Book review: What it takes to be #1, Vince Lombardi Jr.

Disclaimer: For each sale that is made through the purchase links in this post I get a small commission (that does not affect your final purchase price!). Of course, I'd love if you bought this book through these links, but I have tried my best to make my review faithful. I don't want anyone to come later at me and say they were tricked into buying the book and the review was unfaithful to the book. Anyway, I won't get rich quickly (probably not even slowly) by these sales, but they will work the normal upkeep of this blog.

A few weeks ago I started reading What it takes to be number #1, by Vince Lombardi Jr. I knew something about Vince Lombardi (wikipedia link), a great american football coach, and thought that maybe it was an interesting read.

It is divided in two parts: The Foundation Of Leadership: What It Takes To Be #1 and Inspiring Others To Greatness: How To Lead Like Vince Lombardi. Each one has a few chapters.

The first part was a little disappointing, as I thought it was too boring, and didn't gave anything new. I thought I was re-reading a milder, less interesting version of Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons of a Hardwood Warrior, by Phil Jackson.

But then Chapter 4, Character and Integrity and Chapter 5, Developing winning habits started to explain everything in a new light, and giving something back for the reading investment.

Probably the best chapter is Chapter 5 and the ideas can be summarized in the following list
  • When you have to, flight, wen you can, fight!
  • Discipline takes different forms, but it is a must
  • Weed out the uncommitted in your team
  • Sacrifice and self-denial lie behind every great success
  • Work at it, don't slack at it
  • Demand it first from yourself and then from others around you
  • Be prepared to sacrifice for it
  • Be mentally tough
  • Use your toughness to beat setbacks
  • Use your toughness to seek out new challenges
  • Search out and identify your beliefs and the habits that grow out of them
  • Own your habits, control your time
  • Give everything for your passion
  • Be disciplined every time
  • Give total commitment to your endevours
  • Use your courage toughtfully
  • The organization that wins is made of winners
  • Overnight success does not exist. Invest in talent
But they are more explicitly stated in the book, and clearly explained with samples from Coach Lombardi's life. I think it is a work worth buying, alone for this chapter, but sure it offers something for you in all other chapters.

Just to remind you, you can buy it from my affiliate links (I get a small commission from these sales, but the price for you is the same):
  • Amazon: You already know Amazon... You can buy more stuff there, but no free international shipping.
  • The Book Depository: You can only buy books here... But the prices are really competitive (currently, it is only 3.43€), and has free international shipping. I've bought my last 5 books from here, as you don't need to think about shipping rates buying is just going there and buying one book. No need to plan those 5-10 books boxes to spread the fees.
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Written by Ruben Berenguel