Life gets in the way–this is something we have all experienced. The people with whom we choose to surround ourselves, the chances we opt to take, and the goals we set for ourselves set the tone for our success and, in many cases, our failures. One of the most effective methods for being successful is recognizing that you don’t have to go it alone. From learning with others to staving off those who ooze negativity, realizing that we are not expected to find our niche alone is the key to reaching goals of all types–not just goals related to business and career.
Leo Bottary, author of What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth, sets forth some tidbits of advice regarding reaching goals and the realizations he has made along his journey. Interwoven with his own brief, high-interest anecdotes are words of wisdom from those he admires and from whom he has gleaned the most effective advice.
One of the most striking aspects of Bottary’s work is the stress he places on finding individuals who provide the appropriate amount of support but, at the same time, push us to reach our potential. Bottary effectively points out that the time in which we are currently living is an integral part of our ability to reach our potential. We essentially have everything we need at our fingertips, and our access to experts and the opinions and advice from others with similar interests and goals is ever-increasing. Bottary brings to light many points I had not considered as I am considering a career change myself and face my own negativity heading forward.
As an elementary teacher, I am stunned at the revelation Bottary makes regarding the time in which people tend to lose that feeling of invincibility. He points out that we are born believing we have no limits, but life tends to change that rather quickly. Specifically, he shares that by the age my own students are in third grade, they begin to second guess the fact that they can be anything they want and have what they desire. That was an eye-opening passage worth a second and third read to this teacher and mother.
Page after page, Bottary hits on one relevant topic after another related to the plans we make during our lives. I especially appreciated Bottary’s words on the changes we make related to career and business. My teenagers are about to graduate and set out on their own. Bottary emphasizes that the feelings my son is having about making a career choice and the pressure he feels to be sure about it now are validated by Bottary. I am more confident, after reading, in talking to him about the way in which we tend to change our minds about school and career paths.
What begins with the feel of a business-oriented self-help book turns quickly into an excellent source of inspiration for all readers.
Pages: 186 | ASIN: B07GRD9YPT
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What is the meaning of success; titles, money, family, happiness? These are the questions Nata and Karl must face as their life makes dramatic changes from their carefully planned out future. Nata is fostered by working class parents Joe & Hetty, Karl comes from the upper-class elite. Nata’s biological father was abusive to both her and her mother, leading her to fear men, and especially any and all sexual contact. Despite her reservations Karl works his way into her heart and they marry with the intent of living full professional lives that does not include a family. Nata however finds out she is pregnant and together they must figure out how to adjust their life goals and ambitions to this new situation. While battling with his ideals about his personal life, Karl must make some choices about his professional career as a lawyer. Knowing what is right and knowing what you can make a difference with are gray areas when you’re a lawyer dealing with the upper-class elite.
On the surface this book starts off with the story of two people from different worlds coming together to make their relationship work through unplanned events, pregnancy. As the story deepens you see beyond the surface struggles or plans changing, you see the deep wounds that childhood sexual abuse brings; you see the residual effects of emotional abuse and withholding of love and support to a child. It changes the world view, it changes what is important in life. Nata and Karl could be anyone you encounter in the professional world. They are focused on their goals but when life turns things upside down, their struggles to connect and find a path forward are relatable. Unplanned pregnancy, changing life goals of prestige or happy home life, can they all be merged? Karl’s professional life is also dealt a staggering blow. He knows the difference between right and wrong but knows fighting against what is wrong in this case is career suicide. He takes the safe way out to save his career, but it nags at him. He continues to try and find balance between right and wrong.
While Karl is trying to find his way, Nata is trying to make peace with her past and the demons that follow her. It is a realistic view into how sexual abuse continues to hurt people well into adult lives and impact their life decisions. When her baby is born early due to a car accident she is thrust into even more challenging emotions, a premature birth, a child that will have lifelong medical needs, a husband that can’t come to terms with a non-perfect child. Lorraine Cobcroft’s ability to tap into those emotions and the mindset of a new mother experiencing them is profound. So often these things are glossed over for other more comfortable plot lines, however Mortgaged Goods puts these deep emotions and controversial topics right into the forefront of the novel, making them key points.
While the novel starts out looking like it will be a ‘lawyer takes on the corrupt upper tiers of society’ type novel, this book is so much more. Mortgaged Goods by Lorraine Cobcroft tackles deep emotional issues, sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, corruption of society, to include law enforcement, judges, and politicians. Through it all though, it is a novel about making a relationship work though the hard times, finding out what is truly important in life, and making the best of what life hands you, even when that is not what you have carefully laid out in your life plans.
