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Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  2,752 ratings  ·  259 reviews
In his popular Stanford University lectures, Shirzad Chamine reveals how to achieve one’s true potential for both professional success and personal fulfillment. His groundbreaking research exposes ten well-disguised mental Saboteurs. Nearly 95 percent of the executives in his Stanford lectures conclude that these Saboteurs cause “significant harm” to achieving their true p ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Greenleaf Book Group Press (first published April 1st 2012)
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Rafic I am currently following Positive Intelligence with "My Stroke of Insight" for Bolte Taylor since she expands on the impact of the right side of the b…moreI am currently following Positive Intelligence with "My Stroke of Insight" for Bolte Taylor since she expands on the impact of the right side of the brain from a person who had to live with one after she had a stroke. (less)
Rosie McKerr Definitely worth it! It's not a "hard" read and naturally breaks down into small chunks. I read it over about 3 weeks or so at a period when I was rea…moreDefinitely worth it! It's not a "hard" read and naturally breaks down into small chunks. I read it over about 3 weeks or so at a period when I was really busy too. I'd recommend taking the time to digest what you read and making notes, I am going back now and making notes and it's great. Doing the assessments for your Saboteur and your PQ score are really helpful as well. Good luck! (less)

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Kent Winward
Apr 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help
I'm giving this a lower rating, not because the book was particularly poor, but because it is overly simplistic. It's left brain/right brain dichotomy and it's New-Agey lingo turned me off, although I agree with the concepts. It was a great reminder to practice more mindfully and meditate. The neurological benefits of these practices is really undisputed -- nothing mystical, just how our bodies work best.

The short summary: Think positively, so that you act, rather than letting negative thoughts
Rod Moser
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I have been experiencing some challenges recently in my business and personal life and I have been looking for something to help me regain my focus. This is exactly what I have been looking for.

The tools in this book are simple yet have had a tremendous impact on my personal and professional life. I was able to have a productive conversation with my son tonight by focusing on my sage voice and quieting the saboteurs. He opened up to me and I was able to guide him without him feeling judged.

Kate Arms
Aug 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Like many books in the world of popularization of coaching, this is overly simplistic, has a bit of a complex about needing to justify itself with data, and puts cutesy terminology on things. This is the nature of the coaching profession right now. everybody is trying to develop unique intellectual property to stand it from the crowd, and everybody knows the big money is either in massive cultish events where people come to be touched by the charismatic guru or in the world of people and corpora ...more
Jack O'Donnell
Aug 14, 2016 rated it did not like it
It would be unfair to suggest I read Positive Intelligence with an open mind, or even read it, rather I flipped through it. I did read today’s report in The Observer by Harriet Sherwood, the headline of which is Top cleric says C of E reforms risk making it a ‘suburban sect’. How does that apply to Shirzad Chamine’s New York Time’s bestseller? Well, I’d argue that Positive Intelligence (PQ) which measure the percentage of your mind that is sabotaging you as opposed to helping you is pseudoscienc ...more
Jan 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I first learned about the concept of Positive Intelligence while earning my MBA with one of my concentrations being in leadership development. Chamine has done a fantastic job of authoring a primer on the subject. Even if a potential reader of this book doesn't believe in the "psychobabbling" of business which I have often heard PI referred to, the book lays out excellent descriptors of group and individual dynamics which can interfer with successful team projects and lead to disastrous results. ...more
Szymon Kulec
Aug 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
I cannot give 0 stars, so I'm giving it 1.

How to write a book like this. First, come up with your custom categorization of human traits/behaviors. Then, having an established vocabulary and the categorization write these words with Capital Letters. Remember to describe everything in these words, and bring several stories where you were using only These words and These words only when coaching people. Then repeat. Not forget to provide some scale, as people like to score points and compare number
Frank Calberg
Dec 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Takeaways from reading the book:

Where do saboteurs come from?
- Page 16: We develop saboteurs in early childhood in order to survive. As we go through childhood, the saboteurs develop into automatic mind patterns. When we become adults, we do not need these saboteurs. But they stay in our minds. Each of the saboteurs has its beliefs which work against your own best interests. Thereby, the saboteurs become our internal enemies.
- Page 26: When the stress, you experience, increases, the saboteurs g
Tanja Berg
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I am giving this book 4 out of 5 stars because I am not entirely convinced that it could be so easy to achieve peace and happiness as described in this book. "Easy" is the wrong word, although the steps themselves are simple and lucid, getting there will still require hard work. The book teaches us to recognize our saboteurs, strengthen our sage, doing "PQ" exercises (which is little more than awareness/mindfulness training). What I especially liked about this book is that it encompasses the ide ...more
Petar Ivanov
Jan 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-help, psychology
Overall, I liked the book, the shared ideas, and concepts. I'm giving 2 out of 5 stars because It was too simplistic for me. I could summarize the whole book in developing your awareness and becoming more centered. This is what the practice of meditation helps. In this way, you could become aware of your negative thoughts, for instance, then stop getting into them and start diving into your whole self and inner wisdom.
I've picked up the book because I was accepted into the PQ Program. Maybe the
Oct 30, 2021 rated it liked it
Useful on the whole in that it reinforces certain grounding mechanisms and strategies to overcome mental traps, but the book is a bit jargon-y and can get repetitive.
George Wang
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Professor Sanjeev Bedi first introduced me to this book right after I told him I'm interested in pursuing a startup. To my surprise, this is not a book that teaches how to run a startup, but a book that teaches skills that critical to achieving success in any area of life.

