What Anyone Can Do: A book review by Bob Morris

What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth
Leo Bottary
Bibliomotion/Taylor & Francis (August 2018)

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
African proverb

Obviously, we cannot select when and where we are born, and we cannot select our parents, but early in life we begin to decide with which peers we will spend our time.

For better or worse, much of what we become, of who we are, and of what we do (and how we do it) is the result of those with whom we are most closely associated. Our lives are defined by our choices and the consequences of those choices.

Leo Bottary wrote this book to share what he learned from those who participated in The Year of the Peer podcast in 2017, but also knowledge and wisdom he gained during the prior years extending back to his youth. Like everyone else, he had successes and failures, good times and other times that were not-so-good. He thought “it was worth writing this book and sharing the powerful stories and concepts I’ve learned since the release of [a book he coauthored with Leon Shapiro] The Power of Peers and during The Year of the Peer [podcast] These are concepts you can apply in your own life and use to improve the lives of others, because they’re the things anyone can do.”

Bottary cites dozens of sources from which he learned something of value to his own personal growth and professional development. In addition to the participants in his podcast and those who influenced them, there are others who include Geno Auriemma, Roger Bannister, Bottary’s father, his daughter Taylor, Edelman Trust Barometer, Peter Fuller, Dan Hoffman, TIME magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2006 (see pages 5-6), Ari Wallach, and Sam Walton.

The material in this book really can help those who read it, as its subtitle suggests, surrounding themselves with the right people will drive change, opportunity, and personal growth…and do so not only for themselves but for others as well.

A 12th century French monk, Bernard of Chartres, once observed that he “stood on the shoulders of giants.” That ‘s true of most of us now. Leo Bottary urges us to take full advantage of every opportunity to provide the shoulders on which others can stand. And anyone can do that every day.


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