This book came into my life when I needed it the most. It articulated feelings that I had trouble putting into words. In essence, the message is stop living your life in survival mode. In a tough economy, it is a message we all need to hear.
Author Debra J. Slover states, "We cannot always control the circumstances of our lives, but we can choose how we respond to them." Her book is a guide on how to do just that. Our mental outlook filters our perception of reality. Slover provides tips and exercises on how to shift our way of thinking so that we thrive.
The book is a fable/memoir/self-help hybrid. The fable is populated with animals beautifully illustrated by Darlene Warner. Hugh, the sheep, is led through a Leadership Garden by Annabelle, the collie, stopping along the way to visit with different animals. Each offers Hugh a "U.N.I.Q.U.E." tidbit of wisdom on how he can go from being afraid and weak to courageous and powerful. He becomes a leader whose character is rooted in integrity through direct and open communication.
Slover is down to earth. She openly admits that she is not perfect and how she continually needs to work on her faults - just like the rest of us. In one instance, she chewed out a student worker who could not provide her with a campus parking pass. Knowing she was wrong, she went back and apologized to the student. She's an author who practices what she preaches.
The self-help aspects can get wordy at times. The book connects best when concepts are fleshed out rather than merely defined. I found that I do not walk away remembering what the acronym U.N.I.Q.U.E. stands for, but instead with a comprehension of the overall message. The chapter exercises engage the reader to actively examine his/her life. They are helpful tools in making the reader realize how many "weeds" need to be removed from his/her "leadership garden."
When I first picked up the book, I thought it was going to be a slog through New Age mumbo jumbo. I couldn't have been more wrong. I flew through this book in two sittings. I kept reading passages where I thought to myself, "This author gets it." She addresses problems that we all need to resolve. If you're looking for sound advice on how to obtain peace of mind and a sense of well-being, pick up this book. It'll show you the way.
U.N.I.Q.U.E. Growing the Leader Within by Debra J. Slover is available for $18.95 at Amazon.com and LeadershipGardenLegacy.com
A complimentary review copy was provided by Debra J. Slover.
Also by Debra J. Slover: The Leadership Garden Guidebook & U.N.I.Q.U.E. Kids: Growing My Leadership Garden