Howard’s Gift

9781250004246Howard’s Gift: Uncommon Wisdom to Inspire Your Life’s Work

by Eric C. Sinoway with Merrill Meadow
ISBN: 978-1-250-00424-6
St. Martin’s Press, 2012

If you have a high-paying job with good benefits but do not feel fulfilled by your work, you live in what Howard Stevenson calls a “velvet-lined rut.”

If you take up golf not because you enjoy it but to establish business connections, you live what he calls a Pseudo three-D life.

Howard Stevenson has a forty-year career with the Harvard Business School. As a professor and entrepreneur, he inspires thousands of students, faculty and fellow entrepreneurs—including Eric Sinoway. Sinoway takes Howard Stevenson wisdom and makes a gift of it to those of us whose life paths did not lead to Harvard.

“But life is not a classroom. We can’t get an A on every facet of life every single day. Our lives are too complex; there are too many variables to control.”

Using a conversational style, Sinoway shares Howard’s wisdom on legacy living, juggling priorities, and recognizing and leveraging “inflection points” in our lives. Inflection points are those moments when “we pivot from the path down which we are traveling and head in an entirely different direction.” We’ve all had those moments. When they happen, whether we welcome them or not, they have potential to slingshot us into positive new directions—if we take advantage of the potential of the moment.

“. . . whether you grab hold of an inflection point and leverage it for all it’s worth or just let it carry you along—is as important as the event itself.”

Stevenson encourages us avoid the “drama of comparative living” and to enjoy a fulfilling, balanced life journey. He inspires us to lead a life that ripples positively out into the world, and then ripples back positively to us.

Sinoway’s book has been called a “Tuesdays with Morrie for MBAs.” (CNN Money). Hint for writers and publishers: Best not to promote your book with comparisons to Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, for the work will inevitably pale by comparison. While there is a similar pattern of experience-based wisdom sharing here, and Sinoway and Albom both held their mentors in equally high esteem, Sinoway is an entrepreneur, not a writer. His storytelling style has an academic, even contrived, feel by times. And, of course, the story lacks the emotional dimension of palliative visits.

Don’t pick this book up expecting Mitch Albom. Pick it up to learn how to apply a framework of Howard Stevenson wisdom to your work and your life, and how to “Live the ripple.”


About Arlene Somerton Smith

Writer, laughing thinker, miner of inspirational insights, sports fan, and community volunteer

Posted on January 9, 2013, in Book reviews, Books I borrowed, Non-fiction, Self-Help and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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