Title: Who Am I To Lead?
Author: Torin Perez
Publisher: Globally Bold LLC
Year of Publication: April 7, 2018
Number of Pages: 148
Reviewer: Oyindamola Shoola
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Before reading Torin Perez’s book titled, Who Am I To Lead? I was fortunate to witness him speak at the first America Needs You (ANY) workshop that I attended. On July 9, 2016, when Torin talked to a crowd of the selected 100 fellows in America Needs You, two sentences stuck with me.
1. “Today, I own my story.”
2. “You can either be the thermometer that would take the situation as it is, or the thermostat that will set the temperature of the room.”
His words shaped my attitude and mentality over the next two years. I became empowered to have control of many aspects of my life and in the pursuit of goals that I set. I knew that I wanted to lead and create change in my community. Torin’s words motivated me to take action and prepare for opportunities. Most importantly, by owning my story, I learned to take responsibility for my actions towards my goals and minimize excuses.
In Who Am I To Lead? Torin Perez shares various personal experiences on his path to success. Unlike other books that make the pursuit of success and leadership seem burdensome, Torin gives simple steps using multiple and exciting analogies that many readers can emulate to become better.
Although Torin Perez highlights the consciousness of one’s abilities, he allows a reader to recognize limitations. In a chapter titled Trusting Destiny, Torin Perez highlights the importance of identifying a higher power; God, who maps our path in the adventure we call life. Torin provides a humorous and didactic quote saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” He concludes that chapter, emphasizing that while in our pursuits, it is essential to be in faith so that we won’t lose touch with the destiny that God has planned for us.
Also at the beginning of the book, Torin discusses internal factors that hinder people from maximizing their abilities. For example on page 18, while explaining the analogy of the thermostat and the thermometer, Torin mentions how the lack of confidence makes it difficult for people to go out and do their best. In the next chapter, he explains the imposter syndrome and how it prevents an internal sense of success.
I felt very connected to the chapter titled Defeating Imposter Syndrome. Early this summer, I told my ANY mentor; Tyler Simpson that I felt as if I was bragging about my works, on my resume. When I shared this feeling with her, I was not in the best spirit and with her encouragements, I realized that I had fallen victim to the imposter syndrome. On page 15 of Who Am I to Lead? Torin Perez quotes Jim Rohn who said:
“Beware of the thief in the streets who’s after your purse, but be even more aware of the thief in your mind who’s after your promise.”
In another chapter titled Setting and Rising to Expectations, Torin Perez continues explaining how the imposter syndrome is a common challenge that many high achievers face. He states that the expectations that others have of us, further inflate the imposter syndrome. This part of the book reminds me of an analogy that Bryan Garcia, an ANY coordinator also shared at the first ANY workshop I attended. Bryan explained that when you see a duck gliding smoothly on a bed of waters and with calm composure, although everything looks beautiful on the surface, deep down what people don’t see is the paddling and hard work that the duck is doing. Many high achievers are like ducks, and when the imposter syndrome comes, Torin encourages that we take a pause and do one simple thing – consciously appreciate where we are in life.
Another valuable lesson I gained from reading Who Am I To Lead? is, to never keep my eyes off the prize even if something that is “good-enough” comes my way.
I applaud how Torin Perez unashamedly tells his story of seeking employment after his college graduation. During his rough times, he had a desire for entrepreneurship and a love for coaching. Even when Torin found jobs that provided enough just for him to get by, he did not settle. He pushed even harder. In Who Am I To Lead? Torin explains that there were jobs he had to resign from, to pursue the dreams that gave him a sense of fulfillment. This part of Torin’s experiences reminds me of a song that I learned in primary school;
“Good better best,
I shall never rest
until my good is better
and my better best.”
In other parts of Who Am I To Lead? Torin discusses how our actions impact others and the legacy we leave. From examples of topics like communication and networking, you will see that Torin is not ignorant of our realities especially as we live in the 21st century. He talks about our use social media and the developing technologies. While encouraging that we should let our presence be a gift to others, he provides tips to manage such mediums productively.
To conclude Who Am I To Lead? readers will learn how to make an impact in their communities through leadership and service. One of my favorite lines in the book is a quote by Tony Robbins who once said, “What we give is what we keep and what we fail to give is the only thing we lose in this life.” No matter how little we have, in one way or another, we enjoy a privilege that someone else lacks. As entrepreneurs, leaders, thinkers, and high achievers we are given the responsibility to impart at places and in people who can be better.
Who Am I To Lead? has allowed me to see Torin Perez’s development and to realize that his success is like a tall wall that has been built by many bricks which symbolize hard work, commitment, resilience, empathy, leadership, and service, among many qualities of a high achiever. With Torin Perez’s book, I find comfort in knowing that someone has walked the path that I am threading. I have also built a sense of hope in the possibility of my success and a feeling of fulfillment while admiring my achievements with the lenses that Torin Perez provides.
Just like Spencer Johnson’s book titled Who Stole My Cheese? Torin Perez’s Who Am I To Lead? renew our perspectives of our actions and thoughts of ourselves, towards others, and in our communities. If you are searching for motivation to keep pursuing your goals, this is the book to read. If you don’t have goals and you need a guide to start your journey to success, Torin Perez’s Who Am I To Lead? is the book that you should read.
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