Review: Leader by Choice by Andres Valdes

Leader By Choice: 7 Decisions That Spark Your Purpose, Passion, And Perseverance by Andres Valdes is a self-help book of sorts. Except, instead of stuffing it full of research and science, Valdes draws on his personal experience, coupled with educated discourse, to gently guide you through the seven specific decisions which led him to live as a leader by choice rather than by chance.

I’m not one for self-help books in general. I’m a strong believer in setting your own destiny and choosing to live the life you want, so while I can see the appeal of self-help books for some, they’re not for me – even if they are categorised as ‘coaching and mentoring’ as opposed to ‘self-help’ on Amazon! That’s why I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work on this book with Valdes. Without that opportunity, I would never have discovered this wonderful book and the inspiring keynote speaker who wrote it.

So what’s so great about it? The seven decisions that Valdes walks you through – although seemingly obvious at the outset – are simple to understand but sometimes difficult to act upon. He encourages you to make simple decisions that are hard to implement, pushing you out of your comfort zone and allowing you to develop and strengthen through positive and intentional actions.

He uses his own wealth of experience – both positive and negative – as examples and explanations, making the advice relatable and personable as opposed to cold and formal. Add to that a strong, educational base from which he writes, along with inspirational quotes from other leading mentors, and the book is well-rounded and full.

It’s written in an informal and friendly tone, and is peppered with delightful humour throughout, meaning that it’s not just an informative read, but an enjoyable one too. Valdes has also included helpful exercises and questions to move you along on your journey.

Yes, Leader by Choice is a self-help book, of sorts. But it’s not that kind of book. It’s a book that’s not only packed full of advice and tips on how to live your best possible life, but it’s a tour de force of inspiration, motivation, imagination, and encouragement. It’s not a book for the weak and the feeble, but a book for the strong and determined. It’s a book for the strong-in-waiting, the leader-in-waiting, and for those who want to change their lives.

It’s a book for you.

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