O SlideShare utiliza cookies para otimizar a funcionalidade e o desempenho do site, assim como para apresentar publicidade mais relevante aos nossos usuarios. Habits have been an important topic among philosophers, doctors, psychologists, scientists, and experts since time began. It is this important topic that is dissected, discussed, and addressed in Charles Duhigga€™s The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Habits are formed through the creation of a€?a habit loop.a€? A habit loop includes a cue, a routine, and a reward. However therea€™s another piece to this process, something else required in changing a habit. The importance of belief when changing a habit follows long held theories in pedagogy such as the role of a studenta€™s self-efficacy. Keystone habits are those habits that affect other habits or behaviors by starting a positive trickle down effect. Next, Duhigg discusses the role of willpower in habits, and how organizations can in fact teach their employees, students, or members to have more willpower and better habits. In the 1980s, researchers thought willpower was a skill that could be taught such as math, science, or writing. However, Muraven found that exercising onea€™s willpower can make it stronger, which explains why keystone habits impact other habits. Heatherton, a researcher from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, said, a€?When you learn to force yourself to go to the gym or start your homework or eat a salad instead of a hamburger, part of whata€™s happening is that youa€™re changing how you think,a€? he said.
In order to safeguard new habits, it is also important to plan for the unexpected by creating an action plan or rehearsing what you will do when faced with different situations. The latter part of The Power of Habit focuses on organization and societal habits, offering insight that is useful to anyone who wants to see positive change in their workplace, and in particular those in leadership positions. The Power of Habit is a great addition to the wealth of modern psychology books about improving the way we live and work. In closing the book, Duhigg circles back to some wise words from renowned psychologist William James on the power of habits.
Introducing aspiring leaders to the basics of school administration, operations, and leadership. Duhigg is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for The New York Times, a graduate from Yale University and Harvard Business School, and a frequent guest on National Public Radioa€™s a€?This American Life,a€? a€?The News Hour with Jim Lehrer,a€? and other programs.
He begins with a case study, the story of man who, after suffering from severe viral encephalitis lost his recent memory and the ability to make new memories, so in effect, the ability to learn. Habits form so the body can take care of everyday tasks such as driving to work, taking a shower, or cleaning the house, while your brain spends its time contemplating whata€™s for dinner, where you should go on vacation, or your schedule for the next day.
The former habit can be replaced with a new habit, and the best way to accomplish this is to replace the routine, while keeping the same cue and reward. Only the child who believes they can succeed, and who experiences increasing levels of success will gain confidence and persevere in their work. Keystone habits influence how we work, eat, play, live, spend, and communicate, and they are habits, that overtime start a process of transformation. Dozens of studies show that willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.
However, another group of researchers in the 1990s questioned that assertion: if willpower is a skill, why does its strength fluctuate day-to-day? To test the theory, researchers registered students for a four-month financial management program, and meanwhile monitored other aspects of their lives.


