Soaring Beyond Midlife: The Surprisingly Natural Emergence of Leadership Superpowers in Life’s Second Half

Aneace Haddad

Publisher: Aneace Pte Ltd Pages: 217 Price: (ebook) $18.00 ISBN: Reviewed: April, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

Aneace Haddad’s second leadership offering, following the parable novel The Eagle That Drank Hummingbird Nectar, addresses a new group of readers: those in their late 30s to late 60s, who are approaching the “crucible of midlife leadership.”

The book is framed around a fictional CEO forum in Lake Como, where four CEOs are floundering: Rajiv, whose factories have suffered too many safety incidents; Nicole, an interim CEO whose board won’t give her the permanent role; Joanna, who struggles with her self-confidence, and Tomas, whose team’s enthusiasm is flagging. (Haddad’s website indicates that these are based on his clients.) The CEOs do the deep digging necessary to transform their careers, consider how to become their best selves, and predictably, triumph.

Challenging the idea that midlife is a time of decline, Haddad describes the “Three Winds of Change—physiological, neurological, and parental”— that help usher people into what he describes as a potent, creative time of life. He urges readers to adopt “humility and iron will” and “continual rebirth.” Interspersed among the framing narrative and advice are a series of fairly pedestrian poems.

While the language is encouraging and the message solid— people should, certainly, not be put out to pasture once the first bloom of youth is gone—the book is hampered by clunky writing, such as this mixed metaphor: “Embrace the silver lining of midlife’s physical changes as a doorway to deeper self-awareness…,” and an over-reliance on buzzwords. Haddad’s attempts at profundity include many references to will, inspiration, transformation, etc., but the advice on how to actually achieve it is thin on the ground.

The overall offering is certainly accessible to those new to leadership advice, as the narrative format offers a lot of easy-to-digest dialogue, and the advice is peppered with encouragement, Unfortunately, there’s just not much substance under the puff, which makes for a somewhat frustrating reading experience.

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