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Summary: Positive Intelligence: Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and how You Can Achieve Yours by Shirzad Chamine

  • The book introduces the concept of Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ), which is the percentage of time your mind is serving you as opposed to sabotaging you, and how it affects your performance, happiness, and fulfillment in various domains of life.
  • The book identifies 10 common mental Saboteurs that undermine your PQ, such as the Judge, the Controller, the Victim, the Avoider, and the Pleaser, and 5 Sage powers that enhance your PQ, such as Empathy, Exploration, Innovation, Navigation, and Activation.
  • The book provides a set of tools and techniques to help you increase your PQ by developing new brain muscles and habits that weaken your Saboteurs and strengthen your Sage.

Positive Intelligence (2012) provides a way to unlock your true potential by helping you identify and conquer common mental blocks. It also shows you how to tap into your deeper wisdom to live a more balanced, productive, and happy life.


Merging theories from science, positive psychology and coaching, neuroscientist Shirzad Chamine defines your “Positive Intelligence Quotient” (PQ) as “the percentage of time your mind acts as your friend rather than as your enemy.” He explains how to increase your PQ to achieve higher performance, greater happiness and less stress. Your PQ score depends on which mental forces dominate – your “Saboteurs” or your “Sage.” Although many self-help books advocate the power of positive thinking, Chamine repackages the idea for practical application, even if he indulges in special jargon. We recommend his insights and guidance to those who wish to think more optimistically and to managers who need to turn around underperforming teams.

Book Summary: Positive Intelligence - Why Only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and how You Can Achieve Yours


  • Your mind can work for you or against you. You can learn to make it work for you.
  • A high “Positive Intelligence Quotient” (PQ) leads to better performance, greater achievement, less stress and more happiness.
  • Invisible “Saboteurs” and your inner “Sage” fight for supremacy in your brain.
  • Your various Saboteurs, like the “Controller” and the “Stickler,” use different tactics to achieve the same goal: preventing you from taking action.
  • Your Sage uses five powers to overcome the Saboteurs: “empathy, exploration, innovation, navigation and decisive action.”
  • To build PQ, strengthen your Sage and “PQ Brain muscles” by doing “PQ reps” – spend 10-second intervals being aware of your body and the input of your five senses.
  • Weaken your Saboteurs by doing a PQ rep each time you sense their presence.
  • Hug your pet or loved one while being “fully present for 10 seconds.”
  • Heeding your Sage instead of your Saboteurs can increase your PQ score.
  • When individuals strengthen their PQ scores, they can raise their team’s collective PQ.

Introduction: Learn to make your mind work for you

Ever felt like you were your own worst enemy? Remember those times you had something sorted and ready to execute, but you kept worrying about it till you bumped it?

Or maybe you had a brilliant idea and suddenly got on the defensive when a friend or colleague tried to give you feedback. Everyone has these experiences every day , but such anxiety can be crippling in extreme cases.

The good news is, most of these confrontations happen inside your mind. With the right approach, you can train your mind to work for you – by applying the concept of positive intelligence.

We’ll give positive intelligence a fancy name. Let’s call it PQ.

PQ is simply the percentage of time your brain behaves like your best buddy rather than your worst enemy.

In this summary to Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, you’ll learn how to sidestep your Saboteurs, those internal obstacles that stand in the way of your journey through life. You’ll also train the parts of your brain that help you tap into your inner wisdom, and build your PQ brain muscles.

This accessible formula will improve your mental health, elevate your performance and transform you into a person people want to be around.

Understanding your Saboteurs

Meet Peter, a smart entrepreneur who’s figured out exactly what he needs to enjoy an early and happy retirement. $10 million. But then he rejects a $125 million offer to sell his business. Why? His college mate already sold his business for $330 million.

Peter might have had high stakes, but his story is everyone’s story. Money, status and accolades won’t satisfy you because the targets keep shifting. To be truly happy is to be happy despite your circumstances, and the only place you can achieve that is inside your head.

This starts by tackling your Saboteurs, those entrenched thoughts and habits that fuel your anxiety. These Saboteurs inhabit your Survivor brain, the part of your brain you rely on to keep you safe. It’s the Saboteurs that guide your survival instincts to run when you sense danger or find food when you’re hungry.

