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The Present: The Gift for Changing Times by Spencer Johnson

Spencer Johnson, M.D., is one of the most respected and beloved authors in the world. He has helped millions of readers discover how to use simple, profound truths that lead to less stress and more success at work and at home. Inspiring and entertaining people with his insightful stories that speak directly to the heart and soul, he is often referred to as the best there is at taking complex subjects and presenting simple solutions that work. Dr. Johnson is the author or co-author of many New York Times bestsellers, including three #1 titles: Who Moved My Cheese?: An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change In Your Work and Life; The One Minute Manager®, the world's most popular management method, co-authored with Kenneth Blanchard; and The Present: The Gift That Makes Your Work And Life Better Each Day! After graduating with a B.A. in psychology from the University of Southern California, Dr. Johnson received his M.D. degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, and completed medical clerkships at the Mayo Clinic and the Harvard Medical School. He served as Director of Communications for Medtronic, the inventors of cardiac pacemakers; Research Physician at The Institute for Inter-Disciplinary Studies; Consultant to The Center for Study of the Person; and most recently Leadership Fellow at the Harvard Business School. His work has captured the attention of major media, including the BBC, CNN, Fortune, New York Times, Reader's Digest, Today show, Time magazine, and USA Today. Over thirty million copies of Dr. Johnson's books are available in more than forty languages. Biography Spencer Johnson is an M.D. who has become better known for fixing ailing corporations than healing the sick, first with his 1982 business classic The One Minute Manager (coauthored with psychiatrist Kenneth Blanchard) and then, unforgettably, with Who Moved My Cheese?, a word-of-mouth sensation that eventually remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two years and has been translated into 11 languages. Word had slowly built up about Cheese, based on the strength of recommendations from heavy-hitter executives at Procter & Gamble, GE, Hewlett-Packard and others. Businesses, hit by the downshifting economy, began ordering copies by the thousands; by 2000, it was a national bestseller. The book sets up a story about four characters who live in a maze: Hem and Haw, who are little people; and Sniff and Scurry, who are mice. Johnson, who based the story on the fact that mice rarely go back to the same place to look for cheese and felt that humans might benefit from the example, created the story for himself as a way of helping himself get through a divorce. Urged by former writing partner Blanchard to set the story down in book form, Johnson finally did - and nothing happened, at first. But over two years, the book picked up momentum, not only among companies who were trying to deal with everything from sales downturns to massive layoffs, but among individuals who found the book helped them gain a new perspective on personal situations as well. Johnson's forte is to create allegorical stories that present simple, digestible solutions (or paths to solutions) for seemingly huge challenges. The approach is far from immune to criticism from those who complain that Who Moved My Cheese? is simplistic and silly; Johnson doesn't argue with either barb (though he might prefer "simple" over "simplistic"). His message is that being simpler and sillier makes us better adapters and decision-makers, and all of his books boil down to opening oneself to possibility and better communication. The ideas aren't revolutionary: As Johnson said in an ABC News chat, The challenge always for me and for others is to live the story and not just read about it.

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