Young Upstarts

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[Review] It’s Already Inside

It’s Already Inside: Nurturing Your Innate Leadership for Business and Life Success” is not your typical book on business leadership. The tome does not purport to solve all your leadership problems, nor does it contain complex, impractical airy-fairy theories about managing people that is hard to understand and even more difficult to apply in real life. What author Robert S. Murray offers in “It’s Already Inside” are heartfelt stories and personal examples garnered over years of experience leading, managing, cajoling,  or even threatening people into doing the things they’re supposed to do.

Murray, who has spent over twenty years in senior business management roles covering marketing, sales, operations and business development, masterfully wraps key leadership pointers in compelling real-life stories (no “Who Moved My Cheese?” here) that will surely resonate with managers and leaders everywhere.

For example, Murray recalls a time where he was called in to turn around an office that was plagued by bad attitudes. Cancerous team members did everything they could to sabotage his efforts, to the extent of tearing apart his office. Another time, he had to throw an ultimatum to various line managers about allowing staff to buy illegal counterfeit products in their workplaces. Or even a sad example where a prized colleague and friend literally dies in his arms… and how he had to then rally himself so that he can help other colleagues mourn the loss. A more lighthearted story surrounds Murray’s running encounter with singer Billy Idol – although he didn’t know it at that time – who helped him refocus on a particular issue.

You have to read “It’s Already Inside” to see how Murray handled those situations.

What would good look like?

The biggest takeaway for me from ? Asking the question “What would good look like?”, when challenging people to think of solutions for problems. Sometimes we’re simply too fixated on the perfect solution to an issue, but that can be a hindrance to problem solving as we’re seeking for the best answer. This “magic question”, as Murray puts it, challenges people to apply critical thinking to their problems – the best leaders, after all, don’t solve every single problem, but equips his people to solve them.

If you’re looking for charts and diagrams about leadership principles as conceived by armchair generals and their ilk, you won’t find them in this book. But if you’re a CEO of a startup, lead a sales team, or manage a diverse team of people, “It’s Already Inside” is highly recommended.

And like me, I can almost guarantee you’ll be asking “What would good look like?” a lot too.

Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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