As you grow into adulthood where rational decisions matter more, these primal instincts can get in the way of progress.

So what are these Saboteurs?

Chief among the ten Saboteurs is the Judge. Your Judge consistently beats you up for not doing enough. You’ll set a target and achieve it, then the next minute you’re thinking about the next milestone.

Another source of anxiety comes from the Stickler who’s always craving perfection. The Stickler has this constant drive to do things better even at the cost of your health and wellbeing. And then we have the Pleaser. The Pleaser tries to humor everyone, eventually becoming resentful in the process. Meanwhile the Hyper-achiever Saboteur convinces you that working yourself to the ground will earn you validation.

People with a Victim Saboteur believe displaying their suffering will earn them sympathy. And a Hyper-rational Saboteur will consistently dismiss emotional considerations, insisting instead on fact after fact.

There’s more. Many people are governed by a relentless pursuit of excitement. This is the Restless Saboteur at play. On the other side of the spectrum we have the Hyper-vigilant Saboteur, who’s always alert to the next pitfall, and the Controller, who resorts to micromanaging everything and every situation around them. Finally we have the Avoider Saboteur. This Saboteur consistently seeks only the positive and dodges any and all conflicts in the hope that their problems will go away.

Everyone of us deals with a combination of these ten Saboteurs on a daily basis. But there’s good news. These habits can actually be tamed into submission with some clever techniques. Hang on to your hats!

Embracing your Sage

A Chinese parable tells the story of a farmer whose disinterested reaction to fortune and misfortune stuns his neighbors. From losing his prize stallion to having it return with a few mares, or having his son miss conscription because the kid fell off one of the mares and broke his leg, the farmer offers the same boring reaction: “No one really knows what’s good or bad.”

This farmer is cruising on the right side of his brain – where his inner Sage resides.

The Sage isn’t passive to life’s circumstances. Rather, the Sage sees things for what they actually are, acknowledging that while we can’t program the future, we can approach a problem solely on its merits, and without the interference of anxiety.

Of course, there are situations where dispassionate investigation is impossible, like when you’re grieving over losing a relative. You’re also going to have moments of anger and disappointment. What the Sage can achieve here is to put things in perspective so that such events don’t dominate your life.

The Sage is an efficient multiplier of positive intelligence. It accomplishes this through its five powers.

The first of these powers is empathy. Treating yourself with kindness will save you from the constant judgment you subject yourself to. It will also help you to empathize with other people. One clever way to achieve this is to visualize yourself as a child or look at your own baby pictures.

The second Sage power, your ability to explore, will open up your curiosity about life and its endless wonders. Exploring will help you understand a problem before taking action. Become a fascinated anthropologist of your own life who sees things just as they are, without any bias.

Once you’ve fully explored a situation, you’re ready to use the next Sage power: innovating. Now you can propose new ideas where old solutions no longer work. Take note, you’re not analyzing any ideas at this point. Analyzing while you generate ideas will limit the number of solutions you can come up with. You’re just letting ideas flow.

Once you’ve done this, and you have several different paths laid out before you, the Sage’s fourth power – navigation – takes over. This is when you analyze and compare the alternatives. To achieve peace and fulfillment, you should only choose paths that are consistent with your values and purpose. Your choices should add meaning to your life. Imagine you’re at the end of your life, looking back – would you be happy you chose this path?

Once you’ve made a decision that aligns with your values as a person or team, this will spur you into the realm of the fifth Sage power, activation. Being convinced of your purpose and your path inspires intense focus. Moving into action doesn’t have to be turbulent. That being said, it’s always good to address the Saboteurs that try to sow doubt in your mind. Your Sage is in total control, so dismiss the noise and move forward.

How to improve your PQ

Now you’ve learned about Saboteurs and the Sage that counters them. Let’s put that knowledge to action and improve your PQ.

The first step to improving your PQ is to weaken your Saboteurs. It’s so easy. Once you identify a source of anxiety – say a judge, a tendency to avoid or that urge to be perfect – give it a name. By consciously labeling a particular Saboteur, you expose it as a lie and reduce its grip over you.

