Balance: The Business - Life Connection

Balance: The Business - Life Connection Hot

Julie Clayton   February 28, 2013  
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Balance: The Business - Life Connection
Number Of Pages, Discs, Etc.
Date Published
April 16, 2013

Balance The BUSINESS--LIFE Connection is a unique business book. It provides a proven template for creating a successful business, and simultaneously, long-term balance and fulfillment in your personal life. The book is based on three decades of the author's diverse experience in technology and entertainment, which include Rock Star, Corporate Executive, Entrepreneur, Filmmaker, and Holistic Hotelier. He shows how to identify and unleash the power of life purpose and passion.

The book is divided into three sections. The first, "Author's Introduction--On The Shoulders Of Giants" is a brief summary of the author's "Five Lives" and is based on the premise that we all encounter critical crossroads throughout life and the most successful choice is always taken by listening carefully to the counsel wise people--"giants"--we meet along the way.

In the second section, "Part 1: Creating A Fulfilling Life," the author explains how to impart balance, purpose, and happiness in both your personal and professional lives. He maintains that everyone is capable of finding an attribute that distinguishes them from others in their personal and professional circles. It is never too late to discover this unique "something," which provides sheer pleasure and has the potential to generate great value for both them and the world.

The author calls this personal Essence and shows how to find and nurture it. He suggests that everyone is born with personal Essence, which he maintains is the "real you," not what you or someone else thinks you should be, but what you have always wanted to be, what you were born to be, what you can do extremely well.

He has found that pursuing your life Purpose based on your personal Essence leads to intense Passion, which ignites high levels of physical and emotional Energy that in turn unleashes unbound Creativity, leading to Innovation. The result is an excellent return which may be financial, emotional, psychological, spiritual, or some combination. This inevitably provides a deep sense of Gratitude, the source of long-term Happiness. This process is encompassed by what the author calls his "Fulfillment Formula."

In the third section, "Part 2: Building A Successful Business," the author shows how to build a successful business using the power of an innovative environment created through Inspirational Leadership. The focus is on a new kind of leadership as the means to generate excellent returns to all stakeholders--investors, employees, customers, suppliers, the environment and the community. The author elaborates on seven key elements that he has found can result in long-term success in any business. Practiced diligently, he maintains that the returns are by far, greater than those from "business as usual" models.

Editor review

(Updated: May 06, 2013)
Overall rating 

James A. Cusumano has had an interesting, diverse, and lucrative work/career life: he says that he is now in the midst of his “fifth professional life.” In his teens he was a rock star, then a scientist and corporate research executive with Exxon, then co-founder and chairman of a (very successful) Silicon-Valley-based company, then founder, CEO, and executive producer of a feature film company, and currently he and his wife have purchased and renovated a castle in Prague, which has become an internationally recognized castle hotel and spa. As he says, he has learned some things along the way, and in this book he shares “the fruits of his journey.” Although his expertise is in business, it seems that throughout he has stayed true to himself, and managed to balance meaning, fulfillment, and success in both this personal and business life.

The first part of “Balance,” naturally, is autobiographical, from childhood to today, written with a lively and self-aware style. He gives just enough background for readers to get to know him, without being self-serving. This intriguing journey alone makes the book worth picking up. Part II offers a “formula” for creating a fulfilling life: addressing the critical issue of how to achieve balance in both personal and professional life. This is the heart of the book, and James is both a great role model and dynamic cheerleader for uncovering profound principles for living what he calls our “Essence.” Drawing from his own experiences—the cross-roads he encountered, learning how to listen to the wise counsel of others, honoring his own inner essence compass—he provides a step-by-step formula for identifying and capturing your own essence.

Finally, in the third part of the book, he explains how to build a successful business while achieving balance in professional and personal life. Each step is based on “Inspirational Leadership” (also sometimes called Conscious Leadership) and he shows in detail what this entails and how it leads to an organization that is personally rewarding, commercially advantageous, and socially responsive.

Cusumano is by no means typical, and as each of his business successes built upon the other, doorways opened for him that would not be available to most of us in the non-business world (really, how many of us could afford to buy a castle?). However, his life is his message, and he has succeeded in large part because of his own initiative and unwavering commitment to business and personal excellence. Passion and purpose drive him, and by all accounts he seems to embody unlimited energy and joyous enthusiasm for making the word a better place. "Balance" seems to be the latest in a long line of flourishing enterprises that do just that.

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