Book review: I want to make a difference


I Want To Make A Difference
Author: Tim Drake
Price: £9.99
Publisher: Cyan Books
Pages: 180
ISBN: 1904879632

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I approached this book with some cynicism Ð is there really room for yet another self-help book on the shelves? However, after reading it all in one day, I felt energised and focused. Suddenly, the world made a lot more sense.

Hard-core academics will find it a bit too fluffy, and the first few chapters were a little sickly-sweet-spiritual for my tastes. An obvious disciple of [management guru] Stephen Covey, Tim Drake has regurgitated a life’s learning analysed from a subjective perspective into what is actually a very enjoyable read.

The book offers practical advice on identifying your purpose in life by mapping your values. It helps you define why you want to help, how that help will emerge, and the method to adopt to make the delivery of that help effective. It also introduces three forms that readers might use to put his theories into practice: the “Difference Driver”, the “Difference Deliverer” and the “Beneficial Presence”.

This book accepts there is no such thing as an unselfish deed, and recognises that making a difference will be of significant benefit to the doer by providing a sense of fulfilment.

This fulfilment, says Drake, is more achievable than happiness, more satisfying and more worthwhile. It is judgemental in places and sentimental in others, with a marked absence of empirical data. It has a very narrow focus with respect to the interpretation of facts, in that any “evidence” given has most certainly been filtered from a personal perspective and I feel that some of the claims are a bit dubious.

I am inspired, and although not entirely convinced that voluntary work will help me lose weight (as claimed), I will give it a go.

Useful?  3 stars
Well-written?  4 stars
Practical?  4 stars
Inspirational? 5 stars
Value for money? 4 stars
Overall 4 stars

Reviewed by Alison Norris, HR consultancy manager, MHL Support

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