With the premise that “success in life is no longer a secret,” United Kingdom medical doctor Mabel Joshua-Amadi outlines a dozen steps for goal attainment in 12 Strategies for Success. For two decades Joshua-Amadi studied numerous successful individuals, such as Andrew Carnegie, Bill Gates, Spanx creator Sara Blakely and Richard Branson. She draws from many motivational writers and speakers, including Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar and Brian Tracy. By “diligent application” of their lessons to obstacles in her own life, the doctor found success as an inspirational speaker, founder of a charity and author of seven other books.
This book, however, does not present any new or original ideas. Among the steps she repeats are to dream big, focus on your strengths, work hard, go the extra mile, commit to excellence, persevere, stay positive and ask for divine aid. Each chapter closes with questions that may help the reader clarify his or her goals and actions.
Perhaps the author aims to be more inspirational than tactical and to speak to those who are not already familiar with the language of self-help. She defines some basic terms – “strategy” and “happiness,” for example – and often uses two words when one could have sufficed: “Successful people learn early on the road to success that they can only succeed through hard painful gruelling [sic] work.” Minor editorial stumbles include calling Carnegie a steel “magnet” instead of “magnate” and distastefully citing a brief quote from Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet about serving his homeland. Blanket statements such as “Nothing can stop the man or woman who desires to achieve” and “Everything can be improved by 10% or more” give the book a sermon-like quality.
All of these hamper the title’s ability to connect with a wide audience. Readers looking for practical advice, original thinking and clear writing might prefer classics from authors such as Stephen Covey, Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie or Rohn, one of Joshua-Amadi’s favorites.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.