Success may be one step away for those who care to stay in the fight.

Success may be one step away for those who care to stay in the fight.

Pick, pick, pick.

That's how you get to success these days. A win, a couple losses; steps ahead and back. So many times, you've felt close to the prize, only to have to start over again. Now read the new book 212: The Extra Degree by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson, and pick another way to fight.

It's the little things that matter. And if you don't believe it, consider the mighty steam engine: At 211 degrees, water is just water-but heat it by only one degree and water can move that steam engine.

That analogy might describe your career. Success, personally, in business, community and relationships, might be bubbling just beneath the surface at 211 degrees, waiting for one more degree's worth of effort.

Imagine how many opportunities you've missed because you quit before you gave that extra degree. Now imagine how much money you've left on the table. In many cases, say the authors, the person who puts forth winning effort comes away as runner-up.

However, finding your personal 212 degrees may be easier than you think.

Put your phone away and engage with the people in front of you. Improve your career by adding a few minutes to your workday for professional development. Spend one hour each day studying something that fascinates you. Stop hitting the snooze button in the morning. Make one extra sales call. Encourage one employee or co-worker.

Finally, add the words "and then some …" to your business vocabulary. Do what you can-and then some-and you'll be surprised at what can be accomplished.

It's obvious merely by picking this book up that it's not going to take much time to read. 212: The Extra Degree is thin, in more ways than one.

Toward the beginning of their book Parker and Anderson say their steam-engine visual is so simple and evocative that you don't even have to read any further. If you do go forth, you'll find a mishmash of quotations, half-thoughts, questionably relevant tales and pages of stats.

If you want a quick idea to present during a staff meeting, you can all take turns reading this new edition of 212: The Extra Degree aloud in an hour. If you want something with more meat, pick another book.