Cover art for Stress-Free Potty Training, Second EditionOne size does not fit all when it comes to potty training methods–but you will find what works for your child among this book’s approaches and advice. STRESS-FREE POTTY TRAINING, Second Edition: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha provides parents with practical advice for their children no matter what their strengths and challenges. Journalists, booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, and media professionals interested in parenting young children are invited to request Stress-Free Potty Training for review.

Filled with straight talk and practical advice, the second edition of Stress-Free Potty Training takes the anxiety out of this important life transition, helping you identify what approach will be most compatible with your child’s temperament. Starting with a simple quiz, the book provides easy techniques tailor-fit for all kinds of kids, whether they’re stubborn or willful, clinging to diapers, afraid to move on, or just late bloomers. The book shows you how to:

Determine your child’s readiness to begin potty training • Build on each success by gradually moving your child past his or her existing comfort zone (without adding undue pressure) • Be a positive potty role model • Handle accidents and temporary setbacks • And more

Fully revised, the second edition includes brand new “Universal Strategies” . . . updated techniques for overcoming the common challenges and obstacles you’re likely to face with your child . . . ways to utilize the latest apps and websites that can be helpful during training . . . pitfalls to avoid on social media . . . and up-to-the-minute guidance on how to deal with interruptions and problems throughout the process.

This encouraging and practical guide helps you design a path around your own child’s needs, allowing you to say goodbye to diapers . . . with as little stress as possible.

Sara Au is a mom and a journalist specializing in parenting and health issues. Peter L. Stavinoha, Ph.D., is a dad and a pediatric neuropsychologist in the Center for Pediatric Psychiatry at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Together, they are the authors of Stress-Free Discipline. Their site,, features helpful articles, videos, podcasts—and even downloadable potty training charts.

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How to Build Active Optimism: Proven Prescriptions from the Authors of STRONGER

Hoping and Strongerbelieving things will turn out for the best—that’s what optimists typically do. People who rebound from setbacks to achieve remarkable feats aren’t so passive. Instead of surrendering control of what they hope and believe will happen to outside forces, they act in ways to increase the likelihood things will indeed turn out for the best. Active optimists expect success and work to make it happen.

Based on decades of research into the mindsets and practices of successful people who’ve overcome staggering challenges, George Everly Jr., Ph.D., Douglas A. Strouse, Ph.D., and Dennis K. McCormack, Ph.D., identify active optimism as the leading factor in personal resilience—the ability to tolerate stress, see opportunities in adversity, and keep pushing forward. As they share in their new book, STRONGER: Develop the Resilience You Need to Succeed (AMACOM; August 2015), it’s a quality anyone can develop. For those eager to build and benefit from active optimism, the authors offer these prescriptions:

  • Harness the power of optimism and the self-fulfilling prophecy. Optimism increases with each experience of success. So, program yourself to be successful. To put success within easier reach, break down large tasks into smaller and more manageable parts. When a task is too big to handle alone, be strong enough to ask for help. Anticipate major challenges and rehearse responses and solutions.
  • Build active optimism vicariously. Watch others be successful at what you want to achieve. Observing people in circumstances similar to yours succeed increases motivation and belief in achieving similar success. Also, become a member of a group, team, organization, or community that is successful.
  • Build active optimism through the encouragement and support of others. Being connected to supportive people is a powerful determinant of resilience. To increase your degree of connectedness, find a group with shared interests. Seek out mentors. Ask if you can shadow someone professionally. Volunteer to assist in activities that exceed your current responsibilities.
  • Build active optimism through self-control. Have you ever experienced an anxiety attack? Most occur because people are afraid of losing control. When you can control your thoughts, actions, and even bodily reactions, it conveys self-confidence and active optimism. Recognize the physical warning signs of distress and act to reduce them, using a relaxation or calming technique. Delay important decisions until you’ve had a chance to consider your options. Resisting temptation is also a form or self-control.

Dr. George Everly, Jr., Ph.D., is considered one of the “founding fathers” of the modern era of stress management and disaster mental health. He currently serves as Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Public Health at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Professor of Psychology at Loyola University Maryland, and Executive Director of Resiliency at UMBC Training Centers.

