How To Thrive As A Young Leader

Arianna Huffington, of Huffington Post fame, knows a thing or two about thriving. This isn’t to say she learned the easy way.

No, not at all. Rather, she learned how to thrive as a leader because she ran headfirst into burnout and health problems. All caused by an improper workload.

In Thrive: The Third Metric To Redefining Success And Creating A Life Of Well-Being, Wisdom, And Wonder, Huffington shares what she believes will help you thrive in leadership and in life.

Learn to thrive as a young leader

What’s Good About Thrive?

There’s a lot of good content in the book Thrive. Huffington experienced a life-threatening condition all because she didn’t know how to balance life with work.

That’s why Thrive was written. Huffington wants everyone to know that you don’t have to crash and burn because of work. Rather, you can thrive.

Early on in Thrive, Huffington shares an excellent anecdote from her mother:

I don’t care how well your business is doing, you’re not taking care of you. Your business might have a great bottom line, but you are your most important capital.

This is the message throughout the whole book. We’ve got to be aware of our health. We can’t keep running ourselves into the ground. If we do, not only will we not be well, our businesses will suffer as well.

Another great piece of wisdom in Thrive is this gem:

Companies that make sincere efforts to recognize employees’ lives outside of the office will often see the payoff when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent

– Rusty Rueff

In the business world, this doesn’t seem to make sense. There are many leaders who feel they should only care and recognize an employee’s life at the business. Anything outside of the office doesn’t matter.

Rueff believes differently and he’s seen the results of paying attention to the lives of his employees. You will too, if you take this approach.

Throughout the book, you’ll see Huffington discuss study after study. She’s done her research. One surprising study she shares in Thrive is from the International Journal of Workplace Health Management.

As a dog owner, this study made my day. The results showed that pet owners have lower blood pressure, reduced risk of heart disease, and lower levels of stress. Not only that, the study discovered stress levels decreased for employees who brought their dogs to work with them.

How cool is that?!?

Intuition is also mentioned. The stories she shared which backed up her suggestion to follow our intuitions were engaging and entertaining.

You’ll read about nurses who could tell when premature babies had sepsis. Or how a lieutenant firefighter had the sense to get his team out of a burning building before the floor collapsed, all based on intuition.

I believe, more importantly, Huffington tells you how you can practice the third metric of well-being. She does this in each chapter. And every chapter title is a peg for fulfilling the third metric.

Was this what success looked like? Was this the life I wanted?

You’ll discover how wisdom, wonder, and giving will help you thrive more than any kind of business success. This where the book really shines. You’ll see that success isn’t based solely on what you accomplish at work. Your success is much, much more than that.

What Bothered Me About Thrive

Thrive is a great book. I won’t deny that. Huffington has really made me rethink what success is in my life and how I’m chasing success.

Yet there’s something that didn’t settle well with me while reading the book.

Huffington shares a lot about faith in her book. That’s what’s most troubling to me.

As you guys know, I have a strong faith. I believe there’s one way to Heaven and only one person ever lived a perfect, sinless life.

In Thrive, there’s a lot of mixing of religions. From Buddhism to Kabbalah to Christianity, there’s such a mixture of beliefs, it’s scary.

This has to be my biggest beef with Thrive.

There was also the fact that I wasn’t Huffington’s target audience. My gut reaction was that she was writing to other women and I felt like I was sitting in on a conversation I didn’t belong at.

Final Thoughts On Thrive

I’m torn on whether or not to recommend Thrive to you, my readers. There’s a lot of great information in the book.

You’ll learn how to balance your life. You’ll learn how wisdom, wonder, and giving will enrich your life. You’ll learn there’s more to success than business success.

That’s what will make this book great and valuable. You can go back to the great quotes in Thrive and be encouraged. You can also see you’re not the only one feeling like business success isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

But the combinations of religions that were tossed together in Thrive makes it truly hard for me to recommend. For some, this won’t bother them. For others, it will be a big issue.

In the end, I think the book is valuable and will help you redefine success in your life. Just be careful about the religious aspect of the book.