Pages: 278 | ASIN: B018ZVWE5O
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Often people work for years without ever being tapped for a promotion or some sort of appreciation for long service. This may prove very demotivating to the person. Others choose to stay in the positions because they feel that that is where they can do the most good. In this instance, the companies provide some sort of appreciation.
This book helps the reader unlock those promotions and appreciations. It helps the reader gain confidence and gain effective communication skills. By applying each one of the tips provided in Promotion Protocol, one can not only become an inspiring person to work with but also a beloved team leader. The tools are practical and simple enough to follow. Dr. Kim Nugent highlights the difference between training and coaching and how the latter is more advisable in an organizational setting. This book is a road map to a more cohesive, more productive, and more beneficial relationship between supervisor and employee.
Dr. Nugent talks about her experience in numerous positions. One particularly important point is the failure of supervisors to appreciate the uniqueness and freshness of the new generation. Their failure to involve the new generation in the administration aspects of the job so that there is a continuous supply of talent to pick from when the time comes for management positions to be refreshed. This is very important. It is something that both managers and employees can learn from. This is not the only instance of the author using her life experiences. These real life stories make for a great learning experience. One is able to learn lessons that stick. She does not window dress either. She lays out her mistakes too. Her ability to realize when she made a mistake is uncanny and inspiring.
The author gives little alphabetized nuggets. These nuggets work like a mnemonic device. It enhances the understanding of subject matter for the reader. This is not a book to merely skim through. It holds many important points that could be instrumental in the path to professional success. The alphabetical resource is absolutely wonderful.
The author has also written the book in a friendly tone. It is engaging. It is conversational. It is not condescending or intimidating. While most cannot reach Dr. Nugent and request mentoring, this book is written in such a way that one feels like they are drinking from the very faucet of advice.
The book is in need of at least one more brush over from an editor. There are several instances of misspelled words and awkward sentences. Otherwise, everything else is good. These little mistakes do not take away from the experience. They do not drop a chip off the gem.
Are you ready to succeed? Are you ready to get out of your own way? Are you ready to be the best that you can be? This book is for you. It will not lecture, it will coach. It will mentor. It will nurture.
Pages: 154 | ASIN: B07DDN1P2F
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Most of us don’t seek advice or reach out to others for help very easily. In part, it’s because we’re conditioned to see life as an individual endeavor rather than a team sport. Or because we believe that asking for help makes us look weak or incapable. We regard self-help as by-yourself-help. News flash: no one in the history of the world has ever achieved any level of happiness or success totally by themselves.
In his 1976 book The Long Run Solution, Joe Henderson suggested that becoming truly accomplished at running (or at anything) doesn’t typically require us to perform superhuman feats. In fact, success is frequently realized by those who simply do the things anyone can do that most of us never will.
In What Anyone Can Do, with the help of Leo Bottary’s Year of the Peer podcasts guests (and playful illustrations by Ryan Foland), you’ll discover that if you surround yourself with the right people, you’ll do the things anyone can do far more often. And when you do that, you and the people around you will realize more of what you want out of business and life. It’s that simple.
The Power of Peers (2016) made a strong case for how and why formal peer groups are so effective. This book steps outside the formal peer group arena to examine all the important relationships we have in our lives (parents, teachers, spouses, mentors, children, mentees, etc.) and provides a practical approach and specific framework for harnessing their power for your benefit (and theirs). It’s what anyone can do. You’re anyone, right?
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Masks is a dark fictional tale, based on true-life events. It narrates the adventures of a young Armenian girl born in Lebanon in the seventies. She dreams of fame and power in Lebanon and the Arab world and shows resilience and motivation beyond her years. The novel delves into the world of the protagonist, Anna, who is surrounded by social, religious, and sexual taboos. She fiercely breaks the chains to enter the world she has strived to reach, in a seemingly conservative society barely emerging from a civil war. She builds her success on her remaining values, challenging her fate and sparing no way means to attain her goals.
As a disappointment to her parents, she walks the challenging paths alone, making her way toward fame and fortune despite lacking the support system to do so. Doors begin to open for her, and she enters the world of Arab celebrities. She is now a public figure in the Middle East, living an immoral married life in a materialistic world surrounded by influential business people and royal family members. She tries, in vain, to fill the void in her soul with sexual adventures and controversy by taking a wide variety of lovers. Her adventures invariably end in misery, doing nothing to awaken her from her numbness. Still, her vivid, out-of-control personality helps her move forward while simultaneously getting her in trouble. In the early stages of her life, she has suffered the unthinkable, being bullied and raped, with the civil war a constant backdrop throughout most of her childhood. The novel delves deep into Anna’s mind as she has flashbacks of the trauma she has suffered, offering the reader a hint of an explanation for her behavior.
