The Power of Being Yourself
By Joe Plumeri
What it’s all about: Joe Plumeri has had a successful career as a top executive for huge companies including Primerica and First Data and has also made a name for himself as an energetic and engaging speaker. He’s learned a lot along the way and wants to share with his readers how he got to where he is by not worrying what tradition told him to do, but by being him.
Who it’s good for: Those in the corporate world who think they need to be straight-laced and stone-faced to lead a big business.
The good stuff: Joe Plumeri is clearly a ‘character’, which comes through loud and clear in his writing. You just can’t help but like him, even when he gets a little too “It’s not about me” when clearly the whole book is all about him. Two of the chapters, “Play in Traffic” and “Let Your Heart Be Your Teleprompter”, had me underlining passages, which is always a good sign. His advice for everyone (not just high-level executives) to get out from behind their computers and smartphones and actually TALK to and ENGAGE with people is a message everyone can learn from.
The not so fabulous: If you’re picking up this book thinking Joe is going to give you some great tips and a road map to success by being yourself, you’ll be disappointed. This is definitely a book about JOE, and really should probably be categorized under an autobiography rather than a motivational book. The more Joe says this book isn’t about him, the more you realize it is and that can get a bit grating. Other than the chapter about his son, Joe doesn’t share a whole lot of his struggles and you never really get to read about how he rose to the top. He can also be very repetitive, which probably works well when he’s speaking but causes a reader to stop reading and start skimming.
Favorite takeway: Texts and emails are taking over our communication style and it’s easy to stand out these days just by going to see someone in person and looking them in the eye. Joe always encourages readers to be more HUMAN.
The epilogue: If you want a great motivational book on how you can succeed by being yourself…go get another book. If you want to read a heartfelt and entertaining book about a successful businessman who reached the top by being different, you’ll enjoy The Power of Being Yourself. You’ll probably also want to meet this dude in person. I bet he’s a real hoot.