By Phil




A tremendous review of Books Are Tremendous can be found at the link below. My sincerest thanks to the author.


Mr. Blue
Chief Motivational Hound
Tremendous Life Books



In Four-Star Leadership for Leaders, R. Manning Ancell presents the first installment of a project unprecedented in scope: a collection of leadership-focused interviews with as many four-star generals and admirals as Mr. Ancell is able to meet. His work presents wisdom culled from experience in virtually every American conflict from the First World War through the Second Gulf War, wisdom that simply can’t be gained through any endeavor save the crucibles of warfare and combat.

Until now. The collective knowledge presented here is truly breathtaking. Military leaders such as Curtis LeMay and Matthew Ridgway, among others, share what they’ve learned in a series of 25 candid, enlightening interviews that will benefit anyone finding themselves in a leadership position. Particularly interesting are the commonalities that emerge: traits that these tested individuals developed independently of one another, and yet are so similar as to boggle the mind. I won’t spoil it for the reader. Suffice it to say that anyone in a position of responsibility would do well to pay attention to what’s revealed.

There are also plenty of war stories to be read, all of them fascinating and historically resonant. If you have a military background or if you’re a lifelong civilian, whether you’re a leader or a potential leader, you owe it to yourself to read Four-Star Leadership for Leaders.

This book is available from or 1-800-233-BOOK.


You’re Never Too Old to Learn New Tricks

For thousands of years dogs have been our dedicated partners, sharing in the tasks and the pleasures, the bitter struggles and the glorious achievements, that accompany the building of human civilization. They earned the title of man’s best friend many times over; they were present during some of history’s most auspicious episodes and sat at the feet of some of the most influential people who ever lived. Who knows what accumulated wisdom may reside untapped within the canine mind?

True Blue Leadership: Top 10 Tricks from the Chief Motivational Hound aims to answer that question, or at least a narrow slice of it. The author is Mr. Blue, an Australian Shepherd mix who spent the last ten years accompanying his “mother”, Tracey C. Jones, through her travels and career changes, observing the effect of varying work environments and personalities upon her.

And that’s the conceit that makes this book work. Mr. Blue shares his findings in a light, humorous tone that will have you laughing even while you’re taking notes. Those who have owned or spent quality time with dogs will find True Blue Leadership to be especially rewarding. Dealing with disengaged or disloyal employees? Read chapter three, “Don’t Bite the Hand that Feeds You”.  Are there people or circumstances disrupting your operations? Read chapter 7, “Dealing With Life’s Vacuum Cleaners”. Each chapter also recommends additional resources so that readers may “bone up” on the issues. 

True Blue Leadership is informative, applicable, and fun—a winning combination. Pick up a copy and give it a read today. After all, he’s man’s best friend; isn’t it time we listened to him?

This book is available from or 1-800-233-BOOK.

The Productivity Epiphany by Vincent Harris

This book contains 52 little nuggets of wisdom that can help you revolutionize your life and how you interact with others. Spending 10 minutes a day reading one of these chapters will give you the tools to be more productive in any area of your life! By giving you actual solution you can implement immediately, this book will help you break out of your comfort zone and gain the initiative to actually make those changes you’re been wanting to make for so long.

Epiphanies aren’t only for geniuses; they’re for everyday folks like us! I got so much out of this book. For example: how to deliver suggestions to employees “under the radar” so they’ll be receptive and not defensive; how to focus on your potential instead of your limitations; how what you wear influences people’s reaction. Did you know that 2/3 of pain is not real pain but actually anticipating future pain and remembering past pain? Did you know that you can trigger a connection with someone before you utter a single word by tuning into their preferred channel of communication?

Did you know that pride and comparing accomplishments to others actually is a sign of low self-esteem? Did you know that people will rate you higher when you stand on their right side and that you should move to the left when you want to associate your words with something negative? This book will educate you on how to step into the character of who you want to be, for example someone that eats healthy and exercises regularly. Did you know that getting more sleep can help us behave more ethically and that nothing you fear losing can be the true source of your happiness?

