Well this one is a little different. Kelly’s win of the Apprentice II was really only a stepping stone in his life.
He is certainly not done yet. He might as well have written the book without becoming the Apprentice.
Kelly had been very focused and determined from his early days on, always tried to serve as a role model and assumed leader positions naturally. He explains in detail how the rules and principles he learned at WestPoint and during has Army career apply in his daily life.Kelly doesn’t do all the talking himself but offers extensive space to the voices of Ross Perot, Marsha Evans (the leader of the Red Cross) and other outstanding business leaders which served in the military.
He makes a clear case that he is not standalone but that you should be able to expect the same or similar from other members of the military as well. He gently avoids the fact that the image of our troops has certainly suffered a bit over the last few years with some of the images that went through the press.
The book is not a political book. It doesn’t make a case of whether we should be in Iraq or not. Soldiers are not politicians and things don’t get commingled in this book.
It was interesting for me as a non-military person to learn a bit more about how our soldiers think, what creates their bond and what separates them from regular civilians.
One of the strongest sections of the book is written by Kelly himself but by his younger brother Brent. He talks in length about his deployment in Iraq and his strong bond to the Army. You feel that our country should never have any problems with how their troops are portrayed if all soldiers would behave like him.
The book is broken up in ten easy-to-read chapters. Each chapter explains one of Kelly’s leadership principles. All of them should make sense to the average reader. You might already apply most or all of them by yourself. Sometimes without realizing them.
My favorite chapter is about loyalty. Kelly talks about loyalty in many different settings. Loyalty certainly is a great way to stick out from the crowd these days. And it is really not that hard!
I am fortunate enough to know Kelly personally and I experienced how respectful soldiers treat him wherever you run into them together with him. They consider him to be one of their heroes. Not just because he is a successful business person, but because he lives what they stand for even after he left the Army. He still feels like one of theirs to them.
I recommend that book to all non-military people who want to understand a bit better how soldiers think. You don’t have to sign up to practice their principles.
I should mention that I only have two connections to the military:
1. I grew up in Germany and some of my strongest and most emotional memories have to do with efforts of U.S. soldiers. The airbridge to Berlin in 1948/1949 most probably being the strongest. I have been standing at the memorial at the Frankfurt Airport many times and still feel very emotional about it.
2. Captain Horatio Hornblower is still one of my favorite movies ;-)
Get it at Amazon: Take Command