Thursday, December 29, 2011

Shake the World

SHAKE THE WORLD: It’s Not About Finding a Job, It’s About Creating a Life*
James Marshall Reilly 

Read this book. 

I received the book well before Christmas, thinking that I would have time over the holiday. While mildly annoyed that it wasn't on my Kindle or iPad, I dragged the book with me and started reading it on my trip. I never put it down. I couldn't stop reading.  I didn't want to stop reading. I didn't want it to end.

Many of the comments, quotes, and praise for the book focused on a younger audience.  I could not disagree more.  This book is for anyone. 

The book focuses on insights, experiences, successes, and fortunately, a few failures of some of the best and brightest leaders in the US today.

As an HR professional, what I love most of the book, and the supporting stories, is how the author weaves together seemingly unrelated events in peoples' lives and ties the stories together. Good writers do this and Reilly is a really good writer.  The stories are intermingled with explanations, personal narratives, and terrific insights.

The voice in my head sounded often like this:  Oh how cool is that.  Wow, that is so neat.  Fabulous.  Amazing.  Terrific.  And so on. 

The best story, in my opinion, is the last story. I won't give it away but it could be any of us. Reilly does an incredible knitting together a rather haphazard chain of personal decisions that put the woman where she is now. Many of us have the ability to appreciate hindsight - knowing how what we did previously is connected to where we are now. But for those just starting out, or switching gears, this is a fabulous story.

In Reilly's acknowledgement's he writes this, "To anyone whose story did not make the final edit, I apologize and can assure you that it was only an issue of space and editing."  Come on, are you kidding?  You have more stories? I want to hear the rest of them!  Really.  It's that good.

Lastly, what I appreciate most in the book is the way Reilly tells the stories - the stories of people listening to that little voice inside - the prompting, nudging, sometimes cajoling, always-present poking - with no arrogance or bravado. Rather he shares his desire and delight in telling a great story,  sharing wit and wisdom and wonder.  Urging us to go do something. And that something might just shake the world.

Read this book.  It's available RIGHT NOW at Amazon. 

*I received this book as an advance copy, courtesy of the publishing company. 

2 comments:

Marcia Hancock said...

Hi Deidre. Your insights into creating a life versus finding or working at a job are invaluable!
It is important to discover what is really important to each of us as individuals.
Life is a journey and we all travel different paths!
However, the reality of day-to-day living, paying the rent, needing food and paying bills, is a driver in our lives as well. Many talented people are having to put aside their inner passions just to survive. This is the challenge, to provide that opportunity for self-discovery for everyone. What do you think?

Deirdre Honner said...

I completely agree. I wrote a piece on this topic over at women of HR.

http://womenofhr.com/musings-and-messages-from-the-lake/

Work can't be the be all, end all. That's what the rest of life is for. I am grateful - I love what I do. Our challenge is to create a complete life.