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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"It's Not Who You Know. It's Who You Are" (Pat Williams)

TITLE: It's Not Who You Know, It's Who You Are: Life Lessons from Winners
AUTHOR: Pat Williams
PUBLISHER: Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 2015, (224 pages)

For sports fans, especially NBA basketball fans, the name Pat Williams will be very familiar. He is most known for helping the Philadelphia 76ers win the NBA in 1983 as well as the creation of Orlando Magic basketball team. With his stature and fame, he has become a motivational speaker with both corporate audiences as well as charity events. Recently inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame,  he is also a published author focusing on leadership and motivation. This book is one of his many books that talk about his own encounters and learning from famous people he had met. There are more than 150 personalities in the book from all walks of life. In sports, he writes about his learning from fellow NBA coaches as well as superstars like Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. He also pays attention to the little positive things people do, like the little things Victor Oladipo did when he was not playing. He shares about the powerful corporate bigwigs like Sam Walton of Walmart, Walt Disney, Michael Eisner, Howard Schultz, and many more. There are politicians like John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, evangelists such as Billy Graham, singers like Sandi Patti, Barry Manilow, and Amy Grant. Hollywood stars and TV personalities like Oprah Winfrey, Louis Armstrong, and other motivational speakers and authors such as John Maxwell,  evangelicals like Warren Wiersbe, James Dobson, and Bill Bright. The list is long and reads like a Who's Who of friends and acquaintances of the author.

Williams calls it "life lessons from winners." About 1-3 pages are allocated for each person which keeps the description brief and to the point. Most of the stories are observations from the author's first person perspective or thoughts triggered by some quotable phrases. Not much context is given to why individuals had said what they said.  It is more like the author trying to take positive lessons from each encounter. There are many stories about passion where Williams urges readers to go with their guts to let the passions move them to accomplish what they really want. Very often, the summary of the lesson is captured by the title. Some of the notable ones are:
  • Keep doing what you love
  • Committed to Excellence
  • A Leader Takes Bold Stands
  • I'd Rather Live the Adventure
  • Leadership is Service to Others
  • Take Care of your Troops
  • ...
If you are a sports fan and want to learn life lessons from the sports personalities, this book is a no-brainer. If you love stories, there are many from different highly regarded personalities. If you want something short and to the point, this book fits the bill. Easy to read, but a little too brief for some, those who do not have time to read a thick book will surely find some gems here with whatever limited time they have.

Rating: 3.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of Revell Publishers and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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