Succeed: A book review by Bob Morris

Posted on: February 19th, 2014 by bobmorris

SucceedSucceed: How We Can Reach Our Goals
Heidi Grant Halvorson
Hudson Street Press/Penguin Group (2010)

How and why almost anyone can achieve the goals they set IF….

Others have their own reasons for praising this book. Here are five of mine.

1. The book is very well written. Heidi Grant Halvorson has accumulated, organized, and then expressed (with uncommon eloquence) an abundance of valuable information, insights, and advice that can help almost anyone achieve almost all the goals they set.

2. Halvorson immediately establishes and then develops a direct and personal rapport with her reader. How unusual to feel that she wrote the book expressly for me. Others tell me that they had the same sense of rapport. Halvorson has created a book that comes about as close as a bound volume can to serving as a personal mentor and coach, a companion really, during each reader’s lengthy and challenging but ultimately rewarding journey of self-discovery.

3. Halvorson makes skillful use of various reader-friendly devices such as a “What You Can Do” section at the conclusion of chapters. Her focus is always on “how” rather than on “why.” Her advice is always specific (“’Lose five pounds’ is a better goal than ‘Lose some weight.’”) and anchored in the real-world, and dozens of checklists that stress key points and facilitate, indeed expedite frequent review later.

4. Although I do not agree with her, that almost anyone can achieve the goals they set, I realize why she stresses that point throughout her book. She obviously agrees with Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re probably right.” Those who do not believe in themselves probably need Halvorson’s faith in them and in what they can accomplish. I defer to her optimism without sharing it.

5. Finally, almost everything she recommends is do-able. What she offers is a cohesive, comprehensive, and cost-effective program for (a) identifying what the most important career and/or personal goals, (b) developing an aggressive but realistic “game plan” for achieving them, (c) enlisting the assistance and obtaining the resources needed, (d) making necessary adjustments along the way, and then (e) continuing the program to ensure that new goals are set as other goals are either achieved or eliminated.

Heidi Grant Halvorson is convinced that she can help almost anyone to achieve the goals they set IF they are willing to make and then sustain a commitment to the program she proposes. According to one of my favorite Chinese aphorisms, the best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago. The next best time is now.

What are you waiting for?

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