Review of Success Built to Last
by Jerry Porras, Stewart Emery and Mark Thompson
Review by C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.
Many books instruct you on how to be successful at something in particular. Others outline methods for how to "think your way to success" or "attract success" by visualizing positive outcomes. Everybody's got a trick. The authors of Success Built to Last don't offer any tricks. They show how people who have led successful, meaningful, satisfying lives for twenty years or more achieved that success. And please note that I said "led successful lives." Because that is the true core of the book, as it says in it's subtitle: Creating A Life That Matters.
Through interviews with hundreds of successful people from many walks of life, the authors studied and analyzed how enduringly successful people think. How they choose and act to create and sustain their successes. They have used their studies and analyses to create a book that gives you a model to help you think about success and meaning and value so that you can go out and create your own.
They begin with the importance of living a life that is meaningful and valuable to you -- of choosing to work at what you love, at what inspires your passion. If you are concerned that you need to take "a safe job" to make money, to support yourself and your family, or just to avoid risk, they suggest that there really is no safe job. They point out that it is indeed not at all safe to do anything for which you have little passion because competitor who have great passion for the same thing will always outdo you. The will always be willing to do everything necessary to succeed. This is true whether you work for yourself or someone else. The guy with the passion for the job will get promotion. The competitor with the passion for the work will win the contract or draw in the customers. It is actually more risky to not follow your passion. Indeed, it is very difficult to become successful and stay successful at something you don't love.
Next, the authors explain what they call "ThoughtStyles," or how continuingly successful people think about meaning, values, goals, success, failure, weakness and strength. How they plan. How they choose goals and actions. How they focus on what really matters. How they relentlessly follow their passion through all of life's ups and downs and twists and turns. How you must learn to think if you want to create your own success.
And finally, they discuss what they call "ActionStyles."
They show how lasting success is achieved by how you work in all your endeavors and in relationships.
Porras, Emery and Thompson pack a lot of stories, ideas, quotes and inspirations into about 250 pages. You'll find yourself reading the book with a highlighter pen in hand.