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Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets
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Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  245 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
From the real-life crisis expert who inspired ABC’s Scandal.

Everyone must learn to live with personal missteps. Whether you’ve put yourself in an awkward situation, or you find that you’ve unwittingly created a full-blown crisis, Judy Smith is here to teach you how to look within to diffuse, mitigate, and resolve issues at their root.

Good Self
ebook, 272 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Free Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Dec 21, 2012 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
**Crisis diverted.**

Ego. Denial. Fear. Ambition. Accommodation. Patience. Indulgence.

Depending on how we use them, these “big seven” character traits can be our biggest assets—or our biggest liabilities. In the words of the author:
“The same traits that make you successful can be your downfall. That’s the root of most crises and the point of this book.” (p. 9)

In each chapter, the author presents how her “POWER” approach can be used to keep each of these traits in check: (p. 14):
• Pinpoint the
Sep 22, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, business
I read this book for a class. It had been on my "to read" list for a while but I confess I probably wouldn't have picked it up if I didn't have the assignment to read this. I enjoyed it. It's very clear and concise - at times it's a bit repetitive. I like that Judy is very no-nonsense and she makes the reader acknowledge that frequently the problems in your life come from your own faults. It is necessary to acknowledge those faults, figure out how to right the wrongs and then figure out a way to ...more
Sylvia Grass
Jul 19, 2015 Sylvia Grass rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The advice in the book is obvious stuff like "be flexible but not too flexible; be strong but not too rigid; a bad trait can be good and a good trait can be bad; have perspective on your behaviors to avoid crisis"
There I just saved you hours of reading. I guess I was looking for real insight and she has the experience to provide that but she doesn't. Why? Very disappointed and won't be reading anything more from Judy Smith.
Dec 23, 2012 Ingrid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insight into managing any crisis. Tactical advice for solving or resolving problems in the workplace or in personal life situations. The Olivia Pope character in the tv series is based on the work of Judy Smith.
Apr 20, 2012 Corinne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a galley copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. I was originally interested in the book because it seemed different from so many self-help or advice books out there, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was. Judy Smith, a professional crisis management expert, goes over several traits she has seen time and again lead others to require her assistance. However, she acknowledges that all of those traits can be valuable, when in balance. Unlike so many self help authors ...more
Roger Smitter
Smith’s argues that we need to establish a middle point between virtues and vices. While the Greek philosophers covered this topic centuries ago, Smith enlivens the idea with multiple examples of public figures who allow virtues to become vices.

Good Self, Bad Self provides insights about seven core human traits: ego, denial, fear, ambition, accommodation, patience, indulgence. Other writers, especially those Greek philosophers, see more complexity in human behavior than Smith writes about. Some
Well yes we all have a good self and a bad self but do we have control? I bet we don't!
This will give you a bit of a handle on why you are out of control and love it SOOOOOO MUCH!!!!!!!
We all like the spotlight sometimes... But seriously, how many times can you say your sorry for being
such a jackass at work, to your partner, when your car breaks down, when you can't find your keys,
you didn't get that promotion....what? After everything you've sacrificed for whoever, whatever......?
May 19, 2012 Monique rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Smith uses lots of examples in the book but nothing juicy or new. That made me stop and think...what did I think this book was about anyway? I guess I wanted it to along the storylines of the TV show Scandal but that is written by Shonda Rhimes. After stepping back and reading the book on its own merit it helped me think about how I handled crisis in my life...believe me things will be handled differently after reading this book. Know how to navigate the big seven: ego, denial, fear, ambition, a ...more
Emily Crow
Nov 15, 2013 Emily Crow rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I was intrigued by this title because I've noticed that some aspects of my personality seem both good and bad, and I can see ways the same trait has both helped me succeed and caused some problems. Unfortunately, the book didn't live up to my expectations. The author rushes through too much, everything from the good and the bad of ambition to addictions to when it's OK to go with the flow, without going into any detail about any of it (she does mention titles of other books that do). I wasn't th ...more
Seán O'Hara
Oct 13, 2012 Seán O'Hara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-growth
I found this book very helpful toward understanding how each of us can trip ourselves up. While it does not go very deep into the causes of this phenomenon (she leave this to professional therapists), the author does give very useful and practical advise towards managing the parts of ourselves responsible. She also provides interesting anecdotal illustrations including many about people we've often read about in the media (many of them very recent). There is also a useful formula offered to help ...more
Matthew Stern
Sep 02, 2012 Matthew Stern rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crisis management expert Judy Smith offers advice to the (in)famous and not-so-famous alike on how to avoid self-destructive behaviors and what to do when the worst happens. She shows how traits like ego, ambition, and accommodation that can drive us to success can also lead us to horrible downfalls. She also provides tips on giving a sincere apology. In today's world where omnipresent camera phones can thrust anyone into an unwanted limelight, Smith's clear and actionable advice is essential.
what I liked
-lots of stories of things going very wrong
-like the concept of trait that take you to the top as also the traits that will demolish you
-good sensible advise

what I missed
-more meat on the stories talking about issues
-more depth on the different traits (ego, fear, etc) dare I say here more Zen