According to the author, one's positive intelligence (PQ) is her biggest determinant of success. Based on this premise, this book explores the various entities in the mind that make up one's PQ. One of those entities is the "Ju
Patrick Bender
Some of the concepts in this book are stellar - the idea of managing how positive you feel through the construct of "saboteurs" to your happiness and your own internal "sage" resonated with me. However, the idea that all bad feelings you experience in your life are caused by these saboteurs and can be managed through some simple mental exercises overly-simplifies external influences and personal demons that so many face. There are definitely some things I'll take away from this book and it was w ...more
Julie Stey
Nov 14, 2021 rated it liked it
I gave this a lower score largely because it appears to be an attempt to sell more services. I found the principles in the book enlighten but grew increasingly frustrated with the recommendations to go to the authors website for further information. Once at the site, the sales pitch was obvious.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I wish the negative people in my life would read this book. This book was geared more toward a business person view, but will work for anyone. I felt like a learned a more methodical or practical way to meditate and de-stress.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
What a waste of time! Maybe I'm just harder to convince but all the strategies, applications, anecdotes and personal tools provided were simplistic. If you need a pep talk for a few days, this is the book for you. ...more
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’d already been referred to the author’s Saboteur Assessment before picking this book up, and I wondered what additional it could offer beyond what I’d learned in the test. What was most interesting was not more about The Judge - Chamine’s collective term for negative self talk - but how well he framed positivity as a realistic thinking style. If our brain can only interpret something as either a threat or opportunity, and only one of those choices activates the brain’s creative and innovative ...more
Sarah Elizabeth
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The has to be the most underrated book I’ve ever come across. It has all the answers I’ve been looking for about how to make significant change in my mental programming. The author somehow makes neuroscience easy to understand and offers simple, meaningful ways to get your brain working in your favor, rather than be a victim to our judgmental mind or childhood conditioning. It’s broken down in an easy-to-read format with engaging stories, real-life examples and practical application.

When a frie
Scott Wozniak
Mar 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
This books starts like many of the thousands of self-help books ("you have all the power you need inside you") and I was worried it would be all vague, semi-spiritual fluff. But it turns out that he gets more and more specific on what the harmful thought patterns are (he calls them "saboteurs") and on what the helpful thought patterns are ("the sage"). And then he even ends with some specific case studies, real situations where all of it has been applied. In the end, this book turned out to be o ...more
Jahor Berenda
Jan 24, 2022 rated it did not like it
I’ve done a little research and I am compelled to share my assessment.
- Chamine is advertised (linkedin, book description, etc.) as having done PhD studies in neuroscience, and is mentioned as being a neuroscientist. However, he has not completed any PhD; he did a PhD program for one year and then quit. He has never published any peer-reviewed scientific work, not as first or co-author, on any neuroscience / psychological topic. He has not performed any scientific research on the matter that can
Dec 14, 2019 marked it as stopped-reading-unfinished
My boss’ boss lent me this book, and I tried so hard to read it. It just didn’t intrigue me enough or pull me in enough to keep going.
Aisha Alhashmi
Mar 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
To anyone stuck in life and realized that it’s not the people or the circumstances preventing them from moving forward but it’s their own mind or thought.. yet can’t figure out how to handle it?

Then this book is for you!
Also I suggest reading it while you’re with Shirzad in the course too! As the course has some little extra techniques not available in the book!

You will Thank me :D
May 31, 2021 rated it really liked it
The book is flush with profound ideas backed up by research- but the biggest thing to come from the book for me has been in “doing” the book through the PQ app-based program. It’s been amazing- I’m currently 4 weeks in a hugely impressed at the difference it’s creating in the way I function.
Jun 08, 2022 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Hughes
My copy went from page 88 and then missed pages 89 until 137. It picked up again at page 138, it then went through to page 184, where it went to page 138, where upon it went to page 224. I returned it to Amazon and got my money back.
Siara M
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book I chose to read is Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine. I felt compelled to give this book a try after a family friend gave me some insight on how this book changed their confidence and outlook on life. This book is basically a self help book that focuses on the aspect of increasing your PQ levels, how to get rid of the saboteurs in your head and how to better yourself with certain tips and stories from previous teams and others that have used these methods. Certain aspects that wo ...more
Bliss Thao
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book starts out great with exposing your saboteurs, but the book gets repetitive by going over examples and different situations where you may be using your saboteurs and how to overcome them. I understand this is still a necessary part of the book, but it's also what made it so hard for me to finish. I still think this is a great book and everyone will be able to recognize the saboteur that is bringing them down in everyday life. I had a lot of fun reading the saboteur profiles to my family ...more
Shirzad Chamine's "Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve Yours" is an amazing resource. It's an examination of what Chamine calls PQ or positive intelligence quotient. Chamine's arguments on PQ are that it's a measurement of how productive your mind can be based on its self-affirming factors, and that by tapping into the wells of PQ, examining what strengthens it and lessening others that work against it, we can be more ...more
Thảo Dương
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Love this book because it helps me a lot in finding the right way to treat my feeling.

I could understan if we are on the same page - 1% people in the world “too sensitive”. But no worries. We always have things to do to fulfill life.

Enjoy 2021 ❤️
Tracy Antol
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business-books
I liked the general idea of this book. Hey! Anything that can make us less stressed, more focused and working from a positive center is good. My only reservation is that not every encounter or experience is a "gift". There are terrible things that happen in life and that's ok. Not everything must be turned into a positive. Of course the author would write-off this opinion as just one of my internal Saboteurs trying to undermine me. That's the way these books work. They use your own rational thou ...more
Mark Whiting
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Interesting and useful but 1. it does not give a great case for the teachings it holds to be 'research based', and 2. it feels like it's written for executives and high performers who are having a hard time. Very few cases and very little discussion in the book are about normal people trying to have better lives (although the methods discussed would probably work to some degree for that too). In particular, there are many problems that normal people have that executives may not have, and these p ...more
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