In a society in which men dominate women, she is one of the few who realize that fashion, social status, plastic surgeries, and bright smiles are not the answer to happiness. She lives in a world where a girl is only worth as much as her virginity, where women do not dare to ask for a divorce, where the fear of retribution keeps them locked in a cage that is very rarely gilded.
As fame, money, and power slowly eat at her soul, the arrogant Anna falls in love with a total stranger—a young, single bachelor from Canada—after a night of secret passion. That is where the story begins to unravel as she returns home with a scandal in her back pocket, her eyes and ears and heart tuned to this man instead of her husband. Anna realizes that neither her marriage nor her achievements have ever made her happy, so she decides to throw it all away. The lies and deceit that fill the so-called glamorous life she has been leading are floating up to the surface, including her husband’s infidelity and the critical steps she has taken to reach the top.
Marriage, family, career—all destroyed to be united with the stranger. She starts a new battle, this time struggling to change her destiny for someone she barely knows, who lives oceans apart and offers her nothing except his heart.
She risks everything, turning her whole life upside down. Anna realizes that her happiness, inner peace, and love are found worlds away from her own, with someone she would never have expected to be her soul mate. Still, Anna’s sacrifices are not behind her, and the struggle has not yet ended, although she has found what she has needed all her life: redemption and unconditional love.
The stranger enigmatically hints at emotions in Anna that have been hidden for a long time behind the masks of her dark and shallow lifestyle.
The characters in the story are the voices of so many who do not dare to speak up in a world where social and religious standards openly chastise the very actions that behind closed doors have become the ultimate paradigmatic way of life.
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Change is important for progress. Change ensures that the business environment stays fresh. It puts the organization on a viable path to success. It breaks monotony.
Craig Borysowich covers a variety of business processes that are required to introduce and manage change. This book will arm the reader with the necessary skills to ensure they can effectively and successfully effect change in the organization. This book covers a range of business related issues and factors that lead to the ease and improvement of performance in the business environment.
Whether one is instrumental in the introduction of change or merely a supporter, they need to understand the unintended consequences of change. There is need to understand how to handle situations that could arise from the change and how to deal with the aftermath. Utilizing the tools found within this book will raise the chances of success for a change agent.
The Better Practices Guide to Change is filled with useful samples, examples, and templates that are directly applicable to the business environment.
The author does a good job of delivering the content in an understandable manner. The outline encourages better perusing of the material. The format is efficient and does not distract the reader from the subject at hand. The worst thing about books in this genre is where the author gets braggy and condescending. The author does not commit that faux pas. He gives advice in a manner that leaves the reader feeling knowledgeable, smarter, and not stupid for not having known prior to reading.
Everything from the format to the material is deeply researched. One can tell that there is experience. The author does not try to aggressively force his ideas onto the reader but rather imparts knowledge for the taking at the reader’s discretion.
The subject has been exhaustively explained. All six sections cover different aspects of change in a way that leaves all questions answered. This book is like an elderly mentor. The author holds the reader’s hand through the sections, explaining each point and frequently pausing to check that they have understood. After reading this book, one will feel like they have just encountered their mentor through real world training.
This book takes on a very serious tone. It may at times feel more like a textbook than a guide. However, this is not a deterrent to the delivery. One will still get the message.
Craig has created a great reference guide. Often people who are responsible for the change process might have doubts about the change itself or doubt which route taken to achieve it. This book will help them review and revise if possible. It will affirm which plan is the correct one and therefore refresh one’s faith in the change. Change does not have to be a big scary ogre, and Craig ensures it is not.
Pages: 390 | ASIN: B078T1GW89
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Like Peaches and Pickles follows Georgia Davis as she fights to maintain her position in a work place that is quickly changing. Georgia has worked her whole life for her success. But just as her career goals are about to come to fruition the new University President hires an old friend of his. New Vice President Carl Overstreet quickly sets himself up to be the sour pickle in this story. Easily unlikable, but somehow, Georgia has a romantic connection with the man that the rest of the staff is plotting to overthrow. With her job on the line, and soon her reputation, Georgia is faced with the adage; when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
While Georgia Davis fights to maintain the success she has we get to see office politics play out in a entertaining yet believable way that leaves Georgia endearing. If you’ve ever worked in an office then you can easily place these characters into your own workplace. Far too often have I seen people like Carl Overstreet walk over people like Georgia Davis in my career. It’s nice that this book looks at those relationships and expands them in a story that moves along quickly with smart writing and easy prose.
While Carl sets out to, seemingly, directly offend everyone, somehow, Georgia has romantic feelings for him. I don’t want to ruin things here so I won’t say more, but I will say that things don’t end up the way you think they might, which was a nice plot twist for me and one of those small examples that kept me turning pages just to see what happens next.
