The Greatness Guide: Book Review; Jun'07

Title: The Greatness Guide
Author: Robin Sharma
Publication details: Jaico Publishing House, Mumbai, April 2006
Number of pages: 240 pages

Do you want to craft an extraordinary life for yourself? Then ‘The Greatness Guide’ is what you maybe looking for. Robin Sharma, the author of international bestseller ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ and one of the world’s top success coaches, in his book ‘The Greatness Guide’ brings together 101 powerful ideas for meeting your highest potential and living a great life.  If you liked Robin Sharma’s other best sellers you will like this book too. I did.

The Greatness Guide has something for everybody - salesmen, CEOs, managers, professionals and even parents. There are several relevant chapters for achieving success at today’s workplaces that will appeal to readers at every level of their careers. There are tactics for achieving peak performance, potent ideas for motivating employees and growing leaders, specific strategies for customer satisfaction and for turning setbacks into opportunities and a whole lot of other stuff. For example in his chapter ‘Sell Your Desk’, he advocates getting out of the office to become a better performer in business.

It is packed with unique suggestions for improving personal effectiveness, being happy and getting more from life. For instance in his chapter ‘Speak like a Superstar’, he says, “Articulate a series of spectacularly positive words…words that you imagine a superstar in your field using…You will discover that speaking these words will make you feel…more passionate. And when you feel great feelings, guess what? You will do great things.”   

Robin Sharma provides several practical suggestions - create personal best practices like repeating success statements throughout the day; commit to surroundings being first class thus feeling like extraordinary before becoming extraordinary; use positive reference points to pull you into new way of seeing things; read books by people you respect to allow some of their brilliance to rub off on you etc.

While a lot of Robin Sharma’s ideas like celebrating one’s blessings or listening twice as much as speaking, are not new, he breathes certain freshness into them. While talking about life’s best pleasures being simple ones he says “Enrich your life with more of them and your heart will be happy. And you can start with sweet breezes.” Or look at the way he highlights the need to schedule things you really want to do in your life. He says, “You can argue that self-development is an essential pursuit to you…Show me your schedule and I’ll discover the truth. Because your schedule doesn't lie.”

From his opening disclaimer “I am no guru” to the very end, challenging us to claim our greatness, Robin speaks from the heart and does not fail to inspire. In the chapter ‘Be wildly enthusiastic’ he says, “I’ll be the first one to agree what you can’t control what happens to you each day. But with abundance of enthusiasm, I have no doubt that whatever the coming hours bring, you will handle them with grace, strength and a smile.” The book makes me want to be first class in my work as well as my personal life and more importantly Robin gives me the confidence that I can.

His use of simple language, catchy titles, short (2 page) chapters and anecdotal style makes it easy and enjoyable reading. Sure, one can finish it in one sitting. But to get the most from the book, read it slowly, taking the time to savor and reflect upon each idea. And like all self help books unless the chapters are reread and the ideas refreshed regularly and applied, the insights may be forgotten. All in all ‘The Greatness Guide’ is an excellent resource for achieving personal and professional mastery!