Who Are Jay Coughlan and Larry Julian?
Jay Coughlan ran several successful software companies and Larry Julian writes bestsellers on the intersection of faith and work. Together their combined stories provide the synergy that resulted in Five Bold Choices: Rise above your Circumstances and Redefine Your Life.
Masters of the pitch, be it Coughlan making sixteen presentations in a day on Wall Street, or Julian pitching publisher’s row 19 times for his first book, they now direct their attention to anyone seeking transformation–based on the knowledge and experience they gained from their own ups and downs.
Coughlan and Julian found transformation is only possible through volition. Change needs to be not only a choice, but a Bold Choice.
This was not always apparent to either of the authors in the course of their lives. Both authors were able to change who they are from who they were. And they want to help others to reach their potential.
The Bold Choices
The first Bold Choice is Clarity or keeping the important things important. Sometimes that can be as simple as writing down your goals (most people don’t). Other times it’s distinguishing between the things that are energy giving or energy draining.
The next Bold Choice is that of accountability. Did you know a survey of over 500 executives by the American Management Association found 38% of business leaders cite fear of being held responsible for mistakes or failures, as one of the factors holding them back? (page 64) But failure can be turned around. Coughlan says instead of asking what you did wrong, start with asking what you did right–then move to what could you have done differently, and what do you need to change?
The third Bold Choice is adaptability. Coughlan goes to prison and had to adapt to his new reality. Julian talks about his struggles over seven years to get his first book published. Only after internal change had taken place could they see any progress.
The fourth Bold Choice is confidence. Confidence often comes in two flavors–too little or too much. Both can be a dominant tendency in your life and both can result in poor leadership or decision-making. The authors suggest the key is less hubris and more humility.
The last Bold Choice is balance. Balance can only be achieved by making the decision to decide, a word from the Latin decidere, which means, literally, to cut off or cut away. One decision-making method as to what to let go is the 168-Hour Test, based on 168 hours in a week, listing out the important, as well as the unimportant things, to restore balance. And that will take you back to the first Bold Choice, to repeat the cycle of Bold Choices.
The authors end with several chapters on gratitude. Be thankful for all your challenges in life and business, good and bad. It’s all about the journey. It always was.
There are seven discussion guides in the book, to help the reader reflect on the lessons of the Five Bold Choices.
I recommend this book for anyone who feels someone they know or their own life or career could be off-track or out of balance and need practical answers. That could include parents, counselors, life-coaches, and executive-coaches.
Thank you for reading this.
Disclaimer. A review copy was provided by the authors.