Repost Review: Role of a Lifetime by James Brown


This review was originally posted on September 24, 2009.


James Brown grew up in Washington, D.C. He attended DeMatha Catholic High School and later Harvard University where he earned a degree in American Government. Brown was also a three time All Ivy League basketball player. James Brown has won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Studio Host. He is currently the host of CBS Sports' The NFL Today and Showtime's Inside the NFL.

Role of a Lifetime is much more than just an autobiography of James Brown. The book relates Brown's plan for living a successful life. He had many mentors along the way to help form his foundation including his mother, father, Coach Wooten, his wife Dorothy, and most important to him, God. James learned from many people along the way and now serves as a role model for anyone wishing to be successful in life.

Life was not always easy for James Brown. He loved to play basketball. He was very successful in high school and then later at Harvard. He dreamed of playing in the NBA and attended NBA training camps twice. Unfortunately, he was the last player to be released both times. But he accepted this both times and made the right decisions at the time to remain successful in life.

While working for Xerox, James worked under Addison Barry Rand, a member of the senior management team who outlined certain principles for success. Brown took this list and refined it over the years to become what he calls his "Ingredients for Successful Living". The seven ingredients are: Good Communications Skills, Appearance, Personal Relations, Punctuality, Thirst for Knowledge, Being a Team Player, and Overcoming Adversity.

It is very entertaining to read how James Brown learned the ropes of sports broadcasting and moved his way up the chain until finally reaching a hosting spot with Fox Sports. The overall theme here is learning from your mistakes and continuing to strive in an honest and moral fashion. Brown does address the thought process behind leaving Fox for CBS, something that he is constantly asked.

I found this book very interesting and not what I expected when I first learned of the book. There is plenty of information about James Brown's life and background, but the best part of the book, in my opinion, is the overall blueprint for being successful and remaining a good person.

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