Giving your Saboteur a name also puts some distance between you and that particular worry. When you give the Judge a name, say Darth Vader, it becomes easier to see it as something that happens to you rather than something that defines your whole personality. This makes it easier to empathize with yourself.

If weakening Saboteurs reduces their power and improves PQ, operating in Sage mode takes it to the next level. Empathizing with yourself, exploring events, innovating, mentally navigating possible paths to a better life and matching these paths to your core values will steer you into conscious and decisive action.

This applies to individuals as well as groups. In any group, each individual manifests their particular Saboteurs and dominant Sage powers. The resulting interaction produces a group PQ. Now, if the group is able to tap into their collective Sage and act accordingly, the team PQ will improve. One way to do this is to have well defined values that everyone can adhere to.

Some of these tips might seem easier said than done. Luckily, there are concrete exercises you can do to build your PQ muscles. Let’s find out what they are.

Thriving in Sage mode

In 1996, Harvard-trained brain researcher Dr. Jill Taylor suffered a severe and rather peculiar stroke. The stroke shut down the left side of her brain – where survival mechanisms reside, and left her relying on her right side, where the PQ brain is found.

You’d expect someone in that condition to be miserable, but she felt calm and uplifted despite seeing her life and career go up in flames. After recovery, she realized her PQ brain needed to run the firm while the Survivor brain acted as an assistant.

The good news is, you don’t need a stroke to get you to this place. Instead you can use the following workouts to build your PQ muscles.

The principle is simple. Focus as much of your attention as possible on your body. Feed your five senses for at least 10 seconds. 10 seconds covers about three breaths. This equates to one fitness rep at the PQ gym.

Aim for 100 PQ reps every day for 21 days. If you stay consistent, you’ll start shifting towards greater mindfulness and control over your anxiety.

Here are a few tips to build these exercises into your daily activities.

When you brush your teeth, focus on the vibrations of the brush against your teeth for 10 seconds. Smell the toothpaste and feel the grip of your hand on the brush. Same trick when you shower. Pay undivided attention to the sound of water splashing on your skin and how it makes you feel.

When you go out on a run, zone in on the way your feet feel against your shoes. Feel the breeze rush over your skin. Study the movement of your muscles while you lift weights.

When you sit down to eat, take your time to appreciate the flavor of the food. Pay attention to the taste of each spice and how they blend in your mouth. Time with friends or family should be spent being fully aware of their expressions, the vibe they exude, their subtle movements and facial expressions. Plant your feet firmly on the ground as you experience these sensations.

The idea is to be present so that your Saboteurs can’t slip in through the back door. When they do sneak in, use them as a reminder to focus, transforming their deceit into a PQ rep and a chance to boost your positive outlook.

Life will always come up with surprises. What matters is how you turn these events into opportunities. If you can’t find any positives, try to put the disappointment behind you.

Sticking to these exercises, overcoming your Saboteurs and living in the Sage mindset will eventually take your PQ above 75 percent. This is the threshold at which you become fully performant and happy despite all the noise around you.

Let’s look a bit deeper at how you can put all that PQ into action.

Practical applications of positive intelligence

Now you’ve learned the benefits of positive intelligence and how to achieve it, how do you apply it to yourself and your relationships? Here are two examples to show you how it works.

Meet Frank, the CEO of a company whose stock took such a beating in the 2008 recession he broke down in tears in front of his daughter. A bit skeptical of the Sage’s capacity to reap rewards off routine activities, it took him time to embrace PQ exercises.

He kept suffering at the hand of his Judge. Then one day he sat down to eat a turkey sandwich and decided to give positive intelligence a shot.

Closing his eyes to concentrate on the experience, he felt the sponginess of the bread. For the first time he experienced the lettuce crunch between his teeth. This motivated him to try other PQ exercises with his staff.

Note that the PQ of a team is not the average PQ of every member. People can feel more positive while they’re in a team and lose that spark when they step out. Ideally you should build each member’s PQ before proceeding to work on the group PQ.

This will generate a group dynamic, or a PQ Channel for that team. From here you can measure and grow the group’s PQ.

