Mediocre Me: How Saying No to the Status Quo Will Propel You From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Mediocre Me: How Saying No to the Status Quo Will Propel You From Ordinary to Extraordinary

by John E. Michel


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781614484400
Publisher: Morgan James Publishing
Publication date: 03/12/2013
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 1,329,928
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

John E. Michel is a widely recognized expert in culture, strategy & individual and organizational change. An accomplished unconventional leader and proven status quo buster, he has successfully led several multi-billion dollar transformation efforts and his award-winning work has been featured in a wide variety of articles and journals, including the Harvard Business Review. In addition to serving our nation as an active duty Brigadier General in the United States Air Force, John enjoys helping people learn to walk differently in the world so they can become the best version of themselves possible. You are encouraged to learn more about John at his website,

Read an Excerpt

"Quite unintentionally, we fell prey to the lie that success was a right we deserved rather than a privilege we must continue to earn. And just like that, the ethic of personal and collective responsibility, our nation’s true source of strength, began to collapse. Selfishness, propelled by slick marketing campaigns and the nonstop introduction of neat new products designed to make us look younger, feel thinner, or appear happier once again displaced selflessness. A growing sense of individual entitlement overshadowed the importance of maintaining accountability for one’s personal state of affairs."

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Legend of the Willing Burden Bearer
Introduction: Don’t Ignore Warnings    

Part One: Redefining our Boundary Markers
Chapter 1: The Mess We’re In
Chapter 2: Sparks of Positive Change
Chapter 3: Invisible in Plain Sight
Chapter 4: Make Different, More Empowering Choices

Part Two: The Choices: Transforming Good Intentions Into Deliberate Attitudes & Actions

The First Choice: Take Risks...Be Proactive
Chapter 5: Be the First Penguin
Chapter 6: Risk Going First

The Second Choice: Model the Change You Want to See...Be Responsible
Chapter 7: Be the Difference You Want to See    
Chapter 8: Reclaim Responsibility

The Third Choice: Love thy Neighbor...Be Compassionate
Chapter 9: Practice Jen
Chapter 10: Suffer With Affection

The Fourth Choice: Fight for What’s Right...Be Truthful
Chapter 11: Be Willing to Give It All    
Chapter 12: Live Your Truth

The Fifth Choice: Embrace Change...Be Hopeful
Chapter 13: Facing Your Fear of Change
Chapter 14: Make Hope a Habit

The Sixth Choice: Check Your Ego...Be Grateful
Chapter 15: Beware the Ego Trap
Chapter 16: Practice Thankfulness

The Final Choice: Make Your Character Count...Be Real
Chapter 17: Character: Coin of the Realm
Chapter 18: Don’t Chunk!
Conclusion: Lead Your Life for a Higher Purpose

Epilogue: Dream Big Dreams
Notes, Cautions & Warnings Summary
About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Powerful stuff!  General John Michel captivates and motivates each of us to act on the opportunities we have every day as citizen leaders to do something to build value into our surroundings. Through the inspirational stories of everyday people leading the positive change they want to see, the reader can't help but seek the answer to "what's my story?"  If you're busy, oversubscribed, and finding yourself stalled out in your own status quo, this book is a MUST read. With seemingly minimal maneuver room in my own daily life as a working mother with young children, Mediocre Me is just the wake-up call I needed this season!  It has reoriented my thinking, reenergized my attitude and recalibrated my life by helping me realize how by focusing more on possibilities than limitations, I can help make tomorrow a little better than I found it today in my part of the choice at a time."  
- Dr. Jean Mahan, Associate Professor at the Eisenhower School, National Defense University

"Mediocre Me is a potentially life-changing book with enormous application to current and ongoing events in today's society. If you watch the news, then this is the book you need to read—Now—to help you plot a course towards being an active leader of real, lasting change. Insightful, funny, full of reference, and dedicated to a common-good cause, Mediocre Me stood out to me thanks to the credibility of its author: John Michel.  Brigadier General Michel stands out as a mighty leader of our generation, and this book sheds light on his thoughts for our future.  Rather than dire predictions about the gloom that might be coming, Gen. Michel exudes optimism and highlights that we are all leaders—if only of ourselves—and that we have a strong hand to play in where our families, our communities and our societies are heading.  A "take responsibility" theme is refreshing, motivating...and timeless.  Best of all, it becomes a handbook that can be referenced quickly with a handy "Notes, Warnings and Cautions" section that is sure to morph into catch phrases splattered across the walls of high-performing organizations.  In short, this book is a motivator. Gen. Michel enjoyably shares his vision for a solution and gives us the simple instructions to make it happen.  Better than a good read, Mediocre Me is a swift-kick in the pants to stand up, take responsibility and take action!"

-Matthew T. "MONTY" Fritz, Lt Col, USAF

“I loved this book!  Page after page it informed, inspired, and perhaps most importantly empowered me to go out and make a real, tangible difference in my world.  No doubt reading this book will change your attitude—the real upside is it might just change the entire trajectory of your life.”

-Mark Tidwell, Executive Minister, Oak Hills Church

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