is being done and the results that are attained. The simplicity of the concepts and applications in Fake Work will help any organization move from fake work to real work, thereby having all of their resources aligned to achieving the same goals. If you are looking for something that is practical and not just hype, take the time to read and apply these concepts.”
"John Stoker's book Fake Talkprovides a very balanced approach to the art and science of conversation that engages your head, heart and hands—all essential elements to connect with people at a deeper, more meaningful level. This book gives you clear theory and the practical skills you need to achieve desired results, earn respect, and develop effective relationships, personally and professionally. I highly recommend it!"
- Dennis S. Reina, Ph.D.
Co-author of award winning, business best-selling books Trust and Betrayal in the Workplaceand Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace.
“Now more than ever healthcare leaders are challenged with providing exceptional and compassionate service for our patients and families. As costs continue to increase and reimbursement declines, physicians, healthcare executives and associates must work together to reduce costs and increase efficiency. We must also improve our relationship with our community to strengthen its confidence that we will consistently deliver on our brand promise to provide an excellent patient and family experience. John Stoker's book, Overcoming Fake Talk, teaches the skills and process for holding REAL Conversations that increase engagement and get results."
- Kenneth R. Buser,
President & CEO, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare–All Saints
"John Stoker has been a white water rafter, an attorney, a speaker, and now a thoughtful writer. His book Overcoming Fake Talk is a thorough compendium of ideas, frameworks, examples, and actions to improve conversations. His 4 REAL conversation skills and 8 principles give the novice and master insights and guidelines for improving conversation. His book will help get people talking in ways that create respect, build relationships, and get results."
- Dave Ulrich
Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan
Partner, The RBL Group
"There is more in John Stoker's Overcoming Fake Talk than a bookshelf of self-help books about communication, relationship building, and career advancement can hope to provide. In plain language—backed by hard scientific data—John lays out everything anyone needs to know about authentic connectedness with others. In a world gone mad with pseudo-intimacy and hypocrisy, Overcoming Fake Talk just might save us from the phony tweets, Facebook "likes," and all other manner of ersatz self-expression that threaten to erode the fabric of our society."
- Dr. Steven Berglas
Former faculty member, Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry; world-renowned expert and lecturer (USC, UCLA) on the Psychology of the Entrepreneurial Spirit and author of Reclaiming the Fire: How Successful People Can Overcome Burnout as well as numerous other books and articles
"As Peter Drucker wisely observed, nearly all leadership and management challenges come back to breakdowns in communication. This book is an insightful blend of rock-solid theory accompanied by compelling examples of the huge distinction between real and fake communication. It would be hard to read it and not gain valuable tips."
- John H. Zenger
CEO, Zenger Folkman
"John Stoker is right on target with his message of Fake Talk; as I've learned over 30 years of coaching leaders, the only way to Lead NOW is to engage in real conversation with team members about what matters most. John zeros in on the keys behind developing vital results-driven relationships through genuine and focused communication. All leaders need to study and apply his timely prescription!"
- John Parker Stewart
Leadership Coach, Executive Development Specialist and author of several books including LEAD NOW! President and Founder, Stewart Systems, Inc.
"I love the title of this book! How often do we get the sense that another person is not speaking their truth? How often do we wear our own political or social masks in the workplace? What a great book to help us stop both of these disingenuous conversations and turn around the opportunities in front of us. This conversation book is truly worth adding to your shelf...and maybe even replacing others. The author knows his material and takes a straight-forward, practical look at the subject. He reframes old notions and applies the principles to anyone, anywhere, in any position. Great questions, great suggestions...that is, if you want to change. Bravo! I will put his ideas to use in my own practice."
- Beverly Kaye
Founder, Co-CEO: Career Systems International
"Overcoming Fake Talk is not only a terrific book title, it should be the mantra of anyone who’s determined to get consistently great results. Many well-intended people dance around the issues that beg for open and candid discussion. Trouble is, when the topic is risky they simply don't have the skills to carry on a real conversation. So they engage in fake talk. Then, when the tough issues don’t get resolved, they engage in more fake talk and the cycle starts to resemble a scene from “Groundhog Day.” John Stoker’s book is a breakthrough because it so clearly identifies a common problem that few have really talked about and offers principles, practices, and skills so necessary for honest, trust-building conversation. If you’re truly interested in respect, relationships, and results, this book is for you."
–Stephen M.R. Covey,
Bestselling author of The Speed of Trust and Smart Trust
"Not only does Overcoming Fake Talk uncover the key principles to REAL conversations, but it offers a true road map to mastering the skills necessary for building lasting relationships. Adhering and implementing to these principles will dramatically increase your ability to communicate and improve your relationships in your professional and personal life."
