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Book Review: The Imposter? by Kip Kreiling

July 1, 2010

The Imposter?Mr. Kreiling contacted me some time ago wondering if I would review his book. He was kind enough to send a link to the information which I looked up. I almost made what would have turned out to be a mistake. I have at least six books lined up to read and review. This book did not look like it would “fit in” with what I normally read. But for some reason, after hesitation, I said, sure. I’m very grateful that I did because I would have missed a great human and leadership story.

Kreiling starts his memoir setting a scene in the relatively recent past. Then reminisces about how he has gotten to where he is today. He frequently “flashes back” to his teenage years and interweaves stories about his mother, his own troubles and how he uses the lessons he learned to move himself off of the path to destruction and on to a meaningful life. The important thing is that he brings us along with him. The story is compelling and Kreiling writes in a clear, straight forward manner.

Kreiling enumerates eight principles for transforming individuals and organizations. First and foremost is the concept that you can completely change. Many believe that people cannot change; Kreiling proves that it can be done.

  1. You can completely change
  2. Turn your transformation goal into an imperative – turn it into a compelling desire
  3. By changing what you believe you change who you are
  4. By changing your actions you change who you are – Mind to Muscle to Metamorphosis
  5. By transforming your environment you can transform who you are – The Fire Precedes the Bloom
  6. Do not make major changes in your life on your own; get resources to help you such as time, people, experts and sometimes money
  7. Learn to shift your focus from eliminating negatives to creating positives
  8. Learn to be an optimist

The Imposter demonstrates how we so often limit our future by never completing with the past. What Kreiling points out is that we can in fact create new possibilities for the future. Describing what will be, using future language, and then being the person you need to be to achieve that vision. That is what Kreiling did as he recognized he needed to change his environment, finish schooling and work at overcoming his addictive nature; an amazing story in many ways.

Still, Kreiling wonders about how he managed to make it to his present position in life. He contemplates how others might be able to “see through him,” and decide he is an imposter, someone who isn’t supposed to be where he is. The hint to his answer is the question mark in the title. My own conclusion is that Kreiling is more authentic than many of the “successful” business leaders we run into these days. He’s done the hard work of completing with his past, creating a new future and living into that future. Many of the rest of us get there in a purely mechanical, unexamined way.

An excellent read for anyone who knows there is more to life than they are seeing at the moment.

Click here to see the book on Amazon

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