Book Review/Interview: There's more to life than a corner office
I got a hold of Thereís more to life than a corner office thanks to somebody at the publisher coming across my blog and sending me a free copy. I think subtitle of the book ďThe Secret to Total Life ProsperityĒ really is a great way to sum up what this book is all about. Through the eyes of a young hot shot executive we get the tail of how easily we can lose our way in our goals for career success. When he comes across a highly successful CEO, he begins the period of introspection that I think all business leaders need to go through.
When we neglect every other area of our life with a focus of just getting head it becomes really detrimental to our abilities. The other great thing about this book is that it reads really quickly. For a fairly quick reader you might be able to finish it in just a few hours. But, it will definitely leave a lasting impression on you. I decided to extract what I consider the most important lessons from this book and include them in this post:
1. The most successful people are the ones who ask themselves the hard questions and confront the truth even if isnít pretty
2. Each and every person is incalculably valuable. Each person we meet is as valuable and deserving of our respect as every other
3. Target fixation is the condition of becoming so singularly focused on a particular goal or objective that one ignores other important factors even to the point of ones own detriment. Over focusing on just the target can make everything go down the drain
4. Humans have a great capacity to produce and grow, yet most only scratch the surface
5. Plan well enough that you know what the proper course to completion looks like and you are then set to see departures from that course much sooner
6. Be intentional in all you do
7. If a person truly sells out to accomplish a major objective and ignores the balance in the process, he or she will invariably find that any satisfaction is short lived, even if he or she accomplishes the objective
8. Immaturity temps us to look only at the immediate reward, but we need to think beyond the longer term cost or effect
9. True leadership has many facets but it begins with the need to see more and see farther than those being led
10. Hope is simply a reasonable expectation for a brighter tomorrow. Of course the choices we make form our basis for hope or lack of it
11. Some actions in life are undoable once you pull the trigger
12. Real change is not easy. It involves getting in touch with our true values, what we stand for, the deep longings of our hearts.
13. What happens to you in life is much less important than the way you respond to it
14. What we put into our minds is just as important as what we put into our bodies
15. Just because youíve had some success doesnít mean there isnít anything to learn. We are always learning and growing
16. Thereís more to life than a corner office
Interview with Author Lamar Smith
Can you tell me a little bit about your background?
Sure. I grew up in a small town in Georgia, led a pretty idyllic life. I actually was first generation in my family to go to college, but I always knew I was going to go to college. I attended Georgia State University where I studied business. But the most important part of that is the story of a guy who had a tremendous influence on me. David Schwarz who is deceased was the author of a book that is pretty well known called The Magic Of Thinking Big and he was the chair of the marketing department. I took 4 classes with him and Iíd never considered how much you really could stretch your mind to accomplish goals. Right after I graduated the Vietnam War was going and I ended up being a pilot and flew search and rescue missions. When I became an instructor was when I started to pay attention to the processes for what causes success and I eventually applied that my business life.
What made you write this book?
Over all this time, I actually catalogued all of my experiences and my life lessons that enabled me to succeed. I thought there had to be a way to deliver this message to the world and Thereís more to Life than a Corner office was the byproduct.
So, thereís one young hot-headed character and one CEO in this book? Is the CEO character based on you and is the young character based on someone?
Actually, itís interesting you ask that. I would really say itís a dialogue between the person that I am today and the person that I was at the age of 30.
Youíve got alot of interesting life lessons in there. Did you make these mistakes yourself as youíve gone through your career?
Yes absolutely. Actually itís an interesting phenomenon. We always remember our mistakes. For some reason itís easier to remember those. For example, you touch a stove, it burns, you donít touch a hot stove again. But, our successes for some reason seem more difficult to remember. We just donít pay attention to the process for it. People are like icebergs. Only 15% of what your capable of is above the surface, and 85% is inside of you. Itís just that very few people if any ever tap that capacity below the surface. What weíre capable of is quite extraordinary.
Iíve noticed in the book that you took a particular interest in growing and mentoring people from waitresses to delivery drivers? Whatís driven you do to do that?
Iíve always had a genuine interest in people. I may just talk to a waitress in a restaurant and say tell me your life story in 25 words or less. I actually think thereís something I can learn from everybody.
Itís been really tough out there for recent grads from MBA programs, undergrad or any other school in terms of finding jobs. What advice do you have for us?
Winston Churchill said never, never, never give up. My daughter has been trying to break into publishing in New York and she struggled quite a bit for almost 3-4 months, but she was determined, and now sheís working as an editor at a publishing company. Figure out what unique things you have to offer and showcase those. Realize that life is not about what happens to you, but how you respond to what happens. One last piece of advice about resentment: ďAnimosity is an asset that heats first the vessel that holds itĒ
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