I could go on and on about all the great nuggets I gleaned from this book and use every single day. I highly recommend this great wealth of habits, insights, and epiphanies if you want to make any areas of your life more productive! Order your copy of The Productivity Epiphany today!!

Are You Living the Life You Love?

It gives me tremendous pleasure to make this month’s book recommendation, not just because I have come to know Phil Taylor and the members of his amazing group over the past six months, but because I consider his book, Set Yourself on Fire!, to be on par with Norman Vincent Peale’s inspirational classic, The Power of Positive Thinking. Yes, it’s that good! And yes, I know because it’s my life’s calling to read everything on inspiration and motivation that’s in printJ

You cannot read Set Yourself on Fire! and not be inspired to closely examine anything that has been holding you back from achieving your dreams. Phil does this in such an encouraging and engaging manner. His book is filled to the brim with story after story of people who have followed through with their dreams, despite all types of setbacks, shortcomings and adversity. It’ s like getting a PhD in hundreds of succinct case studies on the greatest achievers from throughout the centuries and how they accomplished their goals and set the world on fire.

Phil concludes each chapter with two critical questions to ponder. He gives solid examples of folks just like us that have maximized their ability to choose their attitude; their ability to plan life out. Phil also includes a brilliant analysis of fear which includes what it is, what it costs us, and most importantly, how to defeat it! Phil also deals with tough issues such as what to do when flames flutter and how to harness the power of adversity. He also includes an amazing tribute to the GoalAchievers International group that will make you proud.

Digesting this book is like dining on the finest grade of Prime Grade Beef (or tofu for Vegans). There is just so much meat that will feed your body, mind and soul with encouraging nourishment. And those of you who know Phil will especially enjoy reading the fruits of his labor in producing this amazing book.

Are you living the life you love? Phil Taylor cites in his book that 50% of us are not. After reading Set Yourself on Fire! I personally feel that anyone reading this book will most definitely be a part of the 50% who are!

8 Attributes of Great Achievers by Cameron C. Taylor is filled with inspiring stories from the lives of great achievers past and present including Christopher Columbus, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, The Wright Brothers, Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Warren Buffet, and others.

From this book, you will discover:

  • How Winston Churchill’s optimism enabled England to withstand the attack of Hitler and eventually win the war.
  • How Walt Disney used the power of goals to create Snow White, Disneyland, etc. and make his dreams come true.
  • Why George Washington carried a bloody sash with him throughout his life.
  • Powerful experiences from the Wright Brothers on the need to take the initiative.
  • Stories on honesty from billionaire Jon Huntsman that illustrate that nice guys really can and do finish first in life.
  • 15 principles to build strong, uplifting relationships.
  • Principles every parent must know to raise productive, self-sufficient children and grandchildren.
  • How a World War II concentration camp prisoner was able to remain strong, happy and peaceful, even in the worst of environments.
  • How Gandhi’s “experiment with truth” enabled him to go from a shy boy and an average man to the leader of 500 million people who called him “The Great Soul.”
  • How top CEOs used the principle of abundance to increase productivity and profits.
  • Inspiring stories on persistence and overcoming failures from the lives of numerous great achievers.

Which of these great achievers attributes do you most admire? This book is available at Tremendous Life Books. Overseas customer, please contact us directly for best shipping rates. 1-800-233-BOOK.

Greg Voisen of Inside Personal Growth interviewed me about my father’s motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous.

Listen or download for free!


The Journal of a Climber: Understanding Life’s Journey by Chuck Reaves, CSP, CPAE

Ever since I read John Bunyan’s, The Pilgrim’s Progress, and Hannah Hurnard’s, Hinds ’ Feet on High Places, I have been an avid fan of writers who detail their life journey through the power of an allegory.

