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BASIC: Relationship and Leadership Strategies
by Paul E Heacock
Trafford Publishing 


Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott


"I believe most of us, when we reach adulthood, have and continually develop a BASIC tool kit for dealing with life…the key is to learn to pause, open up your thinking and reaction process, and let in some new or refreshed ideas for review."

The BASIC strategy of Paul E Heacock, a finance and leadership trainer, can be parsed like this: B – understand behavior and keep a balance; A – begin each situation anew; S - be situational; I: watch the "I" (ego); C - communication, care and common sense.

Throughout his book he emphasizes that BASIC principles apply to leadership situations in business and industry, but also to occurrences in everyday life. For example, in the section on Balance he warns against worry and suggests the development of a good sense of humor, good ideas for anyone. In the "I" chapter, he speaks of maintaining poise between feeling like a strong positive person
and "letting your ego run amok." He concludes with this BASIC advice: "If all else fails, trust your common sense."

Much of Heacock's book contains wisdom anyone can access, whether one plans on becoming a leader of industry or just a better counselor, teacher, or parent. With charts, text blocks, and bulleted sections for extra emphasis, this is a readily comprehensible how-to for managing others, but as importantly, managing oneself. Drawing from many sources (Dr. Morris Massey, Dr Michael LeBoeuf, Steven Covey), the author offers useful aphorisms to support his points about effective leadership, such as "Every job should be done
at the lowest economic level consistent with the quality required." One of the most significant elements of the BASIC model is caring for other people, linked with active listening and avoiding dogmatic, overriding arguments.

Heacock doesn't propose anything radical, believing that his simple, BASIC truths are sufficient for most situations. His book will doubtlessly serve as a tool in his leadership training, and as he states, "the more tools you have, the more options you have."


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Sometimes reviewers apply a RECOMMENDED rating to outstanding books. While many reviews are positive and worthy, the recommended rating is used less than 10-20% of the time. This is a high quality book regardless of whether it is self-published or from a major press. (We review both.) Recommended nonfiction books are well organized, reveal deep insight and knowledge, and fulfill the intended mission with merit.