Douglas A. Strouse, Ph.D., is the Managing Partner of Wexley Consulting HRD, LLC, an international management and consulting firm. He is also the founder of Global Data Source LLC, a national data management and services firm, and is founder and President of the Chief Executive Officers Club (CEO) of Baltimore, a nonprofit organization that provides an educational forum for executives of small and mid-size companies.

Dennis K. McCormack, Ph.D., is one of the original Navy SEALs, and he pioneered SEAL combat doctrine and tactics in Vietnam. Serving as a supervisory psychologist for the Department of Defense (Army), he received official commendation for meritorious performance of duty for demonstrated professionalism and dedicated commitment to excellence as Chief, Department of Behavioral Medicine, Winn Army Community Hospital, Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Podcast: Scott K. Edinger on Leading Regardless of Title

Jacket cover of the Hidden Leader by Scott K. Edinger

Regardless of title, leaders can be found at every level of a business. How can management identify the hidden leaders that drive company success? Author Scott K. Edinger sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss his book, The Hidden Leader: Discover and Develop Greatness Within Your Company, and why locating these secret saviors can be the key to improving your company.

When we think about leaders of an company we tend to look up the organizational hierarchy and focus on title. Scott K. Edinger, coauthor of The Hidden Leader, published by AMACOM, understands the impulse but wants you to remember that there’s plenty of leadership power that doesn’t just come from a title. It’s your go-to people, the mid-level managers and individual contributors who are ready to be tapped. So before you look to outside sources for solutions, remember to look at the resources you already have.

Listen to Scott K. Edinger on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Scott K. Edinger, author of The Hidden LeaderScott K. Edinger, founder of Edinger Consulting Group, is recognized as an expert in helping organizations achieve measurable business results. Coauthor of The Inspiring Leader, he blogs for Harvard Business Review and Forbes.

Listen to more interviews with AMACOM authors on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Philip Kotler: Predicting the American Economy Is a Self-Fulfilling Prophesy

The following is a guest post by Philip Kotler, author of CONFRONTING CAPITALISM, on how economic forecasters affect the economy.

Over the course of my long business career, I’ve watched how economic forecasters try to predict the future. These forecasters fall into two distinct camps: optimists and pessimists. Now that we are entering the process of presidential candidate vetting, what’s at stake is more than just “perception.”

Since my training is in economics and marketing, I strongly believe that the optimistic forecasters are the better predictors. What’s behind the optimistic forecasters? A leading optimist is Peter H. Diamandis, founder of the X prize. The X prize is given when some individual or team develops a powerful solution to a major problem. No one has yet figured out how to drive a car 100 miles on a gallon of gas, but if someone figures it out, the prize will be $10 million dollars. Recently, an X prize was announced to go to a group that could double the speed at which an oil spill can be cleaned up. Thirty groups undertook researching this, and the winner found a way to improve the clean-up rate at six times the old speed. They won that X prize of $10 million dollars.

Besides X prizes, Peter helped found the new Singularity University in the San Francisco Bay area. Its list of advisors and supporters is striking: gifted individuals such as Larry Page (Google), Elon Musk (Tesla Motors and SpaceX), and Ray Kurzweil (all around genius), for example. According to Bloomberg TV, Singularity University is “where the world’s brightest minds convene to attack the world’s toughest challenges.” The concept of Singularity itself is that it is that time in history when a machine learns to think, now estimated by Ray Kurzweil as the year 2034.

It is no wonder that Peter and his peers see a bright future made possible by new technology and software and sensors. Peter and coauthor Steven Kotler published the book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think, which outlines how the world’s standard of living will inevitably improve. They argue that the planet can grow enough food and desalinize enough water for the world’s expanding population. “We will soon be able to meet and exceed the basic needs of every man, woman and child on the planet. Abundance for all is within our grasp.”

Now to the pessimists. Larry Summers, former president of Harvard and advisor to President Obama, recently said: “I think growth probably is going to be slower in terms of aggregate GDP over the next 50 years than it has been over the last 50 years.” He thinks that we are not going to get as much quantitative improvement to the labor force, let alone qualitative improvement until education gets better. He expects diminishing returns to innovation and a diminishing level of business investment.

