Without question, anyone who has taken up the cause for spreading diversity, equity and inclusion–in the workplace, in politics, or wherever–has faced challenges. Those challenges manifest through micro inequities in hiring practices, pay or promotions that should have come but didn’t, or perhaps it was simply the challenge of being the only person of color in an office. Whatever it was, that brick wall was there. Which makes PROJECT BOLD LIFE: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success, by Ed Kopko, a must-read.
As the title implies, PROJECT BOLD LIFE provides a formula for taking on challenges. While this methodology can be applied to a wide range of setbacks and obstacles, like overcoming a handicap or dealing with the changes brought about by COVID-19, PROJECT BOLD LIFE is perfect for anyone seeking to expand their toolkit to navigate the challenges of not having a robust diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy. The tools allow you to lean in and learn new applications for success. Equally important: the tools are easily accessible to everyone.
A Message of Hope for Everyone
While at its core, PROJECT BOLD LIFE presents a framework for taking on challenges and setting the bold goals, the book is full of inspirational stories of people who turned obstacles into great achievements. And those people highlighted in the book come from very diverse backgrounds!
From people of color, like actress Vivica Fox and superstar pro wrestler Titus O’Neil, to immigrants and the disabled (like the story of Henry Stifel of the Christopher Reeve Foundation and Pam Sloate, who’s battle dystonia most of her life), to the young and old (like the couple who retired in their 30s and the 70-year-old grandmother who got her Ph.D), the stories will resonate with everyone.
By the time I got to the end, the common denominator to all of these stories was clear: regardless of whatever challenges you may face, success is always possible.
The Challenges Don’t Need to Win
The stories were great, and the methodology laid out in the worksheets for setting goals and ironing out action plans was clear and well-researched. But I particularly liked the chapters on taking on challenges because people in the diversity and inclusion movement have been taking on challenges for quite some time.
The idea that there’s a process to take them on–and that you should not let the challenges beat you–is an intrinsic part of the movement’s core beliefs.
Regardless of what stands before you, the challenge is not insurmountable!
In addition, PROJECT BOLD LIFE stressed the importance of support teams to help (and even has a worksheet for enlisting people to aid in your quest). Embracing the challenge and looking to leaders has long been part of the diversity and inclusion movement’s recipe for success.
Even the Cartoons Are Diverse!
There is a lot to like about the book, but one of the highlights for me was the artwork. PROJECT BOLD LIFE introduces a cartoon character named “Boldy” who exists in a black-and-white universe.
It would have been easy to make Boldy white in such a universe, but that’s not the direction the author went in!
In fact, throughout the entire book, the cartoons themselves depict a world of diversity and inclusion. That’s a pretty strong underlying message to promote, and at its core fosters much-needed diverse thinking while mitigating bias. All that in a book about overcoming challenges and setting bold goals!
PROJECT BOLD LIFE cracked the Amazon Top Ten Best Sellers list in the category of “Management Skills” the first day the book became available–and with good reason.
The skills it can hone with its approach to challenges and goal-setting should make it required reading for anyone making their way through the business world.
In fact, I will be making the book required reading for anyone joining Diversity MBA Media as an intern!
James E. Taylor, Ph.D., and Chief Diversity, Inclusion, and Talent Management Officer at UPMC, read an advance copy, and had this to say as an accolade:
“Ed’s message of achievable bold goal setting should resonate with every talent-based organization. Anyone interested in advancing within their career, or any company interested in fostering a culture of pipeline development and internal mobility, will find these principles to be vital. Every talent management office should encourage their team to read this book – Project Bold Life inspires enthusiasm and action regardless of where you sit within your company.”
I couldn’t agree more.
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, PROJECT BOLD LIFE comes at the right time–and its message and lessons are timeless.