Book Review – NewsDay

GREATNESS, A RECIPE FOR SUCCESS
REVIEWED BY CYNTHIA R MATONHODZE, SUB-EDITOR | HARARE – May 03 2011 15:20

Title: The Greatness Manual: Recipes for Perpetual Success
Author: Rabison Shumba. Foreword by Dr John Stanko
Publishing House: Greatness Factory Publications, 2010, 161 pages.
ISBN 978-0-557-88872-6 (Paperback)


“Hope should never be totally lost and the fire must be kept burning inside,” goes a piece of wisdom from the author of this manual, Rabison Shumba.

The Greatness Manual as the title suggests is a motivational manual, with a bias towards succeeding in business, created from the personal struggles of the author and subsequently designed by the successes he has achieved from those struggles.

Everything from the manual’s cover which has a bold but somehow subtle watermark reflection of a lion possibly alluding to strength and moral character, to the chapters in the text categorised as recipe sets, builds on the core of the text – personal integrity.

For Shumba greatness means “. . . operating in your area of passion and doing so with an ever increasing excellence. Greatness is not always necessarily evidenced by riches or how famous you will become in life though in some instances these are a part of it. Greatness is when your existence makes a lasting impact not only in your life but the lives of those around you (your community, nation or the world)”.

This definition flows through like common sense in the manual chapter to chapter probably in order to help the reader realise and develop their ability to achieve their own personal greatness.

Shumba uses the self-determination theory of motivation to advance his central thesis. This theory is concerned with supporting one’s natural or intrinsic tendencies to behave in effective and healthy ways, thereby achieving greatness. The theory identifies the following as intrinsic human characteristics;

Competence
– succeeding in what one does
Relatedness – connecting with others
Autonomy – being in control of one’s life.

Accordingly, chapter by chapter Shumba illustrates in specific themed recipe sets, and at times with examples from his personal experiences, how both internal (ie ones thoughts, self-discipline, determination) and external (ie what other people think and say about you, the type of company you keep, how this affects your life positively and negatively) motivational attributes play a part in the way one defines one’s life.

At the same time he also demonstrates how one can build or internalise positive external motivational attributes and integrate them into one’s self to create a strong-minded person capable of greatness.

Every recipe set is a progression from the previous one as a sort of step by step guide.

For example, recipe set # 1 entitled “Building Your Personal Capacity” progresses to recipe set # 2 “Character traits for greatness” which then builds to recipe set # 3 “Mind your power requisites for greatness” and so on.

By so doing each effectively creates an environment that fosters character development and ultimately, integrity.

This is reinforced by the numerous “ponder points” at the end of every recipe sub-set that requires one to ask themselves questions about possible personal areas that hinder one from greatness that are immediately followed by affirmation points that are positive statements that result in thoughts that will in turn translate to positive character traits with greatness as the outcome.

The sub-set is then concluded with a famous quote/saying or quote from a famous author including some of Shumba’s own quotes that strengthen the theme (s) of that particular set, a sort of “Yes I can do it” boost that will inspire the reader.

However, like Milton Kamwendo’s 2003 and 2004 motivational texts It’s Time to Unleash Your Greatness and Dance and Pursue Your Dreams, The Greatness Manual makes reference to Christianity, the Bible and the divine role of God in one’s life.

This makes the manual one that motivates Christians and does not cut across religious divides which limits the self-determination theory that it employs.

The Greatest Manual is therefore a suitable motivational manual for Christians and those that believe in God, but would not be as useful to those of other religious persuasions.

Available at Innov8, The Fountain, Wordwide and Insignia.
Price between $16 and $18

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