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Getting There: A Book of Mentors Hardcover – Illustrated, April 14, 2015
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The path to success is rarely easy or direct, and good mentors are hard to find. In Getting There, thirty leaders in diverse fields share their secrets to navigating the rocky road to the top. In an honest, direct, and engaging way, these role models describe the obstacles they faced, the setbacks they endured, and the vital lessons they learned. They dispense not only essential and practical career advice, but also priceless wisdom applicable to life in general. Getting There is for everyone—from students contemplating their futures to the vast majority of us facing challenges or seeking to reach our potential.
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"Kudos to Gillian Zoe Segal for assembling this remarkable group of visionaries and helping them all tell their stories without filters or false bravado. Getting There is both empowering and illuminating." ― Piper Kerman, New York Times bestselling author of Orange Is the New Black
"Reading Getting There is like having an intimate, one-on-one talk with some of the world's most fascinating and accomplished people. You will be taken aback by their honesty, entertained by their anecdotes, and, most of all, learn invaluable lessons about both business and life. This book is fantastic—you will not be able to put it down!" ― JJ Ramberg, MSNBC
"Getting There is a great book whether you're just starting out or well into your career. Somehow, Gillian Zoe Segal has gotten these leaders to share their stories in a unique, authentic, and revealing way. Their insights will inspire you and help clarify many of the key challenges you must face in building a successful professional life." ― Robert Steven Kaplan, senior associate dean and professor, Harvard Business School
“Thought-provoking advice from some of the world’s best-known success stories.” ― Publishers Weekly
“Unlike most such books, the tales in Getting There ring authentic—so they’re actually useful.” ― Fast Company
“For life-changing, real-world advice.” ― Vanity Fair
About the Author
- Publisher : Abrams Image; Illustrated edition (April 14, 2015)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 208 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1419715704
- ISBN-13 : 978-1419715709
- Item Weight : 1.48 pounds
- Dimensions : 7 x 0.63 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #307,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on April 15, 2015
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Top reviews from the United States
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My main criticism is that much of it is very surface level (find something you’re passionate about and work hard; no one is a true overnight success) but I did wish it would have gone a little deeper in some areas. Perhaps curating the information in a different way (e.g. a separate section that slices the “pearls of wisdom” across general entrepreneurial topics and challenges) could help offer more concrete takeaways and reveal some common themes.
I would have also appreciated a quick mini-bio of each “mentor” before their respective content as I didn’t know who all of them were and as such found it tougher to feel engaged in all sections (especially towards the middle and end).
Overall I enjoyed the book and despite my thoughts above I understand it’s purpose as more of a “survey course” rather than a deep dive. I think there’s immense value in hearing stories from industries and areas which I don’t normally think about and seeing both the commonalities as well as differences that led to the various successes and failures. So while it’s very lightweight, I feel like this book does accomplish that.
To sum up, what I take away from the book are:
1. Know your self (strengths & weaknesses);
2. Do what you find meaningful and do it better than others;
3. Keep trying and not just follow the beaten path;
4. Put yourself in the right environment and with the right people (mentor and with those who are better than you are);
5. Have perspective on what real risks are in life (failure v.s. not trying).
My top three quotes from the book are:
"..outwork everyone around you..But you're only going to be able to outwork others if you're genuinely passionate about what you are doing.." - Anderson Cooper, journalist
"If you observe something that bothers you, make your own action to fix it. There are many things that have been designed in the wrong way. Don't take existing theories for granted. Don't think that other people know more than you or that everything has been done. Your theory may be right and you can become the new expert." - Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize recipient
"It seemed like a risky thing to do because it looked very likely to fail, but the real risk was not doing it. The objective risk was wasting years of my life stuck in something that appeared attractive but that I really didn't enjoy… A lot of entrepreneurship and innovation seems perilous, but it's not. And a lot of things that seem safe and comfortable are, in fact, profoundly risky." - Jim Koch, brewer and founder of the Boston Beer Company
The subjects of Segal’s books are experts in a vast array of fields ranging from art, finance, politics, to inventors of consumer products. Each mentor candidly leads us through his or her journey, emphasizing the difficulties and failures they encountered along the way, and the epiphanies that ultimately enabled them to transcend these challenges.
The book is meaningful and powerful because you feel as if you’re having an intimate conversation with Anderson Cooper or Warren Buffet as they reveal personal, illuminating (and sometimes quite unflattering!) details about themselves and their eventual journeys to the top.
You’ve probably heard of all of the subjects in “Getting There”, but you probably haven't heard the details of their initial set-backs or the traits that enabled them to persevere and triumph. What better way to learn how to get ahead in your own life and reach high levels of excellence than from people who have done just that.
“Getting There” doesn’t hit you over the head with research or psychological studies. Instead, it offers captivating personal narratives that illuminate the key roles of resilience, hard work and determination as ingredients to success.
I loved “Getting There” and didn’t want to put it down. I would highly recommend it to all of my patients in my NYC-based psychotherapy practice as a useful tool to help them channel their disappointments, losses and challenges in ways that will propel them closer to their goals.
I also believe the stories and lessons in this book would be relevant to a very wide audience-- educators, mental health professionals, students, or anyone starting out on a new career, venture, or path in life. “Getting There” is an entertaining and engaging non-fiction book filled with pearls of wisdom and inspiration for just about anyone!
Top reviews from other countries
There are a few themes appearing in a number of them (like the importance of pursuing whatever is your genuine passion as you'll need it to go through the rough times that inevitably come), and a few that resonated very much with me (like the fact that successful women can have it all, BUT not all at the same time).
Overall, a very pleasant read, with a few thoughts to take away - and definitely one I'll reread again at some point as I feel that different parts of the book will speak to me more at different stages of life.