Last year in Ohio I nearly met Daniel Crosby. He was giving an early session talk on day one at the Ohio State HR Conference which I really wanted to hear. Thanks to United Airlines, I missed that opportunity. Subsequently I hooked up with Daniel on Facebook and we’ve had some good laughs over there. I enjoy his sense of humour very much, but I wish he’d face facts and accept that I am both smarter and better looking than him.
Anyhoo, thanks to our connection on Facebook I learned Daniel was going to release a real book, and I asked if he could keep me posted so I could have a read of it. I expected Daniel to point me at Amazon, but no – he kindly sent me a copy, and I’ve read it. What’s it all about? – I hear you ask. Let me tell you.
You’re Not That Great
The introduction hooked me with, ‘we can begin to live in ways that make us uncomfortable in the best way possible’. I have a mild addiction to uncomfortable so needed no further encouragement. However as I started to read on, I confess to feeling a little bombarded. Biblical references gave way to Soren Kierkegaard, who handed off to Ayn Rand, then Victor Frankl ran the anchor leg before handing to Oprah Winfrey to nail the home straight. And this race was all done by page 15. Whether all these people have a part to play in a relay race is not my question to answer, but my immediate reaction was, I don’t want to hear from these people – I want to hear from Daniel. I got over myself and continued. I’m glad I did.
I began to appreciate the way that chapters were neatly subdivided, each piece framed with a neat hook. This really helped me to digest ideas and thoughts emerging from the book. It also helped me to keep moving on through, something I find quite tricky in a lot of leadership and motivational type books.
Four chapters stood out for me. You Are Not Special, which focuses on the importance of effort, You’re Kind of Crazy, which touches on mental illness and suffering, Your Ideas Aren’t All That Original, which is a great exploration into idea jamming, creation and remixing, and You’re Chasing The Wrong Dream, which encourages the reader to look at what really motivates and drives them.
At the end of each chapter is a short piece called Lived Learning which makes some suggestions on how to make the chapter work for you. I particularly like the lived learning at the end of chapter titled Your Ideas Aren’t That Original. I’d like to share a part of it with you:
Choose three books that you’ve always wanted to read (or that would deepen your understanding of some desired content area) and purchase them today. Right now. Seriously….go ahead. Now choose a date three months from now by which you will have read all the books. Determine a reward for reading them in time as well as a punishment for not having read them and and make it known to someone you trust who will hold you to your goal.
I like this idea, I appreciate being encouraged to read more. I’m quite a slow reader, and I often get bored part way through a book and just let it fizzle out, and yet when I do stick with it – I’m often pleasantly surprised at what I’ve learned and how I can apply that to my work, to my life. So here goes. My three books are, Good to Great by Jim Collins, The No Arsehole Rule by Robert Sutton, and Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. I’ve already started on Tipping Point and who knows, if these first three go well, then maybe I’ll come back for more.
Thanks for the idea Daniel, and thanks for writing the book too. I finished it (no mean feat by my standards), I enjoyed it, and I’m acting on it. I look forward to our meeting in real life, some day, some where.