Professor Robert Solow, the Nobel Prize winner and my former professor who recognized the growing role of technology in driving economic growth, distinguishes between technology that ends up producing physical products like refrigerators and stoves and technology that produces information but far fewer jobs. He worries that companies will continue to hoard cash or buy back stock. He thinks that interest rates will have to remain toward zero to motivate enough large businesses to invest.

The arch pessimist is Professor Robert J. Gordon, my colleague in Northwestern University’s economics department. His paper, “Is U.S. Economic Growth Over? Faltering Innovation Confronts the Six Headwinds” is described by one writer as the most depressing economic idea of 2012. Gordon believes that the big gains in productivity that supported an expanding middle class and the modern welfare state won’t be repeated in the future. He sees technology continuing to grow but not being likely to bring about new breakthroughs on the scale of the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, indoor plumbing, electricity, the railroad, automobiles, airplanes, computers, and the Internet. Each of these created spin-offs, such as highways, air-conditioning, and efficient factories that kept the economy growing for several decades. Gordon admits that the Internet and the digital revolution still has plenty of growth potential left, but he doesn’t expect it to have an impact on the scale of previous major innovations.

Gordon sees six forces in the economy that are likely to dampen U.S. growth:

  • our aging population,
  • our faltering education system,
  • growing income inequality,
  • rising foreign competition,
  • the inevitable impact of global warming, and
  • the need to eventually pay down our debt.

From 1891 to 2007, the nation achieved a robust 2 percent annual growth rate of output per person. Gordon estimates that these six forces will cut down half of the annual GDP income per capita to a 1 percent growth. And he thinks innovation will be less than that which produced our annual growth in the past. Putting these factors together, he thinks that our economy will grow at best by 0.5 percent per year for the next few decades. He sees these forces combining to lead to economic stagnation and a decline in living standards. Moreover, he suggests that the rapid growth achieved in the past 250 years could well turn out to be a unique episode in human history.

It is my belief that each type of forecast, whether optimistic or pessimistic, leads to a self-fulfilling outcome. If most of us are optimists, we will do things to bring about more economic growth. If most of us are pessimists, we will refrain from doing things to produce strong economic growth. Let’s side with Peter Diamandis and his team and give economic growth a chance. And let’s keep this in mind when choosing our presidential candidates. Our future depends upon it.

Philip Kotler is the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Although best known as a marketing guru, Kotler trained as an economist. He received his Master’s in Economics at the University of Chicago under famed Nobel laureate and free-market evangelist Milton Friedman before pursuing his Ph.D. at MIT under Paul Samuelson and Robert Solow, two Nobel Prize–winning Keynesian economists. He is the author of more than 50 books, including CONFRONTING CAPITALISM: Real Solutions for a Troubled Economic System.

Random Quotes from New Books this July

Cover art for Eat Like a Champion by Jill CastleEat Like a Champion: Performance Nutrition for Your Young Athlete by Jill Castle

“The body will not let blood levels of calcium fluctuate based on food consumption. If dietary intake is inadequate, calcium will be pulled from the bones and delivered to the bloodstream.

“To better understand this, think about a savings account at the bank. During the childhood and teen years, young athletes are making deposits into their savings account (bone). Once they reach adulthood, their bodies make withdrawals if not enough calcium is consumed, or the account remains steady if calcium intake is plentiful. In childhood and adolescence, the bone account grows, just like an investment account. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in adulthood–it’s all about maintenance and depreciation” (page 74).

The Eldercare Consultant: Your Guide to Making the Best Choices Possible by Becky Feola

Cover art for The Eldercare Consultant by Becky Feola“Attitudes toward aging can greatly affect the spirit. Those who view aging as a depressing, useless stage preceding death tent to report a lower quality of life than those who view aging as an opportunity to continue learning and understanding more about themselves and others. The latter attitude tends to promote a sense of joy and purpose” (page 100).





Sales Management (The Brian Tracy Success Library) by Brian Tracycover of Sales Management from the Brian Tracy Success Library

“Perhaps the greatest discovery in psychology in the twentieth century was the discovery of the self-concept. It turns out that there is a direct relationship between the self-concept of the salesperson (i.e., what the salesperson thinks, feels, and believes about himself) and the person’s level of sales performance.

“People sell effectively to the exact degree to which they consider themselves to be good at selling” (page 31).

Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.