PID 3403


Reflections from our Bookshelf: Leveling Up

Leveling Up: 12 Questions to Elevate Your Personal and Professional Development

By: Randy Leak
Reflection by: Austin Taylor

Why I read it?

A colleague, friend and mentor suggested the book and the title appealed to me because it implies that personal growth and professional development can be achieved by asking yourself (or others) just 12 questions!  Who isn’t hoping for that type of life hack?

What is it all about?

At its core, the book is about taking an honest look at your life – defining where you are now, where you want to be, and asking yourself questions to determine how to reach your goals or measures of success in your personal life, career and relationships.

Unfortunately, for most of us, the “where we are” state is likely one of two places: Stuck or Coasting. And the only way to “level up” is with major introspection and some good old fashioned hard work. Ryan Leak points out that people who consistently excel (both by their own standards and by most external measurements) have mastered one thing: self-leadership. You have to lead yourself to effectively lead others.  And self-leadership requires self-awareness. Therein lies the challenge: Are you willing to ask the tough questions of yourself and others?  And do you want to know the answers?  If you do, Leak believes strongly that taking your life to the next level isn’t just possible, it’s your responsibility!

What caused me to pause?

One question really resonated with me:  What’s it like to be on the other side of me?

Most of us (myself included) believe that we are self-aware and most of us are probably wrong.  When asked if we know someone who is clueless about their effect on others or how their behavior or actions make others feel, we immediately think of family members, friends, colleagues and neighbors.  Rarely, if ever, do we put ourselves on that list. Leak asks that we not only ask the larger question, but that we dig deeper and get increasingly more specific with our answers.

The exercise is difficult, but I found it tremendously valuable.

How will this book change my habits or influence me?

Hopefully, I will be more self-aware in my dealings with others – more caring of their time and understanding of their challenges, more supportive of their dreams, and able to lead my team or family or life more effectively. And, in return, I’ll learn to better examine my personal and professional goals and make sure they are aligned with what I really consider “success.”

Add this to your reading list if…

You are looking for actionable ways to redefine “success” and take your life, your relationships, or your career to the next level! The subject matter may seem heavy but the reading is light, and at times, funny!

Pickle Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Shannon Dermody

Shannon DermodyTEST

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