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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

BOOK REVIEW BY FRAN LEWIS - YOU ARE A LEADER - AUTHOR - JON BANDRA

You Are A Leader

Author: Jon Bandra

Reviewed by Fran Lewis


Walking into the room everyone turned around and smiled as she shook hands with those present. Small children raised their arms in the air as he walked by hoping to receive a hug, nod or smile. Others that were at a greater distance waved cheered and sought some kind of recognition. His warm smile, expressions and gestures said it all. Everyone has the ability to make a positive impact or difference in this world. Each of us can guide, inspire and support others helping them reach success. Are You A Leader? Are you someone who wants to create change? Are you committed to teamwork, sets a good example, listens to others before making decisions and builds important relationships? Are you ready to take that next step? Everyone is a leader. You just might not know what others already see in you and now is the time to cultivate, explore and develop your inner YOU! I bet you are wondering why did everyone stop when he walked into the room. Simple enough: one word: Presence- an intangible quality yet imperative and vital to becoming leader.

Take a look in the mirror. Who do you see staring back at you? Look hard, deep and past the surface of your reflection. Think hard! Everyone has the innate ability to become more than their physical being. Everyone has the ability to lead, sculpt and create a better world for others whether in government, business, at home, in school or in life. Leadership should not come with a negative price or with stress, anxiety, fear and disillusionment.

Take the journey from beginning to end and learn, embrace and understand the ten intangibles that you need to become the leader you already are. As I review ”You Are A Leader,” by author Jon Bandra you will hear the voice of the author, read the personal stories shared by many and understand that you can be a better you and take that first positive step to becoming a better you and of course a leader.


We do we being our journey. Remember that man who entered a room. He was about to deliver a speech to a graduating class in a Middle School. Although he was a famous athlete and heads his own company if he did not have PRESENCE, that intangible something that you cannot feel or touch, the quality that makes people notice you when you walk into a room, he could have been anyone at all and the reaction totally different. Author Joe Bandra wants to awaken the presence, simplicity, emotion, sensitivity, perception, passion, trust, flexibility, energy and finally celebration in all of us. Welcome to becoming a better you: A REAL LEADER!


Let’s restart the process with the first intangible: Presence: What makes people respond when someone walks into a room. Presence: that quality that allows others to know you can lead with respect, are motivated, recognize impersonal presence and lead with calmness, confidence and authority. Confidence, thought, understanding what needs to be done, recognizing what needs to be improved and doing it is the mark of a leader. The ability to have fun doing what you have to and bringing joy to others not just you.

Children are perceptive, sensitive, keen and more aware since their feelings, wisdom and judgments have not been conditioned nor clouded. Parents tend to create or try to create the world in which their children live programmed to their own specific blueprint or floor plan. Choosing their friends, interactions with neighbors, family members, following their direction and enveloping their thoughts, desire and interests hoping they seek parental guidance, advice and approval every step of the childhood and hopefully continuing later on. Children are really smart. They can size you up in a nano second. Perceptive, wise, and can decide in a flash whether they like you, want to be near you or whether you are trustworthy or not. Interesting to say the least. Children do not think twice about disappointing other to be true to themselves. Simple word to sum them up is a vital intangible: Intuition. A feel, connection or vibe that help them to interpret a person or as the kids say: Read someone! It’s within them and of course you. You can enter a room and sense what is happening if you pay attention.

Sensitivity is the second intangible the author brings to light in your journey to becoming a leader. Understanding your wants, desires, whom you trust, natural enthusiasm, innocence, presence and sensitivity. Many people focus on EGO- knowledge and lose sight of their sensitivity and become insensitive. They become anxious, self-centered and concerned about the market value or profits that will be yielded. According to the author sensibility is a prime component for corporate leadership success. Insensitive people tend to be dangerous to work with and are often influenced by the appearance of things. Citing many examples of the importance of this intangible the author explains the harmful effects of leaders that are insensitive and those that have this indispensable leadership quality, which enables them to complete tasks, make better choices and good judgments. The author then continues to discuss emotions, energy and perception and their roles, characteristics and importance in rounding out this journey to its final intangible Celebration.



Emotions are “subjective experiences that urge us to act in a particular way,” says the author. The right emotions expressed to the right person make a big difference as a leader. How emotions plays a part in leadership is discussed in detail in Chapter 3 where he focuses on how to achieve balance between your head and your heart using emotions. Leaders are calm, able to face challenges and forgive someone for their shortcomings. To fully understand the wide spectrum of how emotions come into play in leadership read pages 27-28, the examples are profound and will give the reader much pause for thought as we continue on to energy, perception in our journey. Read Teddy’s story and you’ll understand.



I am not going to expand on each intangible. I am going to focus on passion, flexibility and finally celebration. You are the reader need to take this amazing journey on your own, read every personal story the author shares to truly understand his message. However, the main thrust is to be aware of by interconnecting with everyone and realizing that you are a bundle of energy. Throughout the book the author’s message is strong. We must learn to realize and understand our true self; his/ her self’s vision, boundless energy, boundless joy leading to infinite possibilities. Perception, simplicity and trust: Read Chapters 5, 7 and 8 to learn more.



Passion, flexibility and celebration round out the ten intangibles. Passion results in the strong desire to succeed. It comes from understanding and knowing what you want. Giving you the permission to say out loud what you want and finding the courage to do it. “To have passion, one must reach their core desire.” A passionate person does not waste time living someone else’s life and they are not trapped or ensnared living with the results of to other people’s thinking. They think for themselves. Read Steve Jobs speech and you will understand much more. You have a limited time on this earth use it your own way.



Flexibility: the ability to bend and adept to change. A person who is flexible admits his/her mistakes. Many people have one point of view, look at things the same way and will not even entertain the viewpoints of others or change their own. Inflexibility does not create an enlightened leader. Enlightened leaders actually listen to the ideas of others, are open to the discussion and other viewpoints and eliminate ego and do not take themselves too seriously.



I think my favorite-shared story is the Anonymous resignation: where the writer resigns from being adult and wants to take on the responsibilities of a seven year old. It sort of sums up quite a bit as you read this letter and remember how uninhibited, flexible, passionate, simplistic, smart, resourceful, organized, perceptive and energetic you were at age seven.



At the end of any college graduation, completed course, or even a birthday we celebrate our successes, another year on this earth, an accomplishment. But, how many people celebrate just being and enjoying what they do each and every day. If you hate what you are doing why do it? If you find yourself answering people in a brusk and abrupt manner and the man laying concrete does in the final story on page 102 shared by our innovative author, then you need a change and are definitely not a happy person. But, when someone stops and asks directions, you are busy and you stop what you are doing, explain what your about to accomplish and are still smiling, laughing and singing and include all in your project as we not I, then I would say that calls for a celebration that you as a person bring joy, spirit and are a potential enlightened leader.



Are you ready for change or do you just want to stay in the same place forever? Stop groaning, complaining and start your own journey : Read this innovative book with simple and understandable explanations, real life stories that will touch the reader’s heart and decide: Are you a leader? Of course you are! Just find the inner leader you and you are on the way! Look in that mirror now: I bet you see a leader now!