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Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life
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Change or Die: The Three Keys to Change at Work and in Life

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  809 ratings  ·  119 reviews
"CHANGE OR DIE. What if you were given that choice? We're talking actual life and death now. Your own life and death. What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure said you had to make difficult and enduring changes in the way you think, feel, and act? If you didn't, your time would end soon—a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when change mattered most?"

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published January 2nd 2007 by Harper Business (first published December 26th 2006)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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Jan 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Annette by: Randy
Shelves: self-help
My husband took a LEAN class over the summer and his instructor recommended this book. He really likes it a lot and he says he does use this information at work. I decided to read it(actually I listened to the audio version) because I find the study of change fascinating.

The main point of the book is: most people will try to entice other people to change using the three F's: facts, force and fear. These usually don't work at least not for the long term. He suggests that what does work are the t
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is a cleverly written but superficial long essay based on the premise that no one ever changes health behaviors, and so it's amazing that the author has found a few examples of successful behavior change programs. The main fallacy here is that people never change and no one knows how to get them to change. What about cigarette smoking, car crashes, etc. ? We have seen enormous progress in these areas; millions of lives have been saved. How did that happen? With population-level, not individ ...more
Nov 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book brings up a couple of interesting questions. The one that is most interesting is this: why do people find it so hard to change their behaviors even when it's literally a matter of life and death? You'd think the possibility of DYING would be enough to get people to improve their diets or stop doing drugs or participating in dangerous activities, but it clearly isn't. The author suggests that negative reinforcements are not as powerful as positive reinforcements, which may be true, but ...more
Oct 25, 2011 rated it liked it
The book, while interesting, wasn't very instructive. Deutschman outlines his three key points for change, and spends the entire book bringing in real-life examples of how they have been applied. He doesn't really go into too much detail about the psychology of change, or realistic examples of how one can change the smaller things in one's life. For example, chapter on "Changing a Loved One" just summarized Bill Gates' relationship with his mother, and really failed to give any practical advice ...more
Chafic (Rello)
Apr 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm quite torn about this book. Not for it's content or its message, but rather I should give it a rating of 3 or 4, since it fits exactly into a 3.5 for me.

I found the book quite enjoyable, mostly cause I'm a sucker for case studies and this was chalk full of them. It was informative and has a very good outline in assimilating change.
I think this is a definite must-read for those wanting to read more non-fiction, albeit the showy title.

Definitely keeps you thinking.

4.01 / 5
Libby Gill
Nov 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
One of my all-time favorite non-fiction books - Alan Deustchman's "Change or Die" - poses a question as compelling as any you're ever likely to hear. If you had to change your beliefs and behaviors or risk premature death, could you do it? You may think so, but the well-documented scientific research is betting against you. Nine to one against you, in fact. But there's hope as Deutschman details in this page-turner. Experts in a variety of fields including healthcare, criminal rehabilitation, an ...more
Dec 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another 'barticle' -- an article that mushroomed into a book. The idea here is that you can change things you want to, like bad habits, or obesity or whatever, by doing three things: getting human support (relate), learning new habits (repeat) and by learning new ways of thinking (reframe). One is tempted to say that this tripartite solution merely defines change rather than making it possible by revealing deep secrets, but that's carping. If you do these three things, you can change the toughes ...more
Dec 06, 2007 rated it it was ok
If you want to change go for the 3 R's (relate, repeat, reframe) rather than the 3 F's (facts, fear, force). If you want to get the most of out this book, read the intro and skip the rest. ...more
Jun 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
A Blueprint for Change Agents

Author Alan Deutchman writes powerfully about the phenomenon of personal change – both in our professional and “real” lives. He starts with the arresting premise that, even if faced with the stark choice of changing or dying, many people would slack off. Instead, he offers three factors for genuine change and case studies illustrating these lessons.

The case studies include
• A successful homeless/rehab shelter in San Francisco
• Dean Ornish’s diet and wellness work wi
Brad Lockey
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Change is integral to growth.
Do you ever wonder why you make a good change ... and then fall back into your old ways after a week? or a couple of days?? or 2 days???
Why is change so very difficult?
It's not enough to just acknowledge change and want to make change.
One must relate, repeat and reframe change that they wish to make - and therein is another important aspect of change - YOU must want and wish for change, or it will be a flash in the pan.

