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2016 Army Law. 38 (2016)
The Power of Being Yourself: A Game Plan for Success by Putting Passion into Your Life and Work

handle is hein.journals/armylaw2016 and id is 647 raw text is: 


Book Review


       The Power of Being Yourself: A Game Plan for Success by Putting Passion into Your Life and Work'

                                         Reviewed by Major Andrew D. Smith*

 Iput myself and my own ambitions before him. I was kept away by this business trip or that business trip .... But even
when I was home I wasn't present .... I was worrying about my own career rather than the things that I obviously should
            have been worrying about. I was preoccupied. My heart was more into me than it was into him.2


would seek professional success at any cost.


    Joe Plumeri seeks to motivate and inspire readers to reach
success with his book, The Power of Being Yourself: A Game
Plan for Success by Putting Passion into Your Life and Work.
Plumeri, an exceptionally successful businessman,3 provides
guidance in the form of eight principles. The principles are
not profound,4 but Plumeri deftly shows their effectiveness
through anecdotal evidence of his own successes. But the true
takeaway from the book is that it is equally necessary to apply
principles for success in your personal life. Leaders who
neglect to prioritize personal relationships may reach
professional success, but may do so at great personal cost.

     The Power of Being Yourself s principles for success are
primarily leadership tenets, and theyinclude concepts such as
being genuine, having a clear vision, leading from the front
and having a purpose.5 The book takes these very simple
concepts and provides real-world examples of their effective
application in business. Plumeri's optimism and energy
radiate from the pages; he inspires the reader to believe that
great success is readily attainable.

    However, the fourth chapter, Let Sadness Teach You,
is what truly resonates. Plumeri confronts the reader with the
fact that his prolific professional accomplishments came from
a workaholic nature that prioritized family last.6 Plumeri
ignored   his  eight principles   in  his  most important
relationships, and suffered resulting profound personal
tragedy in the form of the death of his son. The book has
profound value for civilian and military leaders alike. It
provides great ideas and new ways to look at basic leadership
concepts, while also issuing a dire warning to those who

* Judge Advocate, U.S. Army. Currently assigned as Brigade Judge
Advocate ,lst Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Ft. Riley,
Kansas.
'JOE PLUMERI, THE POWER OF BEING YOURSELF: A GAME PLAN FOR
SUCCESS BY PUTTING PASSION INTO YOUR LIFE AND WORK (2015).
2 PLUMERI, supra note 1, at 72.

' Joe Plumeri served as the CEO of multiple large corporations, including
Willis Group, Citibank North America, and Travelers Primerica Financial
Services. He was named to Treasury & Risk magazine's list of100 Most
Influential People in Finance in 2009 and 2010. Joseph Plumeri: Vice
Chairman, FIRSTDATA, http://www.firstdata.com/en us/about-first-
data/leadership-team/joseph-plumeri-bio.html (last visited Oct. 21, 2016)
4 The concepts Plumeri uses to develop his principles are very similar to
those found in other books about leadership and inspiration. See e.g., JOHN
MAXWELL, THE 21 INDISPENSABLE QUALITIES OF A LEADER: BECOMING


II. Useful Insight on Leadership

    The principles The Power of Being Yourself espouses are
not overly technical or hard to understand; they are basic
leadership concepts. The simplicity of the principles makes
them compelling. They are not business-focused principles;
they apply in any field. Plumeri skillfully guides the reader
through the application of the principles, giving a first-hand
account of how simple principles can make a huge impact on
even the most powerful corporations.

    Plumeri's hands-on approach with subordinates is
particularly enlightening. In order to combat his company's
impersonal culture, he began writing handwritten notes to
employees on a daily basis.7 In an age where electronic
communications are the norm, Plumeri wrote notes to let
employees know how much he appreciated them and their
work.'

         When I first got there no one would
         communicate with each other. This was a
         global company with seventeen thousand
         people working for it worldwide, and I
         must have sent thirty, forty, fifty notes a
         weekend. They caused a commotion. They
         blew people away. People would have
         them framed up on the wall. They couldn't
         believe  I took   the  time   to  send  a
         handwritten note. That made them feel


THE PERSON OTHERS WILL WANT TO FOLLOW (2000) (discussing the
importance for a leader to value relationships and to have vision, passion,
communication skills, initiative and the ability to listen to your heart).
5 Plumeri's first principle of success is to be yourself, to be genuine. See
PLUMERI, supra note 1, at 1-28. His second principle is to have a vision of
where you are going. See id. at 29-45. His fifth principle is to lead from the
front. See id. At 95-120. His eighth principle is to have purpose. See id. at
169-190.
6 Id. at 69-94.

Id. at 138.
8Id.


NOVEMBER 2016 • THE ARMY LAWYER • JAG CORPS PROFESSIONAL BULLETIN 27-50-16-11


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