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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Hoof It! Seven Key Lessons on Your Journey of Success
Article Type: Suggested reading From: Human Resource Management International Digest, Volume 19, Issue 6
Richard Norris,Ecademy Press, 2010, ISBN: 9781905823833
Storytelling has been an outlet for sharing thoughts, influencing others and communicating culture and behavior ever since our ancestors sat around camp-fires.
With the advent of neurological research we have learned that stories weave their way through our neurons, thus making the stories more accessible and therefore more influential.
Learning facts is all very well, but if they are to be of use we must be able easily to retrieve them from our memory. The problem with isolated facts is that unless they have a strong meaning for us, and are ideally linked to other elements, they will lie dormant in the deeper recesses of our brains and be of little benefit.
A number of stories/allegories have found success in management and self-development literature, one of the most well known being “Who stole my cheese?” which was largely about encouraging change. Hoof It! has a greater potential audience in that the themes are larger and more universal than in “Who stole my cheese?”
The book is charmingly written by Richard Norris, who has had a varied career as a veterinary surgeon, army officer and business coach. Hoof It! is built around a young wildebeest named Vic that grows and develops as it follows the annual migration across the Serengeti and beyond. A recurring theme is the power of natural rhythms such as the cycle of life and that of the seasons. As Vic matures it takes on more responsibilities and makes decisions that help guide the herd of wildebeest to navigate numerous dangers on their journey. The seven key lessons which Vic and the reader are encouraged to learn are build a vision, have passion, make a commitment, change and learn, be decisive, take action and have fun.
The aim is for the reader to build an action plan based on exercises that are to be found at the end of each chapter. The exercises encourage readers to rate themselves on the seven key success factors.
Many years ago an experienced trainer recounted how many of the best trainers were storytellers, and that some of the best training sessions she had attended were ones where people shared stories. Hoof It! has the potential to stimulate learning among many varied groups of people and to encourage the writing of many successful personal stories.
Reviewed by John P. Wilson, of the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.
A longer version of this review was originally published in Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 43 No. 2, 2011.