Book Review: “212: The Extra Degree

Finding your personal 212 degrees may be easier than you think.

“212: The Extra Degree” by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson
c.2016, Sourcebooks / Simple Truths
$14.99 / higher in Canada
96 pages
Pick, pick, pick.
That’s how you get to success these days. A little win here, a victory there, a couple losses, four steps ahead and two back. So many times, you’ve felt this close to the prize, only to have to start over again. Now read the new book “212: The Extra Degree” by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson, and pick another way to fight.
Memes on social media and billboards have long reminded you of one basic truth: it’s the little things that matter. And if you don’t believe it, consider the mighty steam engine: at 211 degrees, water is just water – but heat it by only one degree and water can move that steam engine.
That analogy might describe your career. Success, personally, in business, community, and relationships might be bubbling just beneath the surface at 211 degrees, waiting for you to turn it up a notch. What you want may be millimeters away, but you’ll never know unless you give it a single degrees’ worth of effort.
Imagine how many opportunities you’ve missed because you quit before you gave that extra degree, that extra mile. Now imagine how much money you’ve left on the table; in fact, say the authors, in many cases, the person who put forth extra effort to win came away with many times what the runner-up received. It happens in golf, in NASCAR, and in horse racing. Even in the Olympics, there can be fractions of a second between getting gold and getting nothing.
Finding your personal 212 degrees may be easier than you think.
Put your phone away and engage with the people in front of you. Invest in your children; give them something to aspire to. Improve your career by adding a few minutes to your workday for professional development. Spend one hour each day studying something that fascinates you. Stop hitting the snooze button in the morning. Make one extra sales call. Encourage one employee or co-worker.
And finally, add the words “and then some…” to your business vocabulary. Do what you can, and then some, and you’ll be surprised at what can be accomplished.
It’s obvious merely by picking this book up that it’s not going to take much time to read. Page through it, and you’ll see that it’ll take even less time to finish than you initially thought. Yes, “212: The Extra Degree” is thin, in more ways than one.
Toward the beginning of their book, authors Sam Parker and Mac Anderson say that their steam-engine visual is so simple and evocative that you don’t even have to read any further. That may be advice to heed; if you do go forth, though, you’ll find a mishmash of quotations, half-thoughts, questionably-relevant tales, and pages of stats.
I think that if you want a quick idea to present during a staff meeting, you can all take turns reading this new edition of “212: The Extra Degree” aloud in about an hour. If you want something with more meat, though, pick another book.