Question: Have you found yourself looking to redefine what success means in your life? Why or why not? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Shing Degano

    Whenever I’m reading something that stirs the truth that I know, I stop my reading without vacillating especially when that truth is about my faith. The Holy Spirit will prompt any of us in every way that believes in His Truth that Jesus Christ is the only Way, the Truth, and the Life. Nothing else coerces or frames my mind no matter how adept one may convey his/her thoughts in writing. Thank you for this illuminating article.

    • Shing, I appreciate what comes across from your comment as your absolute trust in the Holy Spirit to illuminate and lead you in the paths of righteousness [truth]. That is a solid foundation to base your life!

      What I’m puzzled about however is the impression that you “stopy [your] reading” whenever you come across something purporting to be “truth” that the HS raises your “spidey senses”. Does this mean that you don’t think it’s possible, or prudent, to garner insights from these “truths” to better understand how to connect and communicate with those that embrace and promote those “truths”?

    • My pleasure Shing. I’m glad you’re sensitive to what you’re reading and how it influences your life. It can be hard to make that decision to put something good away because it doesn’t align with your beliefs.

  • I’ve mentioned Michael’s Hyatt’s Developing your Life Plan before, so I don’t mean to flog the dead horse, but I also submit that Life Planning process isn’t dead. It’s actually life giving. I recommend downloading it, I believe it’s still a free download, and read it over even you you choose not to follow the outlined process; it’s still an excellent resource for inspiring you along the process of life planning.

    • Awesome Dan. No worries about beating a dead horse. You can’t mention great resources enough!

  • Shing Degano

    My way of elucidating my belief in absolute truth is that: any tinge of half-truths or anything that doesn’t conform with the Word of God will become subtle precursors to drifting from your spiritual stance. I believe that once you got the absolute truth about the Grace, Mercy and the Love of God, every premise not aligned with the Word is subjective. I think that the more we allow our minds to embrace other’s perspective that doesn’t go along with our heart need not to be entertained to the forefront; instead, may be just take it for its face value.

  • Sounds like an interesting book indeed. I have been thinking about redefining success and I just wrote a post about it. I’ve always thought success was growing my business and hiring a bunch of VA’s and I’m hands off. Lately I’ve been thinking about what I really want and that kind of life doesn’t appeal to me. I always want to be hands on and work with people. That’s succes to me.

    • That’s awesome Kimanzi. Glad you’re getting more focused on what success really means to YOU and not to others.

  • Yes, I’ve seen this title for a while now at Barnes & Noble. I’m pretty selective when it comes to what books to read. Once I found out that this was another “self-made” books that have good secular wisdom but not godly wisdom, I decided not to read this. I’m sure there’s lot of insights on trying to manage your life and balance your time, but I can’t afford invest my time books that will not help me see things outside of God’s perspective.

    I define success not as a singular event or an accomplishment. Rather I view it as a process, a journey if you will. I’ve called it “intentional living” but the terminology doesn’t fully encapsulate the depth of it’s meaning. I define intentional living as “living with Kingdom-impact, stewarding your time, talent, and treasure as a response of His calling in life.” The key is discovering the call and living a life utilizing both our strengths and weaknesses to glorify God.

    • I like your definition of success Paul. It more encapsulates what we really should be living for.

  • This book in on my reading list. I have heard several people talk about it. Now to figure out where to add it to the Queue of books!

    • That’s cool Paul. I’m not sure I would put it at the top of your reading list, I would put it in as a filler.

  • Pioneer Outfitters

    Hey Joe!
    It sounds interesting… It’s funny, but I actually find myself more open to the idea of the book because of the mix of religions… Ready for this?
    I believe there is only One God, the Holy Spirit and Higher-power. There is one place to read the Word.
    I also believe that it doesn’t matter what you or I call Him, he is One. I believe it doesn’t matter what you call your faith- He is One. THIS is what we need to believe and understand. Otherwise we will always be separate- apart from one another and THAT is exactly what He tells us we must not do. He wants us all to come together, to help one another see and pass along His love, as He loves us.
    We each, you, me, Paul, Paul, Dan, Kimanzi, Shing, Arianna Huffington him, her… We ALL have something special to share or give to the world that only we can…

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on that Amber-Lee. It’s interesting to see others opinions even when we disagree. If you do pick up the book, let me know what you think!