Most helpful positive review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2014
This book is written by Adam Braun. It follows his creation of the charity Pencils of Promise, which builds schools and increases access to education for children in the developing world.
His inspiration came from a child that when asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, "A pencil.". This inspired Adam to give up his job and start the charity with only $25. The book follows his trails and tribulations, successes and mistakes as Pencils of Promise growths to building over 200 schools.
The book is 30 chapters long, each chapter is quite short and is focused on one idea.
Some of my favorite parts would be:
Giving a speech but only one person turned up! But that person joined Pencils of Promise and played a very important part.
Getting out of your comfort zone.
Know that you have a purpose.
Importance of listening to other peoples' opinions.
"If an idea grows, it expands far beyond the confines of any one person's control. By limiting it to a single story told by a single voice, we strip it of its true potential. The role of the founder should eventually be to listen to the echoes of his or her initial words, and then encourage and amplify the most genuine among those you hear. The more I embraced this as my true role, the more I became inspired by the journeys of the individuals, families, and companies in our PoP community."
The importance of body language and speech
The greatest happiness comes from making other people happy.
Tips on speaking to large crowds.
"Weak speakers look down at the floor, good speakers look up but scan the room, great speakers make eye contact selectively , and exceptional speakers deliver every complete thought directly to one person in the audience, making that person feel like the center of the room-- and then they move on and do it again. We've all been in that position when a speaker looks right at you, and for a few fleeting moments your heart starts to race. You are locked in."
The importance of switching off email/phone etc sometimes so you can reconnect with people.
Adam giving a import speech not knowing his flies were open!
Importance of admitting mistakes.
Importance of how you deal with mistakes.
"I personally learned that failure is a necessary step toward achievement. In fact, it often accelerates it. The British Airways contest gave me confidence that we were on the right track, yet it took an international stumble to demonstrate that the biggest opportunities for growth are not found in the midst of success, but in the methods through which we address failure."
Nice quote from the end.
"A new chapter will begin in my life in the years ahead , one that includes building not just schools, but a family too. I'll be sure to teach my children the value of my mother's favorite word, integrity, the essence of Dad's Rules, and each of the mantras that title the chapters of this book. I'll tell them that the most direct route to happiness is through creating joy for someone else, and that change doesn't happen through hard work alone. It requires strength of imagination. It relies on that ability we each possess to suspend belief in the restraints of today to enable the possibilities of tomorrow. Most of all, I'll remind them each morning that we make a choice to bring positivity or negativity into the world, and that within every single person there lies an extraordinary story waiting to unfold."
Something I like about this book is the author is quite honest about the fortunate upbringing he had and how connections, family and other people have played a massive role in developing the charity.
This book is genuinely very inspiring and I recommended it.