Georgia is doing all that she can to remain a great team player and save the public face of the University. Unfortunately, members of her team have concocted a way to get the Vice President fired at the cost of their most valuable team member, Georgia. I enjoyed the soft of internal office war that breaks out as people begin to realize that others are plotting and scheming; that could end up giving the University a bad name.
I liked that this book felt familiar to me. It allowed me to easily empathize with the characters. It’s so hard not to give away so many juicy details here, but rest assured, you will want to read this book for yourself. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a great drama in a professional setting with a hint of romance.
Pages: 256 | ISBN: 1612969798
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Walking Over Eggshells: Surviving Mental Abuse by Lucinda Clarke is an autobiography where she has changed all the names to protect the innocent and guilty. The novel is about Lucinda’s life and how she survived growing up and living with mental abuse. Lucinda’s mom had narcissistic personality disorder, and this impacted her entire life. She uses this novel to show that despite growing up with this abuse she still lived a life full of adventure, had a family and eventually had a successful career. You will laugh at some of the stories, cry at others, and be outright shocked by many and wonder how this girl survived to write this. Through it all Lucinda was able to grow and keep up with the times, she was born in the 1950’s and has had to adapt with a drastically changing society while continuing to endure the mental abuse of her mother at every turn even into her adult years.
The beginning chapters of the book tell of how Lucinda’s parents met and the eventual death of her father when she was only two. From there we are introduced to the never-ending criticism, punishments, and agony that Lucinda as a child endured. It is heartbreaking reading her words begging for a cuddle or a word of love and compassion from the women that called herself her mother. As a teen, the typical back and forth arguments continued, the younger generation is ungrateful, they need to do their part, so selfish, these are common themes even today we hear about the millennials. With Lucinda though, it is deeper, her mother really did expect her to do everything for her, and even when she did it was never good enough. The emotional struggle and need for love and acceptance is one that many readers can relate to, those that live with constant mental abuse will relate to Lucinda and see how she coped with the abuse while understanding why she continues to have a relationship with her mother.
Once Lucinda meets and marries Jeremy her life adventures take off. They never stay in one place long, always moving from one job to the next, involving everything from traveling encyclopedia sales to sketchy engineering jobs in South Africa. In a way Lucinda traded one form of abuse for another, she loves Jeremy but he takes advantage of her and plays on her need to be loved. This is the part of the story where you read and think ‘is this real?’ how can one person put up with so much? That, I think, is the real story behind this book. You can survive though mental abuse even when that abuse spans the majority of your life.
Throughout the book, Lucinda finds a way to make the best of her situation. She is willing to work be it animal breeding, filling, cleaning hotel rooms or writing. She never gave up no matter where she lived or what was going on with her and Jeremy, or her children, or her mother, she pushed forward and didn’t just survive the abuse, she made something of her life that she is proud of and even enjoyed at times. It is emotional, and at times hard to read; but Lucinda will make you believe anything is possible to overcome with the right mindset.
Pages: 239 | ASIN: B00E8HSNDW
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A Transformed Man details an astonishingly prolific man with unbridled passion as an actor, writer and director with a zeal for mystical life. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I have always been interested in personal transformation and how a person’s beliefs influence their actions. After working with Shatner, I realized what an amazingly energetic and prolific man he was. As his career progress, he was always very open and public with his beliefs and feelings. For me, he was the perfect research subject the perfect example of a transformed man.
This biography is very detailed. What kind of research did you do to ensure accuracy of the subject?
I interviewed people who knew him personally, including the cast and crew of Star Trek, and researched hundreds of public sources and media. Then, I organized everything chronologically, and published a thousand annotated credits of his acting career in a book in the Greenwood Press Performing Arts series called William Shatner: A Bio-Bibliography. That made it much easier to compose an in-depth biography of him that was concise and accurate.
What is one thing that surprises you the most about William Shatner?
His passion for life. He is totally engaged in everything he does. People have no idea how perceptive and sensitive he is. He is also an athletic guy, who stays very active even at the age of 87.
What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?
I am working on a biography of the Elizabethan alchemist Dr. John Dee that focuses on his mathematical and scientific contributions.
This biography of William Shatner adds some surprises beyond the all the stories of his eccentric behavior. It reveals what really makes the man tick. The author has done his footwork, talking to all the cast and crew and sifting through sixty years of archives, and he has come up with many amazing insights, including the shocking source of the Star Trek franchise. This is a moving portrait of a fascinating man, an in-depth and often unsettling biography of a modern icon. This is a book for people who don’t give a damn about Star Trek.
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