The Journal of a Climber is no exception. The main character of this book details a passage which starts at Base Camp and ventures to the first of a series of seven Mounts. Interspersed between each of the Mounts is a Valley, fraught with lessons, dangers, opportunities and risks. The climber must push himself from the comfort found at the top of each Mount to go down into the next Valley, if he wishes to continue his journey to the next, and higher, mount. The higher the Mount is, the deeper the Valley. The climber encounters people along the way that get him to allow them to help, as well as others that profess help, but seek to destroy.

The first stop is Mount Majority where the bulk of people are content to stay. Those that want to move forward must go down into the Valley of Learning. After reaching Mount Achievement, the Valley of experience appears. At the top of Mount Success our climber stares down into the Valley of Risk. This journey continues until the climber reaches the Seventh Mount, which each reader gets to decide what that truly means for them.

The beauty of this book is that is captures what each of us goes through. There are momentous successes in our lives, as well as deep despair. Anyone pushing to grow will see each phase of their lives reflected in this book and I have personally used it to map out my continuing life journey.

As Napoleon Hill so aptly put it, “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.” This book truly epitomizes this tremendous philosophy.

Excerpt from Chapter 1

I am prepared, I am packed and now it is time to begin the climb. Part of me is excited about the certain adventure that awaits me. The fact that I will now be my own person—a grown-up- and will have the respect of my peers and elders is also important.

Along with the excitement comes the fear. There is the fear of the unknown, the uncertainty of whether or not I can really make it. Just because others have successfully made the climb does not mean that I will. What if I fail?

There are many ways to fail, I’ve been taught….There are stones along the path and one misstep can result in a crippling injury. Some people who tried to climb the Mount suffered these crippling injuries…Oh, some of them say someone else tripped them or they were the victims of inadequate preparations, or something. The truth is that we all being here at Base Camp and we determine whether or not we will be successful on our climb. Still, I do not want to be one of the ones who end up back here spending their life in some miserable, menial job.

I will begin my climb up Mount Majority, but I will not take any chances. That is the surest way to success.


Life Is Tremendous by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Enthusiasm Makes the Difference!

This month’s recommend read is about a title that is very near and dear to my heart, and one that I have read many times. I am revisiting this book which was originally published in 1968 by Tyndale House publishers. It went on to its 7th printing in over 12 languages, and has sold more than 2 million copies. The book is titled, Life Is Tremendous, by Charlie Jones.

I read this book many times throughout my life. I always grasped from a very young age that leaders are readers, and if I started reading enough good material often, it would make me be a better person in whatever career path I chose. I recently reread this book after probably two decades of carving out my career in various industries all over the world and was surprised how tremendously relevant it still is.

I also wanted to reintroduce this book to this group in particular because it was written when the author was just starting out in the speaking and consulting business, much like many of us are. You can hear the freshness of his perspective and excitement in the written word as he works to share his experiences from working with individuals in the life insurance industry to a whole new group of people.

I like books with information on how to “grow” backed up with specific tools. This book begins with the premise that if you are living, and we all are, and we are learning, which is the core function of this group, we are leading. It is our obligation and privilege.

Life Is Tremendous contains 7 Laws of Leadership which are:

Get Excited About Your Work

  • Learn to get excited about the job you are doing right now!!

Use or Lose

  • If you use the talents you have, they’ll increase. If you don’t, they’ll vanish.

Production to Perfection

  • If you’re not learning to make something happen today, you won’t know much about perfection tomorrow!

Give to Get

  • Leadership is learning to give whether you get anything or not.

Exposure to Experience

  • Exposure to any experience gives you another key of experience in life.

Flexible Planning

  • Whatever can go wrong will go wrong. Have a plan, but make it a flexible one!

Motivated to Motivating

  • If I am learning to be motivated, I’ll become a successful motivator of others, and be happy doing it!

