THE FIVE READS: “Likeonomics. The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior and Inspiring Action.”

The likeability factor is extremely important in life, and in business.

During the 2008 U.S. Presidential debates, candidate Barack Obama famously said to his opponent Hilary Clinton, “You’re likeable enough, Hilary.” It came off as a bit of a patronizing dismissal after Clinton had good-naturedly responded to a question about what is sometimes called her "personality deficit." While it was a harsh statement wrapped in a compliment, it resonated with the public. Obama had the likeability factor, and his opponent did not.

Likeability determines what candidates we vote for, what job applicants we hire, and what brands we buy. It is the emotional quotient in the decision-process, and often trumps the rational side of decision-making.

Author Rohit Bhargava is a SVP of Global Marketing Strategy at communications agency Ogilvy and an adjunct professor of Global Marketing at Georgetown University. In his book Likeonomics: The Unexpected Truth Behind Earning Trust, Influencing Behavior and Inspiring Action, he places a spotlight on what seems apparent—that we are living in a society where likeability is currency.

From Rockefeller’s 1915 image transformation from miserly billionaire to philanthropist, to Costco’s growth strategy based on unselfishness, Likeonomics looks at the likeable (Oprah, Nelson Mandela) to the unlikeable (Steve Jobs and Larry Ellison) and gives suggestions on how any individual, organization or brand can harness its power to build relationships, influence and win.

The world around us just isn’t very believable anymore,” says Bhargava, “Trust in government hovers at historic lows—with most of the polls sharing that 9 out of 10 Americans have little or not trust in Congress’ ability to improve the economic situation. Added to that, big corporations are cast as the bad guys in global protests like the #occupy movement and often deserve their reputations as dishonest entities just out to manipulate us so they can make more money. In a low trust world, the only metric any of us have for believability is personal connection…an people respond to each other based on likeability.

Check out Likeonomics. We think you’ll like it. <grin>

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