I’m a person that reads alot of books, and as this site keeps growing and growing, I often receive many books sent my way for review. One such book that I have come across recently is Anyone Can Improve His or Her Life: The Principles of Quality.
This book is exactly what I look for as a person with a busy lifestyle with limited time. It’s straight and to the point. Some books spend 300-400 pages to explain what this book does in 120 pages. I like such simplicity, I find it highly effective.
Basically, the Principles of Quality explains that by raising the level of quality in anything that you do, little by little, you will achieve great success. Its logic is what most people desperately need in their lives. This is why I firmly believe that you should go out of your way to read this book. It will make things “click” in your head. Any improvement is a rise in quality. By adopting such an attitude, the sky is the limit!
I’ve had the opportunity to ask the author of this book, Don Dewsnap a few questions which I hope sheds some light on how he came about to writing this neat book:
Can you give a little background on yourself?
A little background. Kind of hard for a 58-year-old to give just a “little” background. Wrote and published my first book at age 5 (pictures and red yarn binding) and have been hooked on publishing ever since. Started a typesetting company in Massachusetts in 1978, and based it on quality. Inside 5 years it was one of the leading typehouses–then personal computers killed the industry. But we set the standard for typesetting in the area.
How did you get the idea of creating the principles of quality?
It wasn’t enough for me to be good at typesetting; I had to hire and train typesetters and proofreaders to the same level. This meant I had to analyze what went into quality, what was important and what wasn’t, even how to define it so others could understand. Also, my clients kept asking me to explain what went into quality type, and how they could improve their work. I gave talks and seminars, sent out a newsletter, wrote a book about typesetting, and by the sheer amount of attention I put on it, boiled off all the dross and got to the heart of the matter. I’ve been testing and refining ever since.
How has the principles of quality affected your own experiences?
It may sound surprising, but it shouldn’t be, that I consciously apply the principles of quality in my own life on a daily basis. You would think they would be ingrained by now, and I guess they are, but there is so much agreement on low quality out there, that it is always tempting to let something slide. So it is very helpful to be able to know which principle to apply and why when laziness strikes or pressure builds. The result is that I get twice as much or more done than most people in the same time for the same energy output. My current boss mentioned to someone today that I handle more volume than anyone at my level in the company, yet it doesn’t seem like it to me. I think it is because I do things right, so only have to do them once, for the most part.
In your book, you mention that there are more principles, can you give us a sneak peak of what is to come?
The first book is the overview: the overall principles and how to apply them to life in general. In future books, the overall principles do not change, but I talk about applying them to more specific areas of life. And of course the Quality Actions are more specific to those areas. A good analogy might be like knowing the principles of trigonometry: they don’t change, but they can be used to solve many different kinds of mathematical problems (did I mention I love math?). The next book, well underway, is about the principles of quality as applied to business, from a one-man show to a multinational corporation. GM and Fannie Mae did not apply certain specific principles of quality. Applying the principles of quality in business does not guarantee success, but not applying them ensures eventual failure. This applies to working for others as much as it does to owning a business. I suspect this book will be a bit longer than the first.
After that, I’m not sure. I’m kind of hoping that I’ll start getting requests. The possibilities are endless: education, government, parenting, sports, art, medicine, the principles of quality apply to them all. There is no logical reason why any and all of these or any other fields cannot be cleaned up, improved, made more effective, made easier, made better. The only fields the principles of quality do not work on are those that are intrinsically not based on logical principles, but on faith or on belief or on pseudo-science made from whole cloth.
I highly recommend that you get yourself a copy of this book. It will change the way you view improvements and how you apply them in your life. If you want to bring more quality into your life, this is the book for you!