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Personal Strategies to Boost Your Professional Potential

by Mike Sprouse

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1599322667

Former tennis pro Sprouse coaches readers on how to achieve their potential.

Sprouse’s self-help book relates the story of his challenges growing up, maturing and forging two successful careers (first as a tennis pro and then as a marketing practitioner), using his experiences as teaching points for the reader. At the end of each short chapter about a particular time in his life, Sprouse includes a Coach’s Challenge that encourages the reader to think expansively about what the author has discovered and how to apply it to his or her life. For example, in a chapter entitled “Realizing That Misguided Passions Are Still Valuable,” Sprouse tells the story of choosing accounting as his major in college because he was good at numbers, but realizing he wasn’t passionate about the subject. He learns this lesson after an interview for a summer internship that didn’t get him excited. Sprouse writes, “I failed myself that day, and it was the best thing to happen to me. It helped me realize the difference between being ‘decent’ at something with a little passion and trudging through every day, and being ‘great’ at something with tons of passion and embracing every day.” In the Coach’s Challenge, Sprouse asks the reader, “What have you been good at, yet were surprised about being good? Or, have there been things you’ve been good (not great) at but NOT passionate about? Now think about those elements that caused you to have some success, but left you devoid of passion. Those very specific items you can list DO mean something. For me, it was the numbers and analytics in accounting—but not accounting as a discipline. What about you?” Every chapter is a little pearl of wisdom like this one, an inspirational moment that should provide self-reflection and help the reader jump the gap to greatness. Sprouse is plainspoken but a pleasure to read. The book includes autobiographical glimpses of the author, replete with self-effacing humor, woven together with sound counsel that could have a measurable impact on the reader’s attitude toward life. And the forward was written by legendary Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz.

A well-constructed, engaging call to action.