- Hyrum W. Smith,
"John has written an engaging book filled with interesting stories that guide the reader through the land mines of having difficult conversations. I can attest personally to the consequences of having bad results come from poorly managed conversations. I have had many. John gives me and others like me multiple ways to redeem myself in future conversations. John provides a step by step process to help us prepare to have REAL conversations that lead to positive results. We all know that tough conversations are not easy to have and can often spiral in a negative direction because we lack the skill and confidence to manage the process. John provides a step by step approach that give the reader the skills and confidence to have these conversations. This book balances the latest theory with real-world practical advice. The result- happier, more productive relationships with others. As John promises, this is the last book on having tough conversations that you need."
- Norm Smallwood
Co-founder, The RBL Group Co-author with Dave Ulrich of Leadership Sustainability, McGraw Hill, February 2013
"Overcoming Fake Talk is both profound and refreshing. Profound in its insights about how we converse with one another and how this impacts our personal and corporate success. Refreshing in that it is easy to read, uses many real-life examples, and offers the reader some real guidance. John Stoker becomes your coach, whose practical frameworks and case examples will prepare you for more productive discussions and then enable you to review them afterward to keep progressing."
Principal, The RBL Group
"At the core of every change effort, conflict, feedback session, and dialogue is a one-to-one conversation. It is an essential yet often overlooked ingredient for success. Overcoming Fake Talk: Creating REAL Conversations for Results provides a comprehensive and practical approach to a topic all of us can improve."
- Ralph Jacobson
Principal, The Leader’s Toolbox; Author, Leading for a Change: How to Master the Five Challenges Faced by Every Leader
"Thank you, John Stoker! Fake Talk is a refreshing look at how to hold REAL conversations that get results. As an executive coach working with senior leaders around the globe, I know that conversation is the engine of how so much work gets done, and that far too much time and energy is wasted in unproductive communication (fake talk). I heartily endorse this book as a roadmap and handbook for tough conversations, written in an engaging and entertaining style."
- Patricia Wheeler, Ph.D.
Contributor, Coaching for Leadership; Publisher, Leading News;Managing Partner, The Levin Group
"John R. Stoker’s book, Overcoming Fake Talk, is a natural extension of the training and leadership development he has provided within our company. His concepts are clear, his explanations down-to-earth, and in my experience, what he teaches really works. Our organization places great emphasis on the quality of our people, and on creating a healthcare and work environment where we treat each other with compassion, dignity, and respect—this book is a primer for developing precisely those characteristics."
- Ed Oxford, Ed.D
SVP, Human Resources and Chief Talent Officer, Banner Health
"Nothing about authentic leadership is fake—and that includes all forms of talk and walk. so, if you are now a leader—or if you aspire to be a leader--you need to learn how to have REAL conversations. John Stoker's enlightening and entertaining book, Overcoming Fake Talk, will help you to gain and maintain influence with key stakeholders by holding real conversations that get results."
- Marshall Goldsmith
New York Times bestselling author of MOJO and What Got You Here Won't Get You There.
"REAL conversations help you find your competitive edge. In John Stoker's book, Overcoming Fake Talk, he provides us with simple and profound skills for cultivating the ideas and energy that drive organizational change and innovation through people. Truly, the types of conversations we hold create respect, build relationships, and uncover opportunities for growth by tuning in to what people say in entirely new ways."
- Andrea Kates
Author of the best-selling business strategy book, Find Your Next
"Overcoming Fake Talk is a must-read book for anyone wants to improve the effectiveness of their verbal communication. This insightful book is full of concise suggestions on how to dramatically improve interpersonal communications. It helps a person get their head right so they can have practical conversations that will get better results. It is easy to read and full of great illustrations that help the reader to remember the skills being taught."
- Roice N. Krueger
Author and Senior Consultant
"John R. Stoker's book Overcoming Fake Talk offers the principles, paradigms, and processes for holding REAL Conversations to enhance results while other authors only focus on the process for holding conversations that really matter. Not only does the author deal effectively with the psychology for holding any dificult conversation, but he also offers practical tools and techniques that can be applied in the toughest business and personal situations. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to hold REAL Conversations and build better relationships in their personal and professional lives."
- Ricardo Lillo
President and CEO of DOOR Training International
"For 30 years, I've tried to help people see the difference between fake (counterfeit) and real (authentic) leadership. John Stoker not only reveals fake talk, he also delivers spot-on advice for holding real conversations that cultivate relationships, respect and results. Read it and reap. You'll be a better, more effective leader."
- Ken Shelton
Editor of Leadership Excellence magazine and author of Beyond Counterfeit Leadership
"It is about time that someone had the guts and the intelligence to expose our phony and empty conversations. In Fake Talk, John Stoker not only provides many examples of how we distort and play one-gunmanship ego games, but also prescribes eight principles to cure once and for all our conversational lameness, lapses, and lies. Take the cure!"
- Irving H. Buchan, Ph.D.,
Dennis S. Reina
Kenneth R. Buser
Dr. Steven Berglas
John H. Zenger
John Parker Stewart
Stephen M.R. Covey
Hyrum W. Smith
Patricia Wheeler, Ph.D.
Ed Oxford, Ed.D
Roice N. Krueger
Irving H. Buchan, Ph.D.
The Big Idea
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