Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review - Practical Genius


Occasionally I get requests to review books. I've always turned down these chances in the past but the last few requests I've received caught my eye and I decided to go for it.

The first of these books is Practical Genius: The Real Smarts You Need to Get Your Talents and Passions Working for YOUby Gina Amaro Rudan. The author wants to change the feeling that we're walking around leaving one set of our skills,talents and assets unused (what she calls "de-geniusing" ourselves). She also wants to change the commonly accepted view of what "genius" is.
The problem with the commonly accepted concept of "genius" is that it's a quality - like creativity - that has a magical, elusive connotation. Most people consider genius to be a gift, a lightning bolt fromt he gods that strikes a lucky few like Mozart or Einstein, but not the rest of us.

I'm here to tell you that this is simply not true. Every one of us has the capacity for genius.
Ms. Rudan is obviously what Dave Ramsey would call a "high octane, high protein" go-getter.This comes across clearly in everything she writes. She's unapologetic and she writes like the bossy big sister everyone could use every once in a while. (Yes, I am used to being the Bossy Big Sister, not listening to one.)

Her advice ranges from the practical (improving listening skills, using correct body language, etc.) to the slightly less usual (telling your story, recognizing people who are operating on the same wave length as yourself).

A few of my favorite quotes:
Better to play with ten amazing people than pander to ten thousand morons.

You don't manage time, you spend it.

[D]o one thing every day that represents a conscious effort to expose yourself to the extraordinary instead of the ordinary, the profound instead of the pedestrian, the breathtaking instead of the mind-numbing.
This book is obviously intended for those already working in the corporate world, whether for a Fortune 500 company or in a small business. Even though I'm not really part of that scene, I think the thing I appreciated most about this business book is that it wasn't a "Be like Steve Jobs" or "imitate this business guru" kind of book.

There has already been a Steve Jobs and no one else will ever be exactly like him. I can promise you that if I tried, I would be a spectacular failure.

But - and here's the part that I think encouraged me the most - we don't have to be Steve Jobs. We need to be balanced, hard-working, honest, and yes, maybe even genius versions of ourselves. Because no one else can do that.

I received a copy of this book for review purposes only. I did not receive any other form of compensation for this review. Opinions are my own. This post also contains Amazon affiliate links. Action taken with these links could result in compensation for me.

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