The Leap: How 3 Simple Changes Can Propel Your Career from Good to Great
by Rick Smith, Portfolio, 224 Pages, $24.95 Hardcover, September 2009, ISBN 9781591842569
Rick Smith starts The Leap
by telling the story of how he went from co-writing a best selling book to being unemployed within a very short period of time. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common situation these days. While Smith had moderate success in his previous work, he considered himself a completely average person with no extraordinary skills. He decided to find out how people who had great success, but weren’t considered special or gifted at an early age, succeeded.
Through his research, Smith found out that these seemingly average Joes and Janes actually had some traits in common. In particular, these successful people have found their personal “sweet spot.” This is the place where their best ability intersects with what most inspires them.
Smith fills his book with inspiring stories of success. First, he tells the second half of his own story. Remembering the explosive growth of networking groups that he researched while working on his first book, The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers,
he starts a senior executive networking company called World 50 which blossoms in just a year.
We also meet Sara Blakely who created Spanx, a $250 million women’s clothing company. She was a successful salesperson of copiers who got very annoyed when she couldn’t find the right clothes, and so she decided to invent them.
Interspersed with the personal stories, Smith presents practical lessons about shaking up your career that you can take to the bank. For example, to break out of the “Now Trap” you need to confront these myths:
- To make a great change in your life, you must change who you are
- To make a great change in your life, you must go it alone
- To make a great change in your life, you must take a great risk
Smith goes on to show us a step-by-step process that we can follow to make our own personal leap toward success.
Over the past few months, we’ve recommended many books to help you through this current recession. The Leap
might be just the book you need to spread your wings and take flight under your own power.
About Dylan Schleicher
Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.