"Genius is in-born, may it never be still-born."

"Oysters, irritated by grains of sand, give birth to pearls. Brains, irritated by curiosity, give birth to ideas."

"Brainpower is the bridge to the future; it is what transports you from wishful thinking to willful doing."

"Unless you keep learning & growing, the status quo has no status."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


The foregoing exuberant exhortation in the form of my blogpost title truly reflects my personal sentiment about what this new book, entitled 'Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes & Thinking Big' by business coach Ralph Heath is all about.

Writing with warmth, sincerity & candour, the author has very skillfilly drawn from his own 31-year professional history of running Ovation Marketing, an award-winning advertising agency business, as well as "hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of personal failures to achieve outstanding or spectacular learning experiences", often interjecting pragmatic lessons from interacting with his own direct family members.

There are altogether 30 great chapters, totaling just under 200 pages, & with the 'Introduction: Failure Teaches You to Succeed', that makes 31, each artfully prefaced with a short but meaningful chapter title, e.g. #1: 'Starting Fires'; #30: 'Change is My Drug of Choice'.

What I like most about reading the book is that each chapter has an inspiring quote & a brisk preamble, which presents 'The Failure Factor', as well as a concise summary, which highlights the actionable insights from the author. Hence, reading is a breeze, & best of all, takeaways are right at your fingertips.

That's to say, in really no uncertain terms, the entire book has been thoughtfully crafted by the author, with all the cumulative chapter insights actually forming the jewels of the book.

For me, among many others, my favourite chapter is #27: 'Why Wait?'.

According to the author, the word 'Wait' is one of the ugliest words in the English Language. Surprisingly to me, he has even added that it is often used in advertising agencies as a call for inaction.

Nonetheless, the swift counterpoint from the author is "to take action, to move forward with your thoughts & ideas to accomplish something, instead of waiting for something - or nothing - to happen."

At the end of the reading endeavour, one can quickly use the book as a how-to manual on developing a culture of intelligent risk taking in any setting, organisational, professional or personal.

The author's account of failures, setbacks & triumphs is reassuring, joyful & motivating. His writing is succinct, concise & easy-going.

I highly recommend this book for any professional, especially if you are in sales & marketing.

As a matter of fact, people from every walk of life can learn something useful from Ralph Heath's 'Celebrating Failure'.

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