Five Stars: The Communications Secrets to Get from Good to Great – Carmine Gallo (St. Martin’s Press)
“What do you do for a living?”
It’s a simple question that gets asked every day in any number of social and networking situations as an icebreaker. Over the course of time and a multitude of career transitions I have landed on what I believe to be a great response: “I am a professional communicator.”
That simple answer covers the full gamut of my careers in print and broadcast media, marketing and public relations and coaching. Don’t get me wrong; while the answer is simple the communications skills that have served me well throughout my career(s) were hard won. Those skills are the focus of the new book from bestselling author and communications guru Carmine Gallo, Five Stars: The Communications Secrets to Get from Good to Great.
Strong communications skills used to be treated as a desirable tool to have in your kit; a nice resume bullet point, but not a mainstay skill for most businesses. Gallo makes the strong case that top flight, five star, communications abilities are what separate the big dogs from the rat terriers.
Simply having great ideas is not enough – it is the ability to convey and clearly communicate those ideas and to persuade others that will increase your value in the business world and in life. Like his bestselling books, Talk Like Ted and The Storyteller Secret, Gallo doesn’t just set the premise, he serves up the action steps that you can put into play to develop, grow and improve you communications skills to the point where you can elevate them to five star status.
No matter what technological advancement or future disruption that may come down the pike, these necessary communications skills are what will give you a leg up on the competition. The reality is, this is not some new innovative twist – some of what Gallo imparts here has been around for centuries. Where he succeeds is by putting it into easily digestible bits that you can put into practice right out of the box.
It is a somewhat sad, but great example of how far we have moved away from the classical education/teaching of things like Aristotle’s, Art of Persuasion. This really boils down to developing the ability to string together words in a manner that moves the needle, that gets people to take action. Oddly enough when it’s done correctly, most people don’t even realize they have been persuaded, but when it’s done badly, it’s clunky and obvious in its failure. With Five Stars, Gallo offers up the path to finding that extra step that will separate you from those with merely good communications skills.