Critical Book Review: Miller’s Bolt by Thomas Stirr

The use of parables has become quite common for many writers and story tellers. In this book, the author, Thomas Stirr, employs a story to illustrate his main point that change comes from within each individual.

What was interesting is the story was easy to read and for many people could quickly relate to the experiences of Jim Manion, the main character, who is at a crossroads of his life, but he knows and yet doesn’t know it.

With so many books on personal development, organizational effectiveness and change management, the story is quite refreshing in how it addresses these issues along with a few more such as collaborative teamwork, professional and personal relationships. Additionally, by creating a focus on the personal life of the main character and having that infused into his professional life brings realism lacking in some other business books that also employed the use of parables.

For me, having read this book after being a small business owner for the last 15 years, I could identify with much of what was written especially when I worked in corporate arena. Now through my own personal development, much of what was shared is quite valid and appropriate even if today’s conference room uses PowerPoint instead of transparencies.

Change comes from within and it is a matter of how each of us perceives our world and those within our various communities. That perception comes with a bias usually negative or positive. Retaining a neutral bias is very difficult. Yet the author provides some great tips from the character of a good friend who is also an independent psychologist with a practice focusing on improving workforce productivity.

In many parables the character development is presumed, weak or takes an enormous amount of time, ink and paper to develop. This was not the case in this book. Very quickly the reader could identify not only with the main character but the other supporting characters.

As the story proceeded, turning each page was easier and easier. Additionally, the inclusion of practical skills such as visualization and affirmations supported the reader who might also be seeking some new strategies for improving his or her own life.

To give the storyline away would ruin the essence of the message within this book. For those who want to deal with negative individuals to just taking their interactions and consequently performance to that next level, Miller’s Bolt just might support those efforts.