Most likely as a child M.B. Flippen always got called Flip by friends and family. As an adult he decided to turn
that nickname into fun and profit. He built a prosperous consulting company teaching companies and individuals to
do the "flip." As far as I know, he didn’t use a pancake metaphor to describe his clients, but it wouldn’t be
surprising if he did. Most self-help books urge us to look to our strengths to achieve success. The Flip Side
does the opposite, flipping over the pancake of our personalities to their weak side to show us that we need to
overcome our personal "constraints" if we expect to reach our full potential.
Flippen calls his program OPC, or Overcoming Personal Constraints. First he describes the 10 most prevalent, or
"Killer" personal constraints and offers a checklist test to help us see which ones fit our own personal picture.
Each of these sabotaging behaviors has a coolly memorable descriptive name. We might see ourselves as: "Bulletproof,"
"Ostriches," "Marshmallows," "Critics," "Icebergs," "Flatliners," "Bulldozers," "Turtles," "Volcanoes," or "Quick
Draws." Some may see this as perhaps all a little too flip and glib to be taken as serious transformational
material. For others the tone may be just right.
Urging the reader to take one small step at a time, Flippen asks us to choose the one or two personal constraints
that most affect our lives and make a plan to overcome them. These plans we make for ourselves, or with the help of
others, are called TrAction Plans™. According to Flippen, behavior change makes a bigger impact more swiftly
than thinking change do, so he encourages us to write down our intended behavior changes and make sure we follow
through with action. Flippen suggest finding a trusted "feedback partner" to help you check up on your own progress
in overcoming your constraints.
The emphasis, alas, like so many other self help books, is heavy on diagnosis and overly light on cure. The book
is also excessively heavy on stories, especially the story of Flippen, his family, and company. Flippen, a Texan, has
become a well known educational trainer and his process has been used with success in corporate and competitive
situations from Wall Street to NASCAR. The Flippen method is touted as a simple approach, and while it may seem far
too simple for some, it may help others who are open to a lightweight approach to identify self-limiting behaviors
and begin steps to help "flip" flaws into assets.