Pick a Fight

How Great Teams Find a Purpose Worth Rallying Around
Narrated by: David Burkus
Length: 2 hrs and 4 mins
5 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Why are some people and teams more motivated, more innovative, and more successful than others? 

Why do some teams of talented and seemingly compatible people fall short against lesser teams with less suitable members? Why do some leaders cast bold inspiring visions that fail to materialize, while other, seemingly inconsequential leaders rally their teams to victory? More often than not, it's actually quite simple: 

They picked a fight.

From battlefields to boardrooms and everywhere in between, leaders who frame their mission as a fight to be won against a threat that must be removed have been able to bring together even the most divided teams and push them to the highest levels of performance. They've tapped into something more inspiring - and more visceral - than casting a visionary strategy or struggling to get buy-in on a mission statement. They're fighting to remove an injustice. They're fighting to make their customers' lives better. Sometimes, they're even just fighting to survive. But, surprisingly, they're rarely framing their fight as a battle for market share against the competition.

Those who pick the right fight don't have to manipulate their people; they inspire them. And the people who follow don't do it because they have to; they follow because they choose to fight alongside. 

People don't want to join a company; they want to join a crusade.

In this persuasive and provocative new work, David Burkus, argues that what a team is fighting for is a powerful and potent driver of performance and collaboration, but not just any fight will do. Drawing on decades of social science research and real-life examples from billion-dollar companies, French pirates, Olympic champion curling teams (you read that right), and more, Burkus weaves together a clear picture of how people are inspired, how movements are led, and how organizations win. 

The most motivated and bonded teams know what they're fighting for, but too many organizational leaders don't know how to communicate that crusade. 

This book is for anyone who wants to inspire their people or themselves. It won't just teach you why to pick a fight; it'll teach you how to pick the right fight as well.

©2019 David Burkus (P)2020 Audible, Inc.

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A Novel and Timely Idea for Novel and Trying Times

At first I thought the "Fight" title might alienate potential listeners. But knowing the quality of previous Burkus books and articles, I took a chance. I bought the audio book, my first, and with the first chapter I began to understand: Burkus is advocating the end to fights that have no meaning and bring no value to those who are asked to fight the battle. There are too many organizations falling into the wrong fights, Burkus says. He proceeds to tell the stories and explain the research that lead people to join together in a worthy fight. Just as I finished the last chapter, the novel corona virus showed up on America’s shores. Now we have a fight that gives this novel little book a greater, more urgent meaning.

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Great Timing!

In our age of global pandemic fight, David not only addresses a topic that will resonate with our current world, but as an Audible single, the short audio format is a great actionable format for people suddenly juggling new pressures in life!

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My very first Audiobook!

I wasn’t sure audiobooks are for me, but David Burkus, you changes my mind!!! Digestible in length, engaging with the business stories and convincing enough for me to find a fight to pick at my organization...

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Great Inspiration!

A great step beyond the "Why" and a deeper dive into how to turn the passion into a mission. This isn't just for teams either. This is a great read for anyone stuck and looking for where to go next.

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A quick listen power-packed with practical tools

As always, Burkus' skill for telling meaningful stories to illustrate practical, actionable tools made this audio book a joy to listen to. Each chapter brought great insight and ideas that inspired me to think critically and creatively about the various teams of which I am a part. I listened to the book in just a few sittings over a couple days and look forward to going through it again to glean even more while utilizing the additional resources he has created.

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Purpose and leadership – The abstract made simple

In his audio book – Pick a Fight – David Burkus took me for a head first dive and brisk swim into such fluffy topics as philosophy, cause or purpose as well as psychology / motivation and behavioral design (let us call this: Leadership). When I consume content with the intent to learn, I generally ask three things of the author: Are you able to connect me to the concepts? Are you able to convey the concepts, so they are easy for me to understand and joyful to learn about – even if the topics are abstract and complex? Are you able to ensure that I can try out the presented concepts right after I finish consuming them without any assistance? David did not answer upfront – but his audio book answered three times yes. Thank you, David, for your book and for the practical resources to try out the concepts.

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This book inspired me to take action

Pick a Fight is the perfect book to help figure out what your company or team is missing to take things to the next level. It’s a solid approach to finding a clear and defining purpose that inspires you and your team to take action now towards a common goal. The nuance of not trying to beat a competitor but instead finding a fight worth picking helped my team and I identify where we needed to channel our energy. Thank you David!

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We All Need A Fight!

Fantastic, easy to listen to, and immensely useful! Burkus has again brought to light simple ways that we can make work and leadership more useful and human!

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Ready to fight

Inspired. Truly. This book has put me in a place to really start thinking about what is it that brings us together... to battle together... so much of life seems to be focused on what divides. It’s a new outlook and perspective on things for me. Thank you. #deepinthought. #whatismyfight #letsGO loved it

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Helped me turn fear into fuel

It’s inspired me this week to step up to the plate more and dive headfirst into my fears. I’ve always felt insecure about being the underdog, or left out of the party, but chapter 5 helped solidify that part of me is the best part of me!

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  • David W.
  • 04-29-20

invigorating and concise.

a great pump primer for anyone who is suffering from workplace fatigue or getting ready to attack a new challenge.