I’ve been reading a copy of Be Bodacious: Put Life in Your Leadership recently, and it’s been one of the better business books I’ve read this year. I’ve realized that a good mix of “story” and “lesson” is what I enjoy in a book. While there are a lot of good picks out there, a good book needs something to tie it all together and make it stick.

bo·da·cious-adjective

-Thorough, blatant, umistakable
-Remarkable, outstanding
-Audacious; bold or brazen

I bookmark all of my books. I have a fear of dog-earing them that comes from(damaging) enjoying a lot of library books in my early years. When I look back at a book later, I always start with what I bookmarked on the first trip through. The first thing I bookmarked this time was a section about being a chicken eater vs. being a chicken catcher. I won’t go into too much detail, but here’s the piece I want to share:

Do you have a “chicken catching” job?

Maybe you have a “chicken catching” job you have stuck with far too long. The job that you dread going to every day, where at the end of the day you feel like a chicken catcher lifting your catch over your head for the poop to rain down on you. Your day ends leaving you feeling underpaid, underappreciated, and covered with the poop of frustration. (p. 42)

Who couldn’t love a book with metaphors like that?

A few of my favorite takeaways

  • It’s not just me. At times I feel like others think I’m weird for wanting to change broken processes. Why? Because other people made me feel wrong about pushing for change, asking tough questions, etc. This book helped me to realize it isn’t just me wanting to live an unrestrained, bold, and bodacious life. “[Some people] view the world as a place where only a select group of people can succeed, and they choose to exclude themselves from seeking more opportunity.” (p. 45)
  • The basic story isn’t too far off my own. Young guy making very little in his first “real” job. Wife and family to take care of. Surrounded by people who are okay settling for whatever they get. Willing to look beyond the horizon to bigger and better things.
  • It’s possible to kill a dream. “If yo uremain complacent and deny your dreams of yourself, after a while the fire of your big dream will dim and eventually be extinguished.” (p.47) That’s why I push for boldness whenever I can!
  • Change-(the cat’s meow) the cow’s moo. There’s a page or two comparing leading a change initiative to herding cattle. It’s a fantastic metaphor, but I don’t want to pull all the good pieces out of the book. :-) You’ll find it on page sixty, and it’s phenomenal.
  • Stay tuned. I have about five more pieces I’d like to add here, but they’re a little more in-depth, so I’ll save them for a later post. Suffice to say that I have a boatload of new ideas from this thing!

Cons of Be Bodacious

The book needs another run by a proofer/editor to clean some parts up grammatically and for wordiness. Otherwise I have nothing negative to say. It had some great points and made another business/leadership book I was reading as a homework assignment (for my SHRM chapter’s mentor program) pale in comparison.

Bottom line

I’ll be emailing this book review to my department later this week. Why? Because we all could use a little more extraordinary, unrestrained,  and bold action in our lives! If you like a good story with some great lessons on leadership and managing people, then I think you need to get a copy. Be a chicken eater, not a chicken catcher. Keep moving toward the horizon with boldness. And for gosh sakes, be bold!

(Click here to see my video review of Be Bodacious: Put Life in Your Leadership on YouTube)

Two quick notes: thanks to Trish for the shout out in her Top Summer Reads for Business Leaders post, and feel free to click this link if you’re looking for other book reviews I’ve done in the past.

Be Bodacious: Put Life in Your Leadership
Reviewed by Ben Eubanks on
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Leadership Lessons from Cowboys, Farmers, and Ranchers
This book focuses on leadership and how to develop a strong, lifelong attention to leading others in the “right” way. Good tips and ideas, but nothing world-changing.
Rating: 3

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