Archive | June, 2014

The Reading Room – David and Goliath

27 Jun

I remember the moment I got the email. It read “Pre-order David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. Available October 15, 2013”. My heart skipped several beats as I just thought of all the great ideas I was going to devour in a few months. Full disclosure: Malcolm Gladwell is my favorite author! I have read all of his books and I own most of them in hardback and also have them in the e-book format on my Kindle.  In my opinion, Gladwell is a masterful writer who brings to life unique perspectives of historical, psychological and sociological events. He then ties the events into tantalizing life  and business lessons based on data, theories and personal interviews. So the day had come and I picked up my new book David and Goliath from my local bookstore. As I held it in my hand I felt like I had just won a prize of some sort. I held it close as if it were a pot of gold that I had just happened upon. Pulling a seat out at the café I begin the journey with my tour guide  and old friend Gladwell. From the first few pages I knew I was in for a treat. David and Goliath did not disappoint.  Gladwell uses the biblical story of David and Goliath tMalcom's booko challenge our beliefs. The premise of the book begs the question, Does the little guy who wins the fight receive a miracle or is it a underlying system or tactical advantage on his part that secures his winning position? Malcolm leads us through the civil rights movement with stories of historical figures and their strategic  winning plays that changed the course of history. We make a stop at the top universities in the country and come to terms with the big fish and little pond syndrome. Our journey continues with a disadvantaged basketball team that uses the rules of the game to dominate the season. Case after case Gladwell allows us to see the possibilities in every situation. If you are a true fan of Malcolm Gladwell – like I am –  you will walk away thinking this is one of his best works yet. For newbies I suggest reading one chapter at a time and allowing yourself to process and debate the information before continuing on. Malcolm has often been quoted as saying that his true audience is that of intellectually curious individuals who are open to questioning the status quo and who look for a different possibility.  I believe these sentiments are true. I love a good discourse so please write me and let me know your thoughts about Gladwell’s  latest work.

Wishing You Joy,

Reviewed by Melisa Alaba

Melisa Alaba is the Author of Live Out Loud, 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose. Melisa can be found walking on a trail or sampling chocolate along the coast. You can connect with her on-line via her social media outlets or join her in one of her many classes on her website


Lessons from my favorite author

24 Jun

I absolutely adore books. I am a proclaimed self-help book junkie.

My  home library consists of how-to books on Spirituality, Business and Inspirational. I read the works of the well-known and the up-and-coming indie authors. Simply put, I love a good word that will increase my growth. Reading self-help books also lends me multiple perspectives when working with clients and visualizing their goals and dreams, so look to see regular reviews of books that have richly blessed me with insights and lessons in my blog. Today, however, I am going to focus on the one book that revolutionized how I see myself and brought new meaning to the particular gift(s) that I possessed.

Here is what I knew for sure: I talk  a lot. My aunt shared with me that my grandmother called me ‘the radio’  because I even talked in my sleep.  I also know a bunch of seemingly useless facts and I know a lot of people. I am social and it shows in my networks. I know rich folks and I know poor folks. I know regular folks and I know famous folks. I know CEOs and I also know their employees. But how does this make for anything? What is the talent in knowing people and in them having a connection with you?

A few years ago I read the book “The Tipping point“by Malcolm Gladwell. It changed my life forever. In this book Malcolm describes the three types of people in the marketplace – the Salesperson, the Connector and the Maven.  Before we go on please allow me a few minutes to describe each of these characters:

The Salesperson has the natural ability to sell anything. Think of the car  salesperson , your real estate agent and marketing executives. They understand what makes a person buy and they go for it. They may also come across as pushy to some.

The Maven is our expert. They know their subject well. I’ll bet you are thinking of someone right now. You know, your go-to person for technology questions or the     girlfriend you call when you want to know what is on sale or in my case, the person you call when you need advice, encouragement and motivation. The Maven can,   however,  get stuck in the information and find themselves unable to market themselves properly.

Lastly we have the Connector. The Connector tends to know someone on each social level in different fields. Think of my friend TD Jakes. He is by far one of the best connectors around. His work allows him to interact with spiritual folks, Politicians, Authors and Hollywood. He operates in every realm and he is content there. When most leaders are behind the times. Bishop Jakes is having a ball on google hang-outs and twitter. Connectors know how to reach people and they enjoy the process of getting to know new people.

Can you guess who I am? Yes, that is it. I am a combination of the Maven and Connector. I absolutely love people and love to see others succeed. I am also there when stuff goes wrong; I’ve got your back. I truly embody the qualities of the Maven. I am a nerd at heart. I love learning so I read everything. Therefore, I know a little about everything. This has allowed me to connect with my clients and students on deeper levels because I tend to understand their jobs, hobbies or interests due to my own background. It may sound crazy but I do research for fun. Understanding my natural attributes has also allowed me to be a better leader and more effective communicator.

Now back to the book. Learning this about myself gave more depth to my  natural qualities. I now understood my value. This allowed me to redirect some of my energy and focus on what I truly love which is socializing, reading and empowering. Who am I? I am a Teacher, I am a Speaker, I am an Author, I am an Expert , I am a Friend.

Malcolm Gladwell continues to be my favorite author. Each of his books has given me new ways to think and new information to analyze situations. Malcolm is a historian, philosopher, psychologist and sociologist. He takes complex information and delivers it in a fashion that will leave you thinking differently. I always feel empowered when I read his work. If your work involves sales, marketing , business or working with people you will want to read all of his books. You are sure to have sparks of inspiration while reading that will transform your thinking.  You can find this book and his latest at David and Goliath on-line and in stores.

Thank you Malcolm for helping me to understand myself better through your work.  Are you a fan of  Malcolm Gladwell?  I would love to hear how his books have influenced you. Go ahead….write me.

Wishing You Wisdom and Love,


Melisa Alaba is the Author of Live Out Loud, 52 Ways to Reawaken Your Spirit and Live a Life of Purpose. Melisa can be found walking on a trail or sampling chocolate along the coast. You can connect with her on-line via her social media outlets or join her in one of her many classes on her website


%d bloggers like this: