In Human Connection: How the “L” Do We Do That?, Arthur F. Coombs III shares his five-part formula for making connections: laughing, learning, leading, loving, and living large— lessons he gleaned from life experiences and from being the founder, president and CEO of KomBea Corporation, a company involved with combining automation with human intelligence.
His book explores each of his five concepts in a conversational manner, with Coombs sharing numerous stories—from history, news, his own life, and more—to illustrate his points.
For example, in his chapter on laughter, Coombs discusses how laughter can diffuse tough situations and bring people together. He tells the story of when educator and author John-Roger was accompanying a lecture group when one members’ luggage was damaged and another’s sprang open on the airport conveyor belt, revealing very personal items. John-Roger helped upset group members see how funny this situation would be in a few weeks, noting that if it would be funny then, it’s funny now.
The author’s chapter on leadership also notes the importance of humor, while his section on living large connects the concept with maintaining a sense of balance (counterintuitive to the idea that “living large” means going all out). His father, a Stanford University PhD, taught him that when you over-excel in one area, you’re probably creating a vacuum in another. True genius—truly living large—avoids extremes and embraces moderation.
Coombs is an excellent storyteller, and his book is filled with lively anecdotes. Readers will sometimes question the relevance of these stories to the lesson at hand, however. (The long story about his son’s birth and subsequent naming only tangentially and broadly addresses the topic of learning, for example.) Also, those expecting step-by-step tips on how to achieve goals related to the title will be disappointed. This is a free-flowing, sometimes rambling, broad-brushed discussion.
Still, for anyone seeking an entertaining look at each topic, Coombs delivers plentiful stories to keep readers engaged.
Also available in hardcover, ebook and audio book.