GUIDING LIGHTS: The People Who Lead Us Toward Our Purpose in Life

Eric Liu, Author . Random $19.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-375-50863-9

"We are all teachers," writes former Clinton speechwriter and author of The Accidental Asian . We all have something of value to transmit to others, and Liu has a new spin on how best to do it. Having spent two years talking with official and informal instructors and their students from all walks of life, Liu arrived at five strategies he believes are integral to teaching. These include receiving before transmitting—that is, tuning in to the student's unique qualities and motivations; unblocking and unlocking—helping students overcome their inner obstacles; and zooming in and out—breaking the subject down and then connecting it other matters. A good teacher himself, Liu embeds his lessons in narratives, e.g., following a baseball pitching coach through a season and tracking Jocelyn Wong's climb up the career ladder at Procter & Gamble thanks to a supervisor who was able to see and release the creative passion Wong had suppressed. Liu is a skillful writer and has homed in on points that can help anyone who teaches, whether a parent, a professional mentor or just an older and wiser friend. But he's also a good storyteller, and his anecdotes are frequently more illustrative of great teaching than his theories. Agent, Rafe Sagalyn. (On sale Dec. 28)

Reviewed on: 10/18/2004
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 151 pages - 978-1-58836-446-3
Paperback - 220 pages - 978-0-375-76102-7
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