Reviews for Power of Negative Thinking : An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results


Booklist Reviews 2013 February #2
Knight's success as a college basketball coach is unquestioned. He was college basketball's Coach of the Year five times and won three NCAA championships. He's currently a basketball analyst for ESPN. Knight's success was built on preparation. Recognizing that offensive success could be fleeting, he always emphasized defense, which he describes as making the appropriate response to the negativity one can encounter on offense. So negative thinking about offense leads one to focus, as coaches and players, on defense. See? It's a conceit that lends itself more to a catchy title than an application in sports, life, or business. What we're really left with here is solid, commonsensical advice on preparation--how to move quickly from one success to the next challenge rather than basking in the afterglow, as well as how to use losses (failures) as inspiration while moving through life. Knight sprinkles personal anecdotes throughout to illustrate his points and concludes each chapter with a couple aphorisms he calls "Knight's Nuggets." (For example: "One more beer can't hurt . . . unless you're driving.") This is an easily digestible self-help book by a very successful man. The advice is generally useful, except for the Nuggets. Hold the Nuggets, next time, Mr. Knight. There's a negative you can build on. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Kirkus Reviews 2013 February #2
With the assistance of co-author Hammel (The Bill Cook Story: Ready, Fire, Aim!, 2008, etc.), legendary college-basketball coach Knight (Knight: My Story, 2002), known for his anger management issues, sings the praises of negativity. Well into this book, it feels as though the word "negative" is a little too salty. Yes, there are plenty of negative-sounding commandments, but Knight comes across more as fiercely realistic and attentive. He obviously dislikes Norman Vincent Peale thinking (hence the book's title) and the irresponsible optimism of finding good everywhere--precisely because it doesn't involve thinking, but a failure to sensibly, actively engage. Knight writes with considerable bounce, and he relishes poking a sharp stick into the Pollyannaish clichés and platitudes of optimism: In response to that old chestnut, "Every dark cloud has a silver lining," Knight writes, "The cloud is what you'd better notice." But under the bluster and prickle is a common-sensical approach that is evidently effective if you are a basketball coach with a nose for winning. Despite the histrionics, the slap and choke, and chair throwing, Knight is the third-winningest coach in college-basketball history (he was just passed by Jim Boeheim). Knight counsels to question, worry, improve, do the research, exercise skepticism, avoid mistakes, talk less than you listen and be open to the new. The author is certainly not breaking any new ground here, but his advice is simple and energetic: Have the will to prepare to win; trust, but verify; if it looks too easy, you have a problem. A quick, negative-to-achieve manifesto that initially sounds like a bummer but turns out to be brightly anecdotal. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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