Personality Poker Limited Time Offer

April 9, 2013

Personality Poker Innovation BookPersonality Poker®: The Playing Card Tool for Driving High-Performance Teamwork and Innovation is unlike any other book.

Yes, it is jam packed with examples and scientific studies on teamwork, collaboration and innovation.

But it also comes with a specially designed deck of cards that can be used to assess individuals, teams, and organizations. This deck can help you figure out:

  • What is your preferred innovation style? What are your innovation blind spots? It is important to note that who you are not is more important than who you are.
  • What is the composition of your team? Do you have a good complement of innovation styles? Is everyone in the right roles? If you don’t have a good balance, or if you have people involved with the wrong step of the innovation process, your innovation efforts will suffer.
  • What is the culture of your organization? How will it hinder innovation? How can it help innovation?

The cards (without the book) sell 10 for $125 plus shipping. If that is what you want, you can get them through our distribution parter, 800CEOREAD.

But if you want the book with decks of cards, we have an amazing deal for you.

Through a special arrangement with Penguin (the publisher) we were able to get a limited number of books at a great discount…and we are passing the savings on to you.

For a limited time, you can 24 books (each with a deck of Personality Poker cards) INCLUDING shipping for only $300.*

That is the same cost as the cards and includes free shipping.

This is a $650 value!

But order today!

To take advantage of this offer, please write us at offer (at) personalitypoker (dot) com.

* PLEASE NOTE: Books are only sold in boxes of 24. They are shipped media mail; no expedited shipping is available. Shipping to the 48 United States only. Allow 4 weeks for delivery. No returns on bulk orders. This offer may be withdrawn at any time without any notice. Personality Poker is a registered trademark of Stephen Shapiro Enterprises LLC.


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Are You Playing With a Full Deck?

March 6, 2013

Today’s Wednesday Work Wisdom

Personality Poker is a tool I developed for helping organizations play with a full deck; enabling them to have a good balance of complementary styles.

Why? Because opposites don’t attract. As a result, organizations naturally homogenize around one particular style.  (See my article, “Your Organizations is a Cult” for more on this)

You, as an individual, can also play with a full deck.

Although in Personality Poker, I suggest that people play to their strong suit, it is useful to recognize that everyone has a mix of four styles within them. And we can call on them at various times when needed. This allows us as individuals to be whole and integrated.

The styles at a high level are:

  • Spades – analytical
  • Diamonds – creative
  • Clubs – results-oriented
  • Hearts – emotional

Consider that inside of us, we have our own Board of Directors. And each style represented in Personality Poker is on this Board.*

The Chairman of the Board is your strong suit. However, even though one style is sitting at the head of the table, it doesn’t mean that you can’t tap into the power of each.

For me, although I am naturally creative (a diamond), when I am under stress, my intellect (spade) runs the show and is usually the Chairman of my Board.

But I make a concerted effort to utilize all aspects of my personality.

For example, I literally set aside time to nurture and check in on my emotional side. I reflect upon how I am feeling. I look to see what I may need. If I have something bothering me emotionally, and I don’t address it, my work will definitely be impacted.

The same is true with my intellect (spades). I check to make sure that there aren’t any worrying thoughts lingering in my mind. Am I feeling skeptical? Are others challenging my intelligence? What am I thinking? I carry a notebook not just to capture creative thoughts, but also to document thoughts or concerns that need to be handled.

The club is the part of me that gets things done.  I look at what I want to accomplish. What are my goals? My aspirations? Am I doing what I want to do? Am I accomplishing what I want to accomplish? Even though I am naturally not inclined to set goals, (hey, I’m the author of Goal-Free Living), I still look at where I am and where I am going – without attachment.

And of course I check in with my creative (diamond) side. This is my natural expression when I am not under stress. What am I doing to tap into my inner wisdom? Am I leveraging my creative energies? Am I serving my higher purpose?

Everyone has each aspect of Personality Poker residing within them. And ignoring any one of them at some point will have consequences. If I don’t process concerns that a given part of my personality has, it will start to fester and will eventually impact all areas of my life. Even if you are primarily intellectual, if there is something bothering you emotionally (e.g., in your personal life), it will impact everything else.

Therefore consider checking in daily to determine how you are doing in each of these different areas so you can take appropriate corrective action.

Also, look to see how each area of your personality can contribute.  If you are inclined to be intellectual, see how your emotions and creative side can contribute to your work.

Taking just 5 or 10 minutes each day to “check-in” as a daily ritual can ensure that you are nurturing all facets of your personality. This can have a huge impact on your day, your work, and your life as a whole.

* I got this concept while attending a course called The Hoffman Process.

