Book Recommendations

“Imagine It Forward” by Beth Comstock

I attended a women’s alumna event at my college a couple of years ago, and because Beth Comstock couldn’t be there to talk with us in person, she gave each of us a copy of her book.  At the time, she was on the book tour as it was a new release.

She is heralded as a non-traditional, former Vice Chair of GE, so I felt it was important to read about how she was able to climb that storied ladder. Her book, though, talks more about what she did wherever she was than steps she took to accelerate her career.  It serves more as a guide for doing the most where you are – which honestly, makes it relevant to more people.

Getting to Yes

Throughout the book, I noticed her consistent reevaluation of what her teams were doing.  Change was her constant.  It was also a source of pride, and what built her path.

What that meant, however, was resistance for most of her career.  She paints a picture of what resistance feels like, and its accompanying frustration. So I found it a relief each time she convinced those in her circle and in charge that what she was doing was moving the company forward.  The nontraditional way was never easiest or most popular but she was able to make it happen more often than not.

Weakness or Strength?

Reading this book, I picked up on a touch of introversion.  I was able to relate to her – not as a media mogul, nor as a corporate executive – but as an introvert with a ton of ideas.  I loved seeing how this served her.  Perhaps this is something that helped insulate her from common pressures that normally would have derailed the follow-through of her ideas.

For example, the section on Hulu intrigued me.  During her time with NBC, Beth Comstock’s interaction with the developer was not easy and not accepted.  Keep in mind too that back then, the drive toward digitalizing media was resisted by major media outlets.  With a confidence unshaken by driven introversion, she and the developer made it happen.  Susan Cain would be proud.

imagine it forward


Most valuable to me were her breakouts: series of questions to ask whether you are visioning big enough, painting pictures well enough, and bringing the right people into your life to make that happen for you or your company.

In addition, quips are highlighted out of the book and possess full pages of their own.  This was helpful as roll-ups of her big ideas, which end up taking form as encouragement.  It is a long book, so the breakouts and highlights help sum it along.

In short, while this is a must-have for corporate executives, or corporate executive wanna-be’s, there are strong nuggets for anyone along the pipeline to enjoy.  With a touch of her favorite trait of perseverance, you will dig the gold in this book.

Friend, read this book and tell me what you think!
Get yours here:

imagine it forward


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