by Blake Beattie

ISBN: 1-74216-988-0, Publisher: Wrightbooks (Wiley), 2010
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

There are many good self-help books about goal setting. This one is different in that it approaches the topic starting with developing motivation and establishing a holistic set of goals. The book then sets practical exercises that can be undertaken to establish your own goals or adapted to establish corporate or board goals.

We are all capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory and Blake has managed to sum up some of the key reasons for this behaviour together with simple strategies for overcoming them. The book is underpinned by a sound basis of psychology which is presented without any jargon or complex language. It is, in fact, an easy read. The ideas are presented succinctly and explained with clarity.

The book is thought provoking; don't expect to race through it. You will be seduced into 'daring to dream' and into deep reflection on the priorities for each dream. This enhanced the reading experience for me. It would be a good book for a long plane trip; just bring a notebook so you can do the exercises.

The book is illuminated by numerous short case studies and examples. These bring the text to life and allow an appreciation of the wide range of applications to which these techniques can be applied. The sections on developing and maintaining are action-oriented; there is no empty theory.

This book will assist aspiring directors to plan their campaigns, practising directors to prioritise their contributions, and Chairmen to lead the Board through the processes of visualisation and planning that underpin corporate success. It is a book written from a personal perspective and the only suggestion I can venture is that it lacks a companion volume to apply the same technology to groups and teams.

A major contribution to the science of getting ahead and creating advantage; highly recommended!

* Julie Garland McLellan is a professional non-executive director, board and governance consultant and mentor. She is the author of "Dilemmas, Dilemmas: practical case studies for company directors", "The Director's Dilemma", "All Above Board: Great Governance for the Government Sector" and numerous articles on corporate strategy and governance.

Julie Garland McLellan to judge 2011 Global eBook Awards