When Frank applied the powers of the Sage to his team, the results were spectacular. They found that they had drifted from the company’s principles. They navigated their way back and the company’s stock rebounded to previous levels within 18 months!

It’s this same principle that helped restore Patrick and Susan’s marriage. Patrick was doing well as the CEO of a global financial services company. Susan, his wife of 21 years, had given up her career to raise their kids.

Over time this arrangement started to raise tension between the pair. Patrick couldn’t understand why his wife disapproved when he missed family commitments, and Susan felt she wasn’t getting any support from her husband.

They agreed to explore their problems by attentively listening to each other without blame. Each person repeated the other’s stated anxieties to ensure the message was the same, and got politely reminded if they’d missed anything.

This led Susan to empathize with Patrick’s hard work and disappointment with having to miss family outings. Patrick, on his part, said he now understood how hard it must have been for a person as independent as Susan to count on him financially. She’d been excelling at work before quitting to take care of the kids.

With their issues laid out on the table, Patrick worked on a plan to spend time with his family. He set boundaries between family life and work. If he was going to be away, he decided, he would inform his staff way in advance. Susan decided to get in touch with her old school friends. She was going to start exploring flexible work opportunities. They also adopted PQ regimes to negate their anxieties.

These two examples demonstrate how positive intelligence can be applied to work and life balance, but that’s just scratching the surface. Once you start committing yourself to your own PQ, you’ll see just how far it can take you!


Introducing the “Saboteurs and the Sage”

In Greek mythology, King Sisyphus “fell from grace” and, as punishment, had to push a heavy boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, again and again for all eternity. Like Sisyphus, individuals and teams secretly sabotage themselves by getting stuck in repetitive behavior and never achieving their true potential. Your brain is locked in a battle between your Saboteurs and your inner Sage. Saboteurs are leftover remnants of primitive urges and instincts, such as your “flight or fight” response mechanism. Saboteurs’ negativity can destroy your happiness and performance; conversely, your Sage works to build positivity. Building “Positive Intelligence” helps individuals and teams harness the power of positive thinking and overcome their Saboteurs.

“The reason so many of our attempts at improving our success or happiness fizzle is that we sabotage ourselves. More precisely, our minds sabotage us.”

A high “Positive Intelligence Quotient” (PQ) score correlates to higher performance and happiness. For example, if your score is 70%, your mind works for you 70% of the time and against you 30% of the time. Individuals with high PQ live longer, healthier lives.


Everyone has her or his own unique mix of the following 10 Saboteurs:

  1. Avoider” – This inner force focuses only on positive experiences, avoids conflict and unpleasant situations, worries about others’ feelings, wants to be a peacemaker, and suppresses anger, which eventually festers and boils over.
  2. Controller” – This Saboteur must be in charge, control others and win competitions, jobs and challenges. Controllers are prone to high anxiety and impatience. They push to get tasks done no matter what and may upset other people.
  3. Hyper-Achiever” – This inner workaholic needs constant validation, is competitive and goal-oriented, and avoids emotion. Any self-acceptance is temporary.
  4. Hyper-Rational” – This cold logistician analyzes problems from a distance, wants to master knowledge, disdains emotion, can be cynical and has limited flexibility.
  5. Hyper-Vigilant” – This anxious, suspicious, intense Saboteur is constantly vigilant and sensitive to danger, suffers burnout, and drives other people away.
  6. Pleaser” – This negative force does want to help other people, but yearns for their acceptance, needs frequent encouragement and affection, becomes easily offended by lack of recognition, and eventually becomes resentful of the burdens of being helpful. Pleasers make the people they depend upon feel manipulated or guilty about saying no to them.
  7. Restless” – This sabotaging aspect of a personality needs to stay busy, can’t sit still, seeks new experiences, quickly gets bored and frustrated when new experiences grow stale, thinks “life is too short,” and resists long-lasting relationships.
  8. Stickler” – The self-critical perfectionist is highly organized, thinks in black-and-white terms, believes others are lazy, criticizes everybody, and makes others resent his or her impossible standards.
  9. Victim” – This “martyr” seeks attention based on painful experiences and has both a mentality and a “poor-me,” “no-one-understands-me” self-image. Victims swim in negative feelings and make others feel helpless for not alleviating their pain.
  10. Judge” – This is the universal “master” Saboteur; the other nine are accomplices who help the Judge keep you mired in negative thoughts. Your Judge is responsible for most of your disappointment, regret, anger, guilt, shame and anxiety.

10 Saboteurs

The Sage

Your Sage steps in to defeat your Saboteurs. The Sage lets you explore and keep an open mind, show compassion and sympathy for others and yourself, innovate, and ignore the siren call of your Saboteurs.

“Most people have far more potential than they have tapped.”

With your Sage, you can “choose a path that best aligns with your deeper underlying values and mission.” To increase your PQ, you must “strengthen your Sage” and “weaken your Saboteurs” – and that you can do.

Silence Your Inner Critics

The Judge is so destructive because it causes you to criticize yourself, those around you and your life situation. After author Shirzad Chamine discovered his own Judge, he wrote a five-page letter that described his insecurities and self-doubt, and distributed it to 320 of his MBA classmates. He expected his peers to ostracize him, but instead they thanked him and said they felt relieved that they were not alone in their feelings.

“Unless you tackle and weaken your own internal enemies – we’ll call them Saboteurs – they will do their best to rob you of any improvements you make.”

His experiences leading a CEO retreat years later solidified his theory that the Judge is universal. Chamine asked the executives to write anonymously about something they had “never shared with others for fear of losing credibility, acceptance or respect.” They were relieved to discover common guilt, fear and shame.

“One minute of being fully present with a loved one has a deeper and more lasting impact on your relationship than spending a whole day together while you have a scattered mind.”

At work, team members either openly or secretly try to sabotage each other. A collective group of Judges is more damaging than a single Judge. Workplace Judges cause employees to lose time and productivity and to experience anxiety and stress. A Judge’s most dangerous and pernicious lie is “You will be happy when…” because “when” never arrives. Your inner Judge may say you will be happy when you make your first million or when your children go off to college, but, sadly, you will feel every bit as unfulfilled when the supposedly magical event occurs.

“The Judge is the universal Saboteur, the one we all have: a predisposition to exaggerating the negative and assuming the worst is actually good for survival.”

The Judge activates the other Saboteurs. Your unique motivations and style affect which Saboteurs come into play. Saboteurs work by convincing you that they’re helping you. Every time you notice your Saboteurs in action and you challenge their behavior, they lose power. You weaken them when you expose their lies.

Strengthen Your Inner Wisdom

Activating your Sage means accepting whatever happens as a gift or opportunity. Both the Sage and the Judge provide a “snowballing, self-reinforcing perspective” and “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

“The Sage perspective is about accepting what is, rather than denying, rejecting or resenting what is.”

Only you can choose between your positive Sage and your negative Judge. Listen to your Sage with the “Three-Gifts technique”: Think of three situations where your problem could actually be an opportunity to gain something better. The gains might not be immediate – they may take days, months or years to reach fruition.

“All stress is Saboteur generated. Under the Sage’s influence, you focus on doing what needs to get done, but you don’t sweat the outcome.”

Let the past go without sadness or regret. Use the Sage’s wisdom to activate five powers that will help you overcome Saboteurs and strengthen your positive emotions. Those powers are:

  1. Empathy” – This power lets you connect with your feelings and help others overcome their difficulties. To energize your empathy, “visualize the child.” Remember how excited and curious you were as a child? Everything was new and beguiling. Nourish that sense of childlike wonder and caring in your life.
  2. Exploration” – Pretend that you are a “fascinated anthropologist, a keen observer and discoverer of what simply is, without trying to judge, change or control the situation.”
  3. Innovation” – Saboteurs interfere with your ability to innovate. Generate as many new ideas as you can and don’t reject any of them. Let your ideas gain traction. Strengthen your power of innovation by playing the “Yes…and…” power game, which involves saying yes to one idea and permitting another to immediately follow.
  4. Navigation” – If you find yourself in a rut, use this fourth power to follow your internal compass, which always guides you in the right direction. Choose a path that is meaningful for you.
  5. Decisive action” – To prevent Saboteurs from thwarting your plans, reflect back on your life choices. What changes would you make? When you have a calm attitude and a quiet, focused mind, you’re ready to use the Sage’s fifth power: take action.

