Leaders Around The World Define Individual Success
What traits separate the leaders from the followers? Herb Greenberg and Patrick Sweeney attempt to tease apart these leadership qualities using two years of interviews with visionaries in various fields. The authors zone in on 19 distinguishing traits and a visionary who personifies each attribute in their novel, Succeed On Your Own Terms: Lessons From Top Achievers Around the World on Developing Your Unique Potential.
Whether scaling Mount Everest or deciding to quit a day job to open up a singing telegram business, each individual personifies a single trait that distinguishes them from the rest. Whether centering on optimism, resilience, empathy or self-awareness to name just a few, Greenberg and Sweeney call attention to the traits that make a person a visionary by spotlighting these defining qualities in each person's story.
In the chapter titled "Perseverance," the authors profile Samuel Pisar, a renowned lawyer, advisor and author. His resolve brought him to safety after surviving the horrors of Nazi concentration camps. In one of many near-death experiences, all that stood between him and a gas chamber was a pail, brush and rag.
Upon arriving to Auschwitz in a long cattle train, Samuel was told to get in line, and as he walked in a line down a long corridor, he knew that this was it. But when Samuel saw a tiny pail with rags, he saw a chance to survive. Resourcefully, he bent down on his knees and began scrubbing. When a guard barked orders at him to clean harder, he kept his head down and, with rag in hand, slowly cleaned his way to the door and back to the camp.
Samuel would have many other brushes with death in the Holocaust. As an adult, Samuel became a visionary lawyer who was short-listed for a Nobel Prize nomination. He was also made a U.S. citizen by an act of Congress. He wrote his memoir — as well as theories on the power of economic and human contact to resolve conflict and bring peace. "The child of war was becoming an architect of peace," the authors commented.
The Clock's Ticking
The authors tell other people's stories — centering on triumph and victory as well. For example, the authors chronicle the pass by quarterback Roger Staubach, who led the Dallas Cowboys to a victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the closing seconds of the Super Bowl.
His story speaks to the trait of thriving under pressure. Down by four points in the last 30 seconds of the game, Roger, in desperation, threw to a well-covered receiver, Drew Pearson.
In an amazing catch, Drew brought the ball into the end zone wedged between his elbow and hip. When a reporter asked the quarterback later what he was thinking during that moment, Roger simply said, "I closed my eyes and said a Hail Mary." Thus, the term Hail Mary pass was born, exemplifying what it means to deliver when it matters.
Accounts of cancer survival, civil rights marches, professional sports successes and political coups pepper the pages of Succeed on Your Own Terms.
The authors even briefly chronicle some distinguishing characteristics of the leader of the Hell's Angels, Sonny Barger, in a collection of accounts in the chapter "Knowing Yourself."
Often inspirational and always interesting, Greenberg and Sweeney paint dramatic pictures of various leaders from around the world.
"If you can learn from others and recognize parts of yourself in their stories," the authors write, "we believe you'll be able to open the door to your own success."
Some accounts will resonate more fully, depending on the reader's own personal attributes, the authors contend. However, the authors' goal is to take the reader into themselves through the lives of other people.
In the closing chapters, Greenberg and Sweeney explain that each person profiled had a defining moment. Some of these moments hit people over the head, while other moments slowly seeped into their consciousness.
Why We Like This Book
In telling other people's stories of success, Greenberg and Sweeney's Succeed on Your Own Terms gives the reader a chance for both historical and personal exploration at the same time. The free online assessment also offers the reader the chance to gain further insight into his/her own levels of personal success.