Author: Mike Sprouse
ISBN: 976-1-59932-266-7
Publisher: Advantage

When you purchase a copy of Mike Spouse's The Greatness Gap: Personal Strategies to Boost Your Professional Potential, you not only are investing in the author's many years of marketing and interactive media savvy with Playboy Enterprises and Epic Media Group, but also in an inspiring book that is important for as much as how the material is presented, as well as what is presented.

Written in the form of an autobiography, The Greatness Gap reflects an individual who knows what he is talking about-someone who has” been there done that” when it comes to knowing how to reach one's full potential. As a result, Sprouse easily translates what he knows into an inspiring book containing a great deal of applicable advice.

Sprouse, who was a number one college ranking tennis player at the University of Notre Dame, cleverly transfers and applies many principles, skills and techniques acquired from playing tennis to the world of business. He also is able to draw parallels from his tennis days to the challenges many of us face throughout our careers. As he states,” it is his hope that when completing the reading of the book you will have actionable knowledge and very specific goals, as well as the knowledge of how to reach new ones over and over again. It is also meant to be a life guide, to be easily referenced repeatedly in the future.”

The topics covered are broken down into five parts comprising: a peek into Sprouse's own amazing business career and the ingredients that made him into the person he is; preparation; process; mind-set; the art of the every day; and ending with a prologue. Within these sections Sprouse explores such subjects as passion, goals, following hunches, humility, workplace politics, making the most out of bad luck, relying on old friends, relationships, sportsmanship and giving back and a host of other invaluable themes.

Each chapter comprises three sections: A Warm-Up that often consists of personal anecdotes, a valuable lesson, and a Coach's Challenge that spurs the reader to apply Sprouce's philosophy to his or her own personal situation. In addition, enlightening words of wisdom introduce the topic of each chapter.

An excellent example of Sprouse's good sense is seen in Making the Most Out of Luck that begins with a saying by an unknown author, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” In the Warm-Up Sprouse relates a personal story concerning one of his high school tennis playing days. Apparently, while his dad was watching him play, he overheard one of the visiting collegiate tennis coaches get up in the middle of one of his matches and mutter that he would never amount to a great tennis player. A few years later he soundly trounced several of this coach's players, however, he never got to thank that coach for all the motivation he gave him.

From here, Sprouse recounts the day he was called to interview for a Director of Marketing position at Playboy Enterprises, overseeing the company print catalogue, e-commerce sites, and online subscription business. He couldn't believe his good luck, particularly as this was a job he dreamed about when he was a high school kid. After a few interviews, he was offered the job and he immediately set goals for himself and the business leading to a successful career with Playboy Enterprises.

The Coach's Challenge asks the reader to look back to when he or she might have had good luck professionally. Did you make the most out of it” Why or why not? It concludes with the priceless advice that don't take strokes of good luck for granted. Instead leverage them and make the most of them. Above all, and something we should all follow in business as well as in any life situation, recognize when good luck happens.

The Greatness Gap provides readers with an illuminating blueprint for reaching one's full potential with its insights and sage advice presented in a straightforward style that can easily be read in one sitting. This book definitely belongs on every businessperson's bookshelf.

Sprouse is donating a portion from the proceeds of the sale of the book to Camp Erin that is a program of The Moyer Foundation and is the largest bereavement camp in the country for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to him.

CLICK To Read Norm's Interview With Mike Sprouse

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