“Saboteurs do far greater damage when they do their work while hiding under the radar, pretending they are your friend or pretending they are you.”

Your Saboteurs will use different tactics to achieve the same goal: to prevent you from taking action. The Avoider and Restless Saboteurs will try to get you to duck any pressing issue. Hyper-Vigilant will waste your time and energy on needless side tasks. The Controller and Stickler will slow you down by unleashing your inner perfectionist. Anticipate the Saboteurs’ power plays before they strike.

“Build Up Your PQ Brain Muscles”

Your Saboteurs feed your “Survivor Brain,” while your Sage feeds your “PQ Brain.” The Judge and Saboteur accomplices helped humanity’s primitive ancestors survive danger from predators and natural disasters. But exercising the same survivalist instincts today can trap you in a negative cycle of stress and anxiety.

“Empathizing is about feeling and showing appreciation, compassion and forgiveness. Empathy has two targets: yourself and others. Both are important.”

To strengthen your PQ Brain muscles, do 100 mental “PQ reps” a day. A PQ rep is an exercise that calls for repeatedly devoting 10 seconds to awareness of the physical sensations in your body and your five senses. Think about your physical reactions. Slow down and smell the food you eat, notice the sensation of touch as you brush your hair, and listen closely to the sounds of nature as you walk outside. Be “fully present for 10 seconds” when hugging a loved one or pet.

“The set of beliefs and assumptions that we operate under form the walls of your own box.”

When you first start a new routine, staying on track can be difficult. Your Saboteurs will berate you for forgetting or will claim you don’t have time to exercise instead of work. Don’t let them deter you from your mental and physical goals. Do not let them interfere. You can easily accomplish your PQ reps by incorporating them into your normal daily routine or executing a PQ rep for 10 seconds each time you sense a Saboteur’s presence.

“Your PQ Brain muscles have remained underdeveloped over the years while your Survivor Brain muscles have been on steroids.”

Breaking old habits and forming new ones takes three weeks. After studying patients with amputated limbs, plastic surgeon Dr. Maxwell Maltz concluded that it took 21 consecutive days to develop new brain pathways and replace old ones. To achieve lasting results, do 100 PQ reps each day for 21 consecutive days.

Measuring PQ

Your PQ ranges from zero to 100 percent and represents the percentage of time you think positively versus negatively. When you think positively, your Sage holds the power. The opposite is true when you think negatively – that empowers your Saboteurs. Learn your PQ score by taking a short test at Take the test on different days to ensure accuracy.

“The fastest and most efficient way to increase achievement and performance is to increase PQ, not potential.”

Researchers who investigated the power of positive thinking – Marcial Losada, Barbara Fredrickson, John Gottman and Robert Schwartz, among others – found that a “tipping point” occurs when your ratio of positive to negative thinking is 3:1. To reach this point, you will need a PQ score of 75. The tipping point applies to both individuals and teams. Bosses and strong team members can pull their teams up or down. Negative thinking is often more powerful due to the brain’s hardwired survivalist tendencies.

Applying PQ to Life

Balance work and life issues by using your PQ with yourself, and with your children, mate, supervisors and co-workers. In the office, your PQ will affect your team. When individuals strengthen their PQ scores, they can raise their collective team PQ.

“Your mind is your best friend. But it is also your worst enemy.”

When you spend time with your spouse and children, pay attention to them and not your smartphone. Spending an hour or two of quality time together often is better than taking a week’s vacation together and incessantly checking your email. When your Sage is in control, you won’t need as much time off as you do when Saboteurs are zapping your energy. Teach your children how to label their own Sage and Saboteurs so they, too, can increase their PQ and be happier. Instead of focusing on your children’s outer accomplishments, help them turn inward to identify their feelings.

