Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Attitude in a Nutshell by Sam Glen

Glenn, SamAttitude in a Nutshell.  Sam Glenn, 2005.

Sam Glenn has the kind of rags-to-riches story that you might expect of a motivational speaker.  He failed in his early jobs and a disaster brought down the family business, which he was running.  One little thing helped him persevere in those hard days and empowered him to turn his life around.  I give you one guess what it was.

It was his attitude.  More to the point, it was a change in his attitude. Instead of staying negative, pessimistic and angry, which probably would have kept him in a bad place, he chose to be positive, optimistic and good-humored, and this attitude help him to see opportunities and make choices that improved his life.

Glenn writes about this in Attitude in a Nutshell.  As the title suggests, it is a short book.  I suspect it draws heavily on his presentations, especially given the informal style, generally conversational tone, and brevity of the chapters.

The author doesn’t seem to bring much new subject of attitude.  Don't take that as harsh criticism.  Recently published books, especially in the self-help genre,  tread much the same ground as their predecessors from 50 or 100 years ago.  Jack Canfield hasn’t added much to W. Clement Stone, except shrewdness in marketing books.  Stone didn’t add much to Napoleon Hill, though he didn’t emphasize Hill’s wilder ideas.  Hill had many antecedents and contemporaries in writing about success, though the patronage of Andrew Carnegie allowed him to take an approach that was unique for his time.

Specifically, the book covers self-talk, humor, courage, character and a few other subjects related to attitude.  Like some other self-help books I’ve read recently, it hangs together mainly on the topic.  Other than the theme of “have a good attitude,” there is no strong thread connecting the different parts of the book.

If he doesn’t stand out as an author of self-help, he may make up for it as a speaker.  I know someone who has seen him present.  His presentation incorporates the creation of chalk art.  It sounds like a gimmick, but a gimmick that draws an audience’s attention, enlivens a presentation, and makes it more memorable is a worthy one.

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