While each of these has played an instrumental role in my growth, I’ll give an example of Law number 7. Several years ago I had applied for a Project Manager position that had a requirement for two years of experience running a particular type of contract. While I had not run that particular type of contract, I had run similar types of organizations and was confident I could translate these skills onto the new one. I was assigned to another position so they could evaluate my skills. At the two month point, the contract owner commented that due to my enthusiasm and work thus far, they would appoint me as Project Manager based on what they had observed. I have no doubt that my motivation to work with the customer and the existing employees at getting the work done made all the difference in the world.

Which Law of Leadership have you personally embraced that made a difference in your life?

How to Tell What You Know

I’ve read countless books on communication principles throughout my entire life. In fact, I think I read “How to Win Friends and Influence People” before “Green Eggs and Ham”! Some were good, some were okay, but all promised the ultimate goal of becoming a better leader, salesperson, manager, consultant, etc. by learning how to talk to people in a way that got them actually listening to you. This powerful, but elusive, truth was echoed throughout my life with such quips as “It ain’t what you say; it’s the way that you say it.” If this was true, then how I communicate is actually more important that what I communicate…and I better start focusing on that!!

When I moved back to Pennsylvania last winter, I was cleaning out some of Dad’s files and books. Perched on one of his shelves was a book titled, How to Tell What You Know by Arthur Secord. This particular printing was published in the 1950’s and when I read it, I was astounded at the amount of mistakes I had made in communicating throughout my life. But luckily, none of those mistakes was fatal and life is all about learning through poor judgment in order to acquire good judgment, right?

How to Tell What You Know is a handbook for managers or executives on every level of industry or business—leaders who are promoted because of what they know, and who must convey that key information to others. In down-to-earth, practical language it gives the answers to your daily communication problems in the shop, office or showroom—answers tested for years by one of the foremost speakers and teachers in North American business life.

Arthur Secord tells you how to make contact—how to speak in the language of your audience—whether that audience is one new worker at a complicated machine, or a crowded sales conference. He shows you how powerful an illustration or example can be—the right example for each case. He tells you when to use praise—how much and how often—and what kind—and he also warns you not to use praise in some management situations, even though glib ivory-tower theorists say just the opposite! He shows you how to get to the point—the one point at a time that you need to impress upon your personnel or colleagues if you are to make headway. He explains how one little word can spell the difference between success and failure in safety talks, posters, or foreman’s instructions. Above all, Mr. Secord shows how your ability to communicate correctly will build up confidence in you among your colleagues and employees—confidence that will result in dollars-and-cents progress for the company—and advancement for you.

One of the biggest communication errors I repeatedly made throughout my career was the old adage that you should “sandwich” bad news in between good news. In reality, nothing could be more harmful. Do this more than a few times and the next time your boss comes to you with good news, you will automatically assume that negative feedback is not far behind. I recently had a boss that did this to me, and it was de-motivating to say the least because I did not trust him to be upfront. Honesty is always the best policy, and if you truly value making the employee better, they can handle the truth…even if it means pointing out areas for improvement.

9 Responses to “Blue’s Reviews”

  1. February 13, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Great book. Quick read. If you are not familiar with Charlie Tremendous Jones then here is a great place for you to start.

    Put this on your Must Read List for 2010.

  2. February 27, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    great review… I will be ordering this book.

    How would I go about having a book reviewed on this blog????

    • March 1, 2010 at 1:39 am

      Thanks Ted, give me a call in the office and we can discuss getting a book reviewed. Best number is 717-766-9499. Thanks for your interest in the book, checking out the blog and nice to meet you.

  3. 4 Kelly Messina
    June 5, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Which author wrote the book THe common denominator of success?

  4. April 27, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Oh! I can’t wait to read what Mr. Blue has to say! Clicking over right now…


  5. June 30, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I enjoy, lead to I discovered just what I was having a look
    for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  6. July 16, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    The answers on this site is actually practical. I have been taught numerous ideas.

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Tremendous Tracey

CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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