Individuals with high PQ enjoy lower stress and healthier lifestyles. Obesity is common because many people overeat for psychological reasons, including boredom, sadness, anxiety or restlessness. You will eat less once you employ your PQ Brain, because you will slow down and savor every bite. You can also use PQ to improve in sports. Athletes who are “in the zone” are able to focus precisely, because they take time to notice the sensations around them.


Your brain is wired to protect you from danger, but as you grow older your survival instincts start sabotaging you with their reactionary responses. Thankfully there are ways to overcome them and improve your positive intelligence.

By identifying and labeling your Saboteurs you loosen their grip over you. By tapping into your inner Sage you find exciting new ways to live your life. Your Sage will help you attain fulfillment by empathizing, exploring, innovating, navigating and activating solutions that align with your values.

To amplify your PQ, consistently use mental and physical hacks to engage your senses, blocking out anxiety to the point where you start to thrive as a fully focused person. Your friends, family and colleagues will start to mirror these positive vibes as you make progress. Everyone wins!

About the author

Shirzad Chamine is Chairman of CTI, the largest coach-training organization in the world. CTI has trained coaches and managers in most of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as faculty at Stanford and Yale business schools. A preeminent C-suite advisor, Shirzad has coached hundreds of CEOs and their executive teams. Prior to running CTI, he was the CEO of an enterprise software company. His background includes PhD studies in neuroscience in addition to a BA in psychology, an MS in electrical engineering, and an MBA from Stanford, where he lectures.


Psychology, Productivity, Business, Nonfiction, Self Help, Leadership, Personal Development, Management, Philosophy, Success, Motivation, Self-Esteem, Relationships, Personal Growth, Business Culture

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Part I What is Positive Intelligence and PQsm?
Chapter 1 Positive intelligence and PQ 5
Chapter 2 The Three Strategies to Improve PQ 15
Part II First Strategy: Weaken Your Saboteurs
Chapter 3 Self-Assessment of the Ten Saboteurs 31
Chapter 4 Judge, the Master Saboteur 55
Part III Second Strategy: Strengthen Your Sage
Chapter 5 The Sage Perspective 71
Chapter 6 The Five Sage Powers 83
Part IV Third Strategy: Build Your PQ Brain Muscles
Chapter 7 PQ Brain Fitness Techniques 101
Part V How to Measure Your Progress
Chapter 8 PQ Score and PQ Vortex 121
Part VI Applications
Chapter 9 Work and Life Applications 137
Chapter 10 Case Study: Leading Self and Team 155
Chapter 11 Case Study: Deepening Relationships Through Conflict 167
Chapter 12 Case Study: Selling, Motivating, Persuading 185
Chapter 13 Conclusion: The Magnificent You! 205
Appendix: PQ Brain Fundamentals 209
Acknowledgments 219
Endnotes 223


The book is based on the premise that your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how much you let it serve you or sabotage you. The author, Shirzad Chamine, is a neuroscientist, executive coach, and former CEO who has developed a framework to measure and improve your Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ), which is the percentage of time your mind is serving you as opposed to sabotaging you.

He identifies 10 common mental Saboteurs that undermine your performance, happiness, and fulfillment, such as the Judge, the Controller, the Victim, the Avoider, and the Pleaser. He also introduces 5 Sage powers that help you access your positive potential, such as Empathy, Exploration, Innovation, Navigation, and Activation.

He provides a set of tools and techniques to help you increase your PQ by developing new brain muscles and habits that weaken your Saboteurs and strengthen your Sage. He claims that by increasing your PQ, you can achieve better results in various domains of life, such as work, relationships, health, and well-being.

The book is well-written, engaging, and practical. The author draws on his extensive research and experience to explain the concepts and principles of Positive Intelligence in a clear and accessible way. He uses many examples and stories from his own life and his clients’ lives to illustrate how the Saboteurs and the Sage operate in different situations and contexts.

He also provides a self-assessment tool to help you identify your own Saboteurs and a free app to help you practice the PQ exercises. The book is not only informative but also inspiring and empowering. It challenges you to take charge of your own mind and to transform it into a positive force that can help you achieve your true potential and happiness.

The book is suitable for anyone who wants to improve their personal and professional performance, as well as their mental and emotional well-being.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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