by David Penglase

ISBN: 978-1742842004 Publisher: Bookpal (2012)
Reviewed by: Julie Garland McLellan*

If you could give your children, or any other loved ones, some simple advice what would you say?

This book started life as the outline for a speech on the 21st and 18th birthday celebrations of the author's sons. Luckily for us readers, it grew from there.

The book sets out the author's recipe for a successful and happy life. It isn't rocket science. David is a master of simple statements and clear insights and his book is much the same as hearing him speak. The difference is that the book is small and portable and full of practical examples that you can use daily as you live your life.

The book is split into chapters that address different aspects of the way in which David approaches life. Cumulatively they provide a step by step guide to making better decisions and thus generating happier outcomes on a more consistent basis than most of us manage.

There are some exercises that can be practised to build confidence in the ways of thinking that the book suggests. These help to clarify decisions and can be applied to personal or business issues with equal success.

The book is a relaxed read. It uses few long words, little jargon and simple syntax. David managed to avoid quoting from his academic sources (of which he has many) or theorising. Instead he has gone for a straightforward and matter of fact exposition of the principles to which he adheres and which have served him well. I could hear his voice as I read his words and, even if you have never met him, I am sure you will hear it also.

This is a simple book with a deep and long lasting impact. Read it with respect and it will serve you well.

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* Julie Garland McLellan is a professional non-executive director, board and governance consultant and mentor. She is the author of "Presenting to Boards", 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.