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Work with People You Don’t Like

April 9, 2012

When asked by a Fortune 20 company to boil down Personality Poker into a 350 word article for their intranet, this is what I created…

We all have heard the expression, “opposites attract.” But in fact there is irrefutable scientific evidence that in relationships, opposites repel. We prefer to be around people who are similar to us. In business, this means that we tend to surround ourselves with people who think like we do. They have similar personality styles.

Although working with people who are like us improves efficiency, and makes relationships easier, this “commonality” destroys innovation. Innovation is based on different and divergent points of view coming together to create something new of value.

If you want innovation to flourish in your organization, you need to find those individuals who complement your style and address your innovation blindspots.

Look at the list of words below. Which set of words resonates with you the most and best describes you?

A: Intellectual, Knowledgeable, Philosophical, Logical, Realistic, Rational, Skeptical

B: Adventurous, Spontaneous, Flexible, Creative, Open Minded, Insightful, Curious

C: Goal-Oriented, Driven, Decisive, Competitive, Disciplined, Organized, Systematic

D: Diplomatic, Sociable, Gregarious, Popular, Nurturing, Empathetic, Compassionate

The list that best describes you is your primary personality style (and yes, people have more than one style). A’s tend to be a bit more data-driven and analytical, B’s like new ideas and experiences, C’s like to plan the work and work the plan, and D’s are into people and relationships.

However, who you are NOT is more important than who you are. Look at the lists of words again. Which words do NOT describe you? Which ones would be opposite of your style? What you may find is that those who are not like you, you may not like. Their differences can be annoying. Yet these differences are the very thing that can help innovation thrive.

The next time you are working on a complex problem or developing a new solution, seek out someone who is different. Appreciate their contribution. Recognize that the person you like the least, may be the person you need the most.  Their differences can be the key to unlocking your success.

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We Have Liftoff…

October 30, 2010

On Thursday, the Personality Poker book started rolling into stores everywhere.

People have been telling me about sightings in airport books stores and Barnes & Noble stores.

Yesterday, I walked into my first bookstore – the MIT COOP – and there it was, face out.  Check out the picture.

Today I will be traveling around Boston looking for the book in stores.

If YOU see the book in a store, please take a picture of it – ideally with you – and send it to us at

We would love to see your smiling face holding a copy of the book.

We will be running a competition in the near future to encourage people to go exploring for the book.

If you haven’t done so, please check out our new Personality Poker book website.

Ok, off to check out some stores!

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One Day More…

October 27, 2010

For me, tomorrow is a big day.

My third book, “Personality Poker,” will be available in less than 24 hours.

A lot of people have asked me what it is like to publish a book.  Well, let me tell you…

It is exciting and nerve-racking.

Sleep is a rare commodity these days and my social life is even rarer.

Writing the book was the easy part.  Promoting it is all consuming.

I compare the past 2 months to a political campaign.  It’s go go go until the election day.  Or in my case, until book launch.

The marketing activities have been mind boggling…

We created a very cool video game that simulates the Personality Poker experience.  If you did not try it out yet, you MUST!  It is fun.  It looks like a Las Vegas slot machine with spinning wheels.  And it is typically quite accurate.  You can even share your hands on Facebook.

We launched a new website today for the book where you can download the introduction and first chapter of the book.  Just sign-up on the bottom of the page.  (as we are transitioning to the new website now, there might be a few hiccups)

We have been tweeting non-stop on @perspokerbook.  Be sure to follow us to get a dozen tweets a day with excerpts from the book.  We also have a Facebook fanpage that was recently launched.

In addition, I have been giving speeches non-stop for the past 6 weeks.  We have been running a massive outreach campaign.  And I am doing radio/podcast interviews during my spare time (weekends typically).

Yesterday, after giving a speech and spending the day with a client, I decided to take a nap at 7:30PM.  Bad idea!  I didn’t set my alarm and woke up at 6AM.  Fortunately, my speech today isn’t until noon.  But that gives you an idea of how crazy things have been.

Tomorrow, will start accepting reviews for the book.  This is when it gets interesting.  Although some of the people who received the book will write glowing reviews just because they know me, hundreds of books have been sent to people I don’t know.  People who are not biased by a friendship.  Waiting for these reviews can be, if I am honest, a bit stressful.

The challenge with a book like this is that it is based on an experience: a speech I have given to tens of thousands of people.  When someone attends a Personality Poker session and then reads the book, they truly get the power of it.  But it is something that has to be tried to fully appreciate.  Many people will read the book and not play the game.  That is a shame, because it is simple to play, takes very little time, and is a lot of fun.  We have some great reviews already from people who have played the game and seen its power.

I remember the day the first copy of the book arrived at my house.  It was thrilling to see and hold the finished product.  It is much more impressive in person than it is in a picture, so please be sure to check it out in a local retailer (it will be in Barnes & Noble and Borders stores everywhere and in many airport book stores).  By the way, the cards are supposed to stay attached to the book and not removed.  This way they are always with you for easy access.