It was a good book just not a great book, glad I read it as I came away with a different way of looking at things.
I wanted to love this book, but I just couldn't find myself finishing it. I was looking for real ways to turn my worst qualities into my best assets. All I really got was a lot of crisis management stories, and a lot of "if they had checked their ego before hand, none of this would have happened".

Well, sure....but what about the promise of the book? About 80 pages in and I just could NOT find any good advice...seems more of a tell-all than self-help.
Jerry Williams
Be aware that this book is long, when I say that I mean even in Audio Book format it seems that it goes on forever. I have listened to and read longer books, but it seems as if this one goes on forever. Despite this, I wouldn't fault the information given, and the real life examples given by the Author when she is called upon to "fix" things that have gone wrong in the lives of people on various positions of power. I would of however liked more depth in certain areas and less info in others.
May 25, 2012 Natalie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is full of a lot of common sense. The author has obviously dealt with some big time life crises and knows what she is talking about. I always like it when people recognize that every quality has its good and bad aspects. The book has great information, interesting stories, and it definitely made me think new thoughts which always makes for a great non-fiction book.
Muslima Musawwir
This book supports the idea of "learning from the mistakes of others". Each chapter uses real stories of normal or not so normal people to promote a healthy balance of ambition, indulgence, patience,etc. Very motivational for young adults such as myself to recognize a problem and seek crisis prevention for self!
Jun 06, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Judy Smith gives the reader a straightforward approach to truly transform their lives. She provides real examples to explain the theories. Then Smith takes it one step further and provides the how to make the changes. An excellent self-help book for life today. Thanks to Goodreads for providing my copy.
Sep 25, 2012 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is less a self-help book than a compilation of scandals and miscues and how people could have avoided their problems. The final chapter does talk about the importance of apologizing and explains the best way to do it. In short, "I'm sorry if I offended you when I ..." isn't a good way to start.
Jun 09, 2016 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This book is written by woman who was the inspiration for the TV show Scandal. I didn't realize this until after I read the introduction and I'm not familiar with the TV series either. However, she gives good advice on the different areas of our personality that can potentially push us into a crisis. She provides numerous real life examples from politics, business and the entertainment fields.

Jul 29, 2014 Sabrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure exactly what I was expecting when I picked this book up, but I was pleasantly surprised. This book gave me a lot to think and write about (for myself) and I didn't expect I would be hit personally with any information or get affected like I did. I really enjoyed the experience this book brought me.
Jun 18, 2012 Alicia rated it liked it
I received a free advance uncorrected manuscript from Goodreads. Because it was an advance copy it was kind of like reading a term paper. She offers some good common sense advice. I liked the book, but it wasn't great.
Nov 01, 2012 D rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
This is a must-read for those looking to turn their weaknesses into strengths. Written by the best person in crisis management. It flows well and is extremely practical with great anecdotes to illustrate her points.
Alana Benjamin
I started this book over many times but it was a good read to reinforce the qualities that make or break success in our lives.

I can see why Shonda thought this was an interesting concept for a TV Show.
Jun 19, 2013 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
You'll probably get a good read from this book if you're reading it for the self-help aspect of it. And you'll probably be a little disappointed if you're reading this book because Olivia Pope was based off of Judy Smith...
Javatis Midget
She has an extensive vocabulary and the lesson she provides are definitely words to live by. The book was good but, the things she wrote about I already read about in several other books. That's why I gave it 3 stars...
May 28, 2012 Kandi rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found myself skimming through this, not particularly well or badly written and rather obvious in its conclusions.
Jul 08, 2013 Crystal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very poppy but psychoanalytically sound. Nothing really new here, but I appreciate Smith's friendly, no-nonsense presentation. RIYL "Scandal" (TV series)
Jun 11, 2013 Dianne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some of it was interesting. It gave me a few things to consider and some of the history behind some of the things in the news the last few years.
The book was very informative. After discussing the book with my book club, I really started to understand a whole lot more about life and the things we go through.
I really enjoyed this book, especially since the ideas apply to normal folks, not just people in the public eye.
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