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The BUILD Framework: Book Review


I have to admit, I do love self-help books. Some (like anything written by Brene Brown) are freakin' awesome. Others can be absolute garbage and time wasted that you will never get back. But I am always open to giving books a chance.

Recently I was sent The BUILD Framework: A Heart-Based System for Personal and Professional Growth written by high performance coach, John Peitzman.

The book promises to get you from "Struggleville," which seems to mean that your life is out of balance and you are feeling unfulfilled and burning out personally and professionally, to "Smooth Sailing," or lasting success and happiness.

The BUILD Framework® is a strategy for personal transformation. BUILD is an acronym that stands for:

Build Relationships
Understand the Business
Implement Strategies
Lead and Inspire
Deliver Excellence

BUILD in practice involves "centrifugal looping". This means you don't just move from B to U to I to L to D and then you are done. Instead the pattern involves continuously going back to the beginning as you progress through the steps:

BU
BUI
BUIL
BUILD

Peitzman says everything in this process has to be done from the heart. You have to "feel" it. I think he is saying you have to be your authentic self and build a business and life that truly resonates with your personal values.

There is a section for every letter in BUILD and includes an Action Benefit Challenge at the end of the chapter to help you implement the concept.

Peitzman claims that you have to lead by leading, not by pulling other people along. I am guessing he means you have to truly inspire people to want to help you realize your vision. But frankly, this is far too vague to really be useful advice. It can be interpreted a myriad of ways and one thing that is a huge problem in organizations (not just corporate ones) is that there are tons of terrible 'leaders' who just bully and intimidate to get people to do things.

The argument about the importance of building relationships and a strong network is solid. Having connections helps in every facet of life.That being said, introverts will have a very difficult time putting this into practice since he suggests initiating calls and meetings and taking responsibility for keeping the relationship going. A lot of people will need coaching just on how they can build the confidence to do this.

Understand the business is also sound advice. As a former researcher, I am always keen on doing the homework. Peitzman says, Be Curious; Know What You Don't Know; and, Ask Questions and Listen With Your Heart.

Implement is to get you off your butt and not wait to apply what you have learned.

Once strategies have been implemented, that's when you focus on leading. When Peitzman starts to get deeper into this he does address the fact that some people at the top of organizations have egos which create a poor work environment. He advises you to demonstrate and embody the behaviour, thinking, and attitudes you want in your team members. The problem here is that sociopaths and narcissists (over-represented in positions of power) will not see themselves as egotistical or abusive, they do not have the capacity for that type of self-reflection. Even leaders who may not be quite as maniacal, lead through intimidation due to insecurity or simply a complete lack of knowledge around management. Those people may see their weaknesses but not have the skills to work on them.

Frankly, I believe ANYONE who is going to be in a leadership position, must first have to take a series of personality tests (to weed out the psychopaths!) and extensive training FIRST.

Delivering excellence meaning providing not only an exceptional product but also a superior customer experience. I cannot argue with this! The book, however, does not provide a lot of specifics around how you do this aside from not cutting corners and attending to the needs of your team so that they can perform optimally.

Well, that's the book. To me, it is useful as a starting point for someone looking to launch a business or new career, or make a change in their life, but it is not enough to make this happen on its own. Yet, I think this may be the point. I thought maybe there would be more resources for readers on the website but everything, even the blog, provides limited information and seems like just another way to convince you to buy more (the course, the coaching, etc.).

Do I recommend this book? Maybe? Again, it may be helpful if you are completely new to all this personal growth/professional development, but I highly doubt the book alone is going to transform your life.

Disclosure: I was sent this book to review, but all opinions on this blog are my own.

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