This book came highly recommended by a few bloggers that I respect.
The Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career from Good to Great by Rick Smith is nothing new. I think this book has been written a hundred times before. A successful person reverse engineers how they made it and then handpicks a few conforming examples and then presents their findings as to the path. Are there good lessons in the book? Sure. The book has quite a bit of good advice, but I never once had the feeling I was reading some new life-changing wisdom. I felt like I’ve read this book before.
Just once I’d like to read a business book that doesn’t cite huge outliers like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Tiger Woods. This book mentions all three. Does anyone in the business genre understand the concept of survivorship bias? In fairness to the author, he does frame his advice in a way where the reader minimizes downside risk. I also liked his tip to focus on ideas that are big, selfless, and simple.
If you are new to the pump-you-up-and-take-on-the-world genre, you may like this book. It said very little new to me.
Dec 14, 2010 — 2:34 pm
Its funny I’ve always noticed that people cite outliers too. YOU TOO CAN BE THE NEXT BILL GATES if you do this, this, and this! Yeah right.
Even reading Forbes/BusinessWeek/etc. you always read about the skydiving, Harvard MBA’d, on his second or third wife, full head-of-hair CEO who makes millions of dollars. This CEO will predictably cite his hard work, teamwork, blah…
Where is the magazine that chronicles the millions of equally ambitious, hard-working, risk-taking, now divorced and single (due to being a workaholic) living in a condo, middle-managers who by some turn of events did NOT end up the CEO?
Corporate success is somewhat of a gamed system or a total scam or maybe somewhere in between. Or real life is too boring to sell magazines/books.
Dec 14, 2010 — 3:00 pm
@Thomas – Yep. People want to buy the fantasy that if they follow X number of steps it will yield some measurable amount of success.
I met a girl in Business School at the U of Washington. She is required to read the Wall Street Journal and Business Week. I told her she would be far better off reading business history books. Then I gave her a short list of books to read.