Favourite quote: "No matter how successful we ar
Mar 06, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-owned
This book is quick and easy to read. The key idea is explained clearly using examples from heart patients, criminals and companies. A must read for people who believe that "burning platforms" are the way to motivate others to change. My favourite quote is "People don't resist change, they resist being changed". If you see change as an active learning process, you can tackle it more successfully. ...more
Jan 28, 2009 rated it liked it
This book was compelling, but I'd have liked it better if there had been fewer lengthy examples of groups and companies that had effected change and more concrete examples of individuals who had effected and maintained change in their lives. It's well worth reading though. ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
Decent premise but the book didn't follow through. ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
As a typical high-schooler/early undergrad attempting to finish writing assignments, I upheld the same level of academic integrity expected of most that age.
I latched on to curious ideas, Googled phrases related to them, chose whatever sources either fully backed up, or could be twisted in order to back up, my "original" idea, and fleshed out enough semi-relevant, yet rarely coherent rambling to fulfill the required word count.
Then I grew up a little bit.
Not that I started writing better pape
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The meat of this book is in the three case studies covering advanced heart disease patients, hardened criminals, & floundering ad agencies facing the rise of the Internet. The research says these people can't make real change, except it's proven they can, & extremely effectively at that. Alan Deutschman shows what particular experts have been doing for years to fly in the face of conventional understanding. And if a third-generation criminal addict can turn their life around permanently, you can ...more
Andres Montero
Even though it doesn't seem like it from the name, the book gives great insight into psychological concepts along with inspiring case studies. It teaches examples of change that demonstrate how our mind can be our most powerful tool, great when we know how to use it but dangerous when we don't.

I'd recommend it if you feel stuck at work, in your personal life, between decisions or suffering from mental or physical issues. I'm sure it will inspire you to change and use your mind the best way you c
Deanna Giles
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great stories

A very good book with great stories about people and companies I had heard of and some I hadn't. The title caught my attention. But I must say that though I enjoyed the book, I couldn't tell you his model for achieving change. I need to read it again in order to get the full benefit.
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
I need to stop listening to business books in stints. I seem to remember a little bit about this book but it's mostly a blur. I read another business book at the same time and then listened to one at the same time and now the three have amalgamated themselves in my mind as a single work. ...more
Shannon Enloe
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
The title is misleading because this book isn’t quite so dire and teaches you why we are the way we are and just how difficult it can be to change but that it is possible and gives great insight into how to change and to change your thinking to result in permanent changes.
Apr 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Pretty basic concepts but was still interesting to read. He included a lot of examples and interesting stories of success and failure. I read it quickly in two days and felt motivated to create change afterwards... so I guess mission accomplished!
A helpful model for understanding why change is hard and alternate ways to approach change.
Great insights, evidence & advice
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was ok

Not super motivating. A lot of names used a little hard to follow. If you have a fear method to motivate this is a good change provoking book.
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Easy read. Interesting ideas. Great examples. I would recommend this book to those interested in getting some new ideas to facilitate self uImprovement.
Niels Philbert
Feb 17, 2018 rated it liked it
The premise and mindset is good - the execution is lacking in engagement. At least to me. I missed more varied examples and some more personality.
Ashley Huo
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s said that about 95% people can’t change themselves, but I want to be one of the 5%.
Three key points for change oneself: relate, repeat, and reframe. 💪
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 1-audiobook
A lot of great information and very interesting.
Alec Greenberg
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Pretty much just reified what I already knew to be true about the topic. But I could see it being useful to someone who needs an introduction to the subject material.
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Always a good motivational book for me. His premise lights a fire under me, especially when I am eating poorly and procrastinating on my work!
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book to push through any life change.
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Alan Deutschman is currently writing "Walk the Walk," a book about leadership, which will be published in September 2009 by the Portfolio imprint at Penguin.

His blog about leadership is at:

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