4 out of 4 stars
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Individual Advantages by Brian S. Smith explores different building blocks and ways that can help anyone maximize their full potential and hence contribute efficiently in the teams that they belong to.
In the book, the author recounts his experiences while growing up in a volatile environment that was marked by constant change and the absence of accountability. Now as a father and a professional, Smith shares the lessons he has learned along the way regarding personal growth. In the book, Smith appreciates the uniqueness in every person and explores various ways that can help one fully maximize the opportunities around them. One such lesson is the ability to be present and acknowledge one’s current environment. Smith also discusses individualism as a positive aspect when considered for the right reasons. Another great lesson included is the advantage of communication and the power of the written word in case of legal issues. Smith also encourages the reader to engage in introspection, though he admits that this process is quite personal.
One of the things that I liked about the book is its inclusion of the author’s personal stories. Not only do they contain invaluable lessons but they also helped me remember the author’s advice even after I had completed the book. Some of the accounts are quite hilarious and for a non-fiction book, this was an added bonus. Through the stories, I was able to grasp the messages being put across by the author and easily relate with the characters in the book.
Another great feature of the book is that it covers different spheres of a person’s life. Smith shares his experiences as a father and a husband that were learning points in his life. In one story, he shares his son’s experience with competitive bike racing and how he and his wife almost missed the toll that the sport was taking not only on his son but also on the family. With regard to his professional path, the author shares his encounters with various people who have influenced his career. Some were employees, bosses and even business associates. Each of them possessed unique habits and traits, some of them good and others bad.
The book is also well organized and edited. There were close to no grammatical errors. The accounts are brief and to the point. Most importantly, the author acknowledges that there are various paths towards success and each person is different and unique. Individual Advantages is appropriate for readers who wish to develop their own unique abilities and personal strengths while working on their weaknesses so as to benefit their teams. I rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
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