Living successfully in good times or bad

By Lucy Meckler

What do Alex Bauman, George A. Cohon, John Robert Colombo, Raymond Moriyama, Sam Sniderman and Betty Oliphant have in common? Each of the aforementioned is a Canadian high achiever who took part in a survey by Peter Urs Bender, author of Leadership from Within. Each rated the key ingredients they believed were responsible for their success.
     A table in the book clearly shows the belief system of these and other successful people. Not surprisingly, there was a commonality in their responses. but there evaluation of the importance of communication skills, knowledge, ability to get along with people, persistence and other behavioral traits was not consistent.
     You, too, can take the test and see how you stack up against people like Megamayor Mel Lastman OR Walter Bick of Bick's Pickles. But there is a lot more in this how-to book written for both individuals and corporations.
     Even if you are not planning on running for office, winning a gold medal or being a VIP, this book could make a difference to your life.
     Bender believes that leadership begins with leading ourselves. His concept of leadership from within involves the desire to help, encourage, grow and realize shared visions. You have much to gait from this man who had to work through his own fears and blocks to attain his status as one of Canada's top public speakers.
     The five key steps to personal and professional leadership from within listed on the inside of the front cover are worth the price of the book.
     Paste a copy of the five key steps on your bathroom mirror, your computer -- wherever you will see them daily -- until they become an integral part of your psyche.
     The book is filled with delightful truisms by Bender and other role models who have lessons to teach us.
     Overnight success comes from luck and years of hard work. The organization of the material has a logical flow and the style is simply. Like in all good teaching manuals, important concepts are repeated in different ways to make sure that we get it.
     The five key steps to personal and professional leadership that appear on the inside cover in point form are fleshed out in the body of the book.
     This vital advice is arrange in two columns: personal and corporate / organizational. the beliefs and actions map out a no-fail system for personal growth for those who follow through. And herein lies the strength of the book. Rather than just stirring the adrenaline it imbues the reader with the belief that we can all grow and work toward our goals.
     Bender -- a member of the Canadian Association of Public Speakers whose Secrets of Power Presentations is used in universities, colleges and over 500 leading companies -- has a whole chapter on training without a trainer. "If your company is stagnant or failing...don't start by spending thousands to hire an expert. Try the twenty-dollar solution instead, use a book like this one, or one of the many other excellent books on leadership and management." I suspect many corporations will want to avail themselves of the spark of Bender's inimitable, personal, presenting style.
     During our uncertain journey through life, most of us would value a knowledgeable guide, a wise mentor and an accepting friend.

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