As the book launches, I will be interviewing readers, taking pictures at bookstores, and doing other things to share my experience with you.

It is my hope that this becomes massively popular through word of mouth – friends telling friends.  This book is unique and can be life changing.  I hope you agree and decide to help spread the word.

Thank you in advance for all of your support.

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The Golden Rule is Tarnished

October 18, 2010

This is the third in a series of videos about Personality Poker. Today I discuss why the Golden Rule is bad advice.

You can pre-order the book now. Each book comes with a deck of the specially designed poker cards.

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Opposites Don’t Attract

October 14, 2010

I remember a project I worked on many years ago. I was leading a large team and had a very large budget. I chose John to co-lead with me because we got along so well. I am a creative, spontaneous, and enthusiastic person and John was pretty much the same. The team loved working with us. We were fun, engaging, and motivating.

And the project was a huge waste of money.

The problem was that John and I got caught up in the novelty of our work. We were too focused on developing new ideas and making sure people were happy. But we never got any work done. We were a total failure.

In hindsight, this failure probably could have been predicted. Our styles were too similar.

In fact, if you look at any group of people who effortlessly work well together, odds are the individuals share a lot in common with each other. They might have similar backgrounds, expertise, interests, or personalities. This is natural.

The reason? Contrary to conventional wisdom, opposites do not attract.

When it comes to interpersonal relationships, we are attracted to people who are like us. Psychologists have extensively documented the power of similarity when it comes to liking other people. In general, we tend to like those individuals the most who seem the most similar to us.

Therefore we surround ourselves with people who share similar thought processes, similar energy levels, and similar personalities.

But as I learned on that project many years ago, partnering with people who are too much like you can lead to disastrous results.

Contrast that experience with the project that immediately followed. Learning from that failure, I brought in a great planner, Ray, as my wingman on the team. I made sure I treated him as my equal. He was in my face on nearly a daily basis, forcing me to stay on plan and budget. I wanted to avoid the rigors of his planning as I felt that they were limiting and restrictive. But he was unrelenting.

In the end, although we may have annoyed each other, it was one of the most successful projects I’ve ever worked on. In fact, it was one of the most successful initiatives of the firm, one people still talk about nearly fifteen years later.

From this project, I learned something incredibly important:

“The person you like the least may be the person you need the most.”

Although Ray annoyed me on nearly a daily basis, it was because of his persistence that we were so successful. Left to my own devices, I would be chasing “bright shiny objects.” He forced me and the team to stay focused on the plans, deliverables, and timeframes. The combination of my creativity blended with his rigor was the key to success.

Although it is human nature to want to be around people who are like you, in order to be successful you need to partner with people are different. You need to surround yourself with people that complement your abilities and illuminate your blind-spots.

When you have a difficult problem to solve, instead of going to some someone who thinks like you, find someone who is your opposite. Yes, it is quite possible that that individual will annoy you and not give you the answer you secretly want. But that might be the very reason they have something powerful to contribute to you.

If you want to learn who can best contribute to YOUR success, check out our Personality Poker book and game.

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The Person You Like the Least is the Person You Need the Most

October 13, 2010

This is the second in a series of videos about Personality Poker. Today I discuss the myth that opposites attract.

You can pre-order the book now. Each book comes with a deck of the specially designed poker cards.

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The Four Principles of Personality Poker

October 11, 2010

We will be releasing a series of videos about Personality Poker over the coming weeks.  Each will talk about a specific concept or insight from the book.  You can pre-order the book now.  Each book comes with a deck of the specially designed poker cards which will be demonstrated in the next video.  Enjoy!

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Read our Change This Manifesto

October 6, 2010

Today, the good folks at published my Personality Poker manifesto.  It is a quick read that will provide you some of my thoughts on why organizations struggle to become innovative…and what can be done about it.

Read it/download it here

Here’s the excerpt that Change This included on their website…

Issue 75 – 01 | Personality Poker: How to Create High-Performing Innovation Teams
By Stephen M. Shapiro Published Oct. 6, 2010 12:00 a.m.

“The desire for equality permeates everything we do and always has, as can be seen in many of our age-old philosophies. For example, we see it in the Golden Rule, which is often interpreted as ‘Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.’ However, who really cares what you want? After all, treating people as you want to be treated doesn’t address the needs and desires of others.

Buying into these doctrines, myths, and lies leads to pasteurizing, homogenizing, and sanitizing everyone in order to fit people into one mold and think the same way so they can then gather together in like-minded harmony. There’s a good reason why they call it a company culture, since organizations are, in actuality, mini-cults. Instead, we should consider living by the doctrine:

The person you like the least may be the person you need the most.”

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