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Publisher's Summary

What if you were given the ultimatum: make a radical shift in your life, or lose it all?

This was the question Alan Deutschman posed in "Change or Die", his sensational cover story for the May 2005 issue of Fast Company. Surprisingly, Deutschman concluded that although we all have the innate capability and fundamental need to change our behavior, we rarely do. Against all warnings and reason, heart patients and smokers continue to lead dangerously unhealthy lifestyles, and many doomed companies stick to the same archaic business practices that routinely destine them for failure.

In this inspiring, revelatory book, Deutschman helps deconstruct and demystify five age-old myths about change, including the notions that small, gradual changes are always easier to make and sustain, and that we can't change because our brains become "hardwired" early in life. Introducing breakthrough research and progressive ideas from a diverse selection of medical, science, and business leaders, Deutschman demonstrates how to achieve lasting, revolutionary change.

A powerful book with universal appeal, Change or Die addresses every sphere of life, from companies that must remake their corporate culture to survive, to individuals who must make 360-degree changes in their lifestyle or risk stagnation - or even death. Each chapter also includes several emotional stories about real people who have succeeded or failed in their attempt to change and why.

Change or Die is not about merely reorganizing or restructuring priorities; it's about challenging everyone to make drastic transformations in all aspects of life - changes that are positive, attainable, and absolutely vital.

©2007 Alan Deutschman; (P)2007 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"The book lays out some principles for change that might apply not only to companies but to many facets of life." (U.S. News & World Report)

What members say

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  • Overall

Fantastic info

I bought this as a sales/professional development book. It is not that... well, not exactly.

The author talks about different psychiatric principles and then gives some extreme examples of different situations in which people went against conventional wisdom and made changes to better their lives and the lives of the people around them. He then takes these examples and dissects them into basic elements and relates them to the psychiatric principles.

The first half of the book is mainly 3 case studies which are very interesting and motivational. The rest of the book is how these relate to the principles and how they relate to you.

Much to my chagrin, the book has absolutely nothing to do with sales (and little to do with business directly) but it does make you step back and think about different things and how you may approach them differently.

Bottom line: entertaining & thought-provoking

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Paul
  • Kyle, TX, USA
  • 03-29-07

Simple. Smart. Sustaining.

Not really knowing what to expect, I was very surprised with how much I learned from this audio book. After listening to this audio presentation, I have come away with a renewed sense of hope and a reduced sense of despair regarding areas of my life and work that I know require change. Listening to this audio book has also given me a more powerful conceptual framework for handling conflict and approaching issues of change with other people.

Simple. Smart. Sustaining.

I must also give kudos to the narrator. His voice and articulation perfectly matched the tempo and style of the book. I felt as if the author himself were reading the book.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • val
  • Indiana, USA
  • 01-25-16

Your life will be changed forever

Would you consider the audio edition of Change or Die to be better than the print version?

YES I would be bored reading this but the reader was great.

What did you like best about this story?

It changed my life

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I cried a couple times

Any additional comments?

This book is litterally life changing. I LOVE it. I have read it 3 times and share it with clients who are in my group therapy (men in prison setting) If you are someone who has trouble making changes and KEEPING UP with those changes this book is going to blow you away.

Change or Die basically poses the question "What if someone told you you had change "X" about yourself or you will die?" of course we all say " I would make the change" but the book points out that we are given that option over and over again in life and we continue to chose the choices that lead to our demise (smoking, drinking, drugs, fast food, not exercising, gang involvement, stress) The book takes a look at people who have been able to make huge life changes and keep them going for a long period of time - and what all those people have in common. It makes you look at your life and ask yourself those hard to ask questions about what changes need to be made and how you are going to make change stick.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Joe
  • Miami, FL, United States
  • 02-26-07

Very Good

I found this book to be very insightful with great examples. I really could not stop listening to it. Strongly recommend.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Thomas
  • Sewell, NJ, United States
  • 03-24-09

Yes, its worth it.

The title says it all. If all is going well for you, it can't hurt to know the principles presented. If you have any issues in life or business, please do absorb this message. And, the other listens similar. The title says it, either change with the times and with whats needed by breaking out of the box, or life and events can and indeed do frequently run right over you. It got a little flat on some issues, maybe overdoing it a little in the middle, where I would have liked to see more examples, instead of run-on about the examples discussed, but it was ok for the time lenght. If you are into self development and self enlightment, I recommend this one in the series. Will listen again myself. You can read a novel for fun, you can read this one to improve your thinking and awareness. You don't have to agree with all the contents, but you should listen to this one too.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Brian
  • Valencia, CA, USA
  • 12-09-08

Worth Sharing

I found this after reading the FastCompany article several years ago. The book was just as great as the article. Listening requires a little concentration due to the nature of the material but if you, at any point, say to yourslf "WTF?" while watching the news or watching society and you want some excellent food for thought and some real substance to wash it down with - this book is for you. One of my favorites.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ron
  • Gainesville, GA, United States
  • 03-17-07

A feast for the mind

The premise - given the right environment and support, dramatic, even unthinkable change can happen. The author uses three case studies. First, he talks about very sick heart patients who change their lifestyles to become healthy again using Dr. Dean Ornish's heart health program. Next, he tells us about convicted drug addicted often sociopathic criminals who become well adjusted contributing members of society at Delancey Street. And finally, he narrates the transition of GM's worst union member nightmare with nearly 40 defects per car coming out of the Fremont, CA plant to nearly zero defects just by changing management (GM to Toyota). He then draws lessons from these three dramatic reversals - change or die - stories. He narrates at a good pace and his voice is easy to listen to. Anyone interested in how to bring about change in his/her own life, his/her family, or his/her organization might find some useful ideas in this bravura performance. The author writes well, chooses dramatic illustrations to make his point, and reads/narrates with passion.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • James
  • Gilbert, AZ, USA
  • 06-26-07


This book helped me to realize the need in all of us to cope, get beyond coping and change for the better. Read this book. It will show you how to change your life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Metronav
  • Tempe, AZ United States
  • 03-30-07

The Process of Change

I found this to be an excellent resource. It confirms a lot of what I have already experienced when confronted with change. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a real change process.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Well written book.

This book is passionately and carefully written. It skirts around being judgmental and instead is caring and firm. Anyone serious about making changes in their lives, should read it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful