Adam Herstig was born in Tel Aviv Israel but grew up in Myanmar Burma and completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Boston. He has consulted for big retail brands like American Eagle Outfitters, Reebok, Adidas, and is currently Head of Marketing at Mitchell & Ness. You can reach him here.
This is my favorite out of all of his books. It is incredibly insightful but it also challenges conventional thinking. I am a firm believer that time spent against a skill is far more relevant than the idea that some people just have “God-given talent”, so reading about his 10,000 hour rule spoke to me. Plus, he has a ton of other really identifiable stories of cultural differences as they relates to sport, business, etc. I think carrying around a dose of skepticism into our daily conversations and general media consumption is probably a good thing and Gladwell proves in this book that not everything is as it seems, if you care to dig a little bit. In marketing we try our best to understand our consumers and with today’s digital advantages we probably know more about them then we did before. Yet when you read a book like this you may begin to rethink some of what you thought were hard-truths.
Talk about perspective – this book will make you feel like you never lived while simultaneously making you feel thankful for that. The fact that most members of the “Crue” are still alive to tell these stories is amazing to me, and refreshingly, you can tell that nothing was exaggerated or fabricated; these guys were truly driving in their own lane and living fast! This book feeds your soul with heaping spoonfuls of guilty-pleasure stories much the same way a good war book or movie (The Deer Hunter is my favorite) gives perspective on our daily dramas. I use this purely as a distraction from the daily grind, because trying to find relevant marketing connections would be a stretch.
I am fascinated by different cultures, social behaviors and body language, which is all especially fun right now with the Presidential election. For good or for bad, I even find myself tuning out and studying non-verbal cues instead of taking in every word. The Ted Talk Amy Cuddy gave on how body language shapes who we are is inspiring, and something I watch before every presentation. So naturally I have to read Presence, which so far (just started it) seems like a truly researched book on how to stop worrying about the impressions we make on others and achieve, well… “presence”. This book is for personal as much as it is for professional growth. I think that corporate/community structures can turn us into anxious people-pleasers (I know I am guilty of that) but a person/brand that unapologetically stands for something with a humble confidence is far more appealing and long-term.