At many times it felt much like reading one of Malcolm Gladwella€™s books, but Duhigg offers more than Gladwell with its lengthy Afterward and Appendix sections.
Drawing on hundreds of academic studies and interviews, Duhigg unwraps how habits are made and remade, as well as how habits impact our lives and our world, and finally, how we can harness the power of habits for good. In one experiment, a mouse sees a blinking light, the cue, runs a maze, the routine, and finds a piece of cheese, the reward. Keystone habits can be hard to identify, but they are the types of things that create a sense of a a€?small wina€? in a person. In a 2005 University of Pennsylvania study, researchers looked at 164 eighth grade students, measuring their IQs and other factors that correlated with willpower. As studentsa€™ finances improved during the course of the study, they also reported smoking fewer cigarettes, drinking less alcohol and caffeine, eating less junk food, and being more productive at work and school.
Starbucks Coffee has been successful for many reasons, and one is allowing its employees to be involved with the design and operations of the coffee shop where they work. At Starbucks employees rehearse possible coffee shop mishaps, and how they will respond when faced with an angry customer, a broken machine, or other stressful situations.
With the transformation going on in todaya€™s schools, that statement probably resonates with many educators trying to create environments that will equip students for their futures.
In these, he provides a framework for the reader to tackle their own habits: identify the routine, experiment with rewards, isolate the cue, have a plan. The book begins with a description of a three-step process by which habits develop: cue, routine and reward. He could make small talk with strangers, and when asked things he didna€™t know, he would politely deflect. However the process does not become a habit until it is done repeatedly, and the mouse develops a craving for the reward. To demonstrate this rule Duhigg discusses at length how organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous help alcoholics stay sober.
Small wins are exactly what they sound like, small victories or positive decisions that snowball. They found that, a€?Students who exerted high levels of willpower were more likely to earn higher grades in their classes and gain admission into more selective schools.a€? The best way to give students a leg up in school is to help them develop willpower, Duhigg writes. And once youa€™ve gotten into that willpower groove, your brain is practiced at helping you focus on a goal.a€? Ita€™s also one reason that experts recommend young children participate in a team sport.
In those circumstances, the employee relies on the LATTE method: listen to the customer, acknowledge the problem, take action to solve the problem, thank them for bringing the problem to your attention, and explain why the problem occurred.
He then walks through using this process and how, in his case, he overcame his afternoon cookie habit.
Alcoholics experience stress, a cue, which leads to consuming alcohol, a routine, which rewards them by alleviating their stress. Small wins are the sense of accomplishment from making onea€™s bed, which leads to leaving the kitchen clean, and being on time to work, and being prepared in the meeting, that together lead to a better outcome. In practice and on the field young children learn to focus their attention and pursue a goal despite how they feel or what else they might like to be doing at that moment.
As demonstrated by the popular program, a€?The Independent Project,a€? where students choose what they will study and how they will demonstrate mastery, students given more input into their education work harder and are more engaged.
Common problems were losing the connection with their workers, losing the connection with customers, or allowing dysfunctional or outdated routines to continue. For example, P&G marketers who studied videos of people making their beds were able to detect a pattern, following which they modified their advertising strategy and achieved billion-dollar sales for their product Febreze.


He couldna€™t tell you where the bread was in his kitchen, but he could make himself a sandwich.
Once the mouse develops the craving, after the red light goes off, it runs through the maze, as it did before, but brain scans show that its brain activity drops while it is performing the routine. Small wins are why people who quit smoking or start an exercise plan generally make other healthy decisions in their lives. In one instance a college teacher had students practice changing one habit to test the keystone habit effect, and many of the students maintained the change, and saw a positive effect in other areas of their lives.
Similarly, retail chain Target has an army of statisticians to study customer habits and send them well-timed offers and promotions to maximise their appeal. It is no longer making new decisions, but at the cue of the red light runs on autopilot in pursuit of the reward. Upon the cue of stress, alcoholics attend a meeting or reach out to a sponsor, a new routine, and hopefully walk away with less stress, a reward. AA states it doesna€™t matter what your higher power is, but you must believe in a higher power for those times when you dona€™t think you can keep going.
Duhigg says, a€?Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.a€? In short, each small victory bolsters peoplea€™s confidence, and sets them up and inspires them to do the next a€?righta€? thing.
The second group were placed in a room for 15 minutes with fresh cookies, and were asked politely not to eat the cookies, and then given the test. The businesses that turned things around had leaders who introduced new keystone habits that over time impacted all operations. The fact that they learned how to change a habit, and successfully did so, empowered them to try other changes. A 2006 study from Duke University found that more than 40 percent of the actions people perform daily were not because of actual decisions but because of habits. Habits include an initial choice, but then become automatic, a process that can obviously be helpful or harmful.
Second, alcoholics begin to believe they can stay sober when they hear the success stories of others at the meetings. The third group were placed in the room with the cookies, and told rudely not to eat the cookies, and then took the test. Duhigg adds, a€?When people join groups where change seems possible, the potential for that change to occur becomes real.a€? Another source, Dr. Students who exerted energy avoiding the cookies had lower scores on the test than students who simply took the test. An athlete whose habits allow him to train harder, maintain discipline, visualize winning, and beat his competitor. Also students who were treated rudely, scored worse than students who were treated politely.
It seems real when we can see it through other peoplea€™s eyes,a€? Headerton is the co-author of a€?Personal Accounts of Successful Versus Failed Attempts at Life Change,a€? published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin in 1994.



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