50/50 Isn’t Enough – The Key to Successful Relationships – A Book Review

Try as he might, Jimmy Stewart’s character in the classic Christmas film, It’s a Wonderful Life, cannot escape his hometown for the carefree adventures of his youthful dreams. Instead, he always puts others’ needs before his own. Just before it is too late, he realizes that those contributions to others had been his purpose. I have seen this story played out repeatedly with my friends from independent telcos who could have taken the easy road, but, instead, stayed, or in some cases, returned to their communities to make things better.

Artwork for 60-40 BookReading Everett Christensen’s book, 60-40 or Fight (How to Get Along with Someone Other than Yourself), reminded me of It’s a Wonderful Life. A central thesis to his book is that true happiness stems from the contributions one makes to others. He contends that in order to make a relationship work both parties have to be willing to contribute 60%. This level of contribution provides a comfort zone that allows for the give and take required for a long-term relationship, as well as for the parties to efficiently complete projects together.

Born with telephone company blood in his veins, Christensen’s varied career has included roles in human resources, as a management consultant and a university professor. Returning to his roots, he became president of Christensen Communications of Madelia, MN. Christensen walked the walk he writes about, as his contributions to his community include saving the local newspaper, opening a shuttered theater and other local development efforts.

Christensen’s unique background (he has a MA degree in Psychology) provides a psychological framework to the book, but with understandable, common sense advice. Central to the book are his twenty-five “Christensen Postulates”, such as, “The greatest reward for doing something worthwhile is the opportunity to do more.”

The book is an easy read, made easier by Christensen’s advice to start at the summary chapter and then read the first nine chapters. His use of parables and humorous stories reinforces his points and postulates. The exercises at the end of the book provide an effective way to reinforce its main points. This book transcends the typical business genre and is useful for anyone interested in having better relationships with family, friends and co-workers.

[Thanks to Cliff Albertson of Badger Communications for providing a review copy].

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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2 replies on “50/50 Isn’t Enough – The Key to Successful Relationships – A Book Review”

Doesn't surprise me in the least that a truly quality person, stand-up guy like Ev Christensen has written a book about human relationships… and how to make them better.  He walks the walk.
I'm proud to know him and to have had a business relationship with him, which I believe he might say is as good or better than a personal one.  I also wonder what college football team he has chosen to follow lately as their best fan?

[…] Unfortunately, Everett wasn’t at this year’s conference, so I didn’t get a chance to interview him about the book. The above video provides a flavor for the exhibit hall at this year’s MTA, while providing a mini-review of his latest work. Coincidentally, it was several years ago, while on the exhibit floor of MTA, that Cliff Albertson introduced me to Everett’s book 60-40 or Fight. […]

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