[February 03, 2014] The book by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was exceptional but it took a while for me to read (600 pages). This put me a little behind in making recommendations.
Uncommon: Finding Your Path to Significance by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker (2011)
Returning from a deployment in Iraq in 2011, I ran across this book in the Atlanta airport. I knew of Tony Dungy as a winning football coach but I had no understanding of his coaching or life’s philosophy that made him successful. This book, along with others lays out an easy to read narrative of this philosophy. Dungy begins by defining success. He then notes how uncommon true success and significance are, outlines many of the reasons, and describes practical pathways: attitudes, ambitions, and allegiances. He says three things that are important. First, what you do is less important than how you do it. The “how” ultimately has much more influence and impact than the “what.” Second, the opposite of courage is not cowardice; the opposite of courage is conformity. Third, don’t let the bad things that happen to you define who you are as a person. Instead, what defines you as a person is how you respond to the bad things, and the good things, too, for that matter.
Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life by Tony Dungy and Nathan Whitaker (2008)
After discovering the book “Uncommon” in 2011, I obtained a copy of an older book “Quiet Strength” that he had written. One word can sum up this review of Tony Dungy’s book – “inspirational.” It does not matter what your background and interests are, everyone should read this book. You don’t have to be a Colts fan because this isn’t a football book. This book is about a remarkable story about Tony Dungy and his journey up to now. Although it is easy for all of us to look at the positives in Dungy’s life, this book outlines the many challenges and setbacks he has had along the way, it’s how he’s responded to every one of those situations that make him an excellent role model. Highly recommended.
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