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Olumide Holloway’s review of No Room for Small Dreams by Shimon Peres


I officially finished my first book this year yesterday May 20, 2020.

Note, the key word is “officially.”

I’ve been “read-hopping” between 7 books, of which the 3 main books are:

No room for small dreams – Shimon Peres
This is Marketing – Seth Godin
1001 ways to market your services – Rick Crandall.

However, I have done more videos, audio books and podcasts than book reading this year. So me mind have been pretty occupied.

Now back to the first book I officially finished – No room for Small Dreams.

Let’s see if I can do a brief review of it.

The book captures the whole essence of leadership i.e. courage, creativity, making the hard decisions, dogged pursuit of one’s belief even if you have to stand alone, living and dying for a cause, seeing options where there seems to be none, change management, determination and dreaming.

So where do I start from?
How do I do justice to a book about a great man?

Well, the book is about the start and growth of the Nation Israel shortly before the second World War. It captures the challenges, crisis and scarcity, the small Nation had to overcome to be what they are now.

At the center of the start and growth of Israel was the man – Shimon Peres.

I think this review is best done by sharing some of his views that I found captivating.

They are as follows:

1. For a young country or a young business
When you are small and weak, you must ask: What kind of investments will let you grow? Investments can mean many things: time, money and perhaps the most important of all – heart. So many times in our lives we struggle to confidently leap forward, averse to the possibility that we will fall flat. Yet this fear of taking risks can be the greatest risk of all.

2. As regards Operation Entebbe, when Israeli special forces stormed Uganda to rescue Israelites taken hostage by terrorists. He said:

A. To give in to demands of terrorists is to invite more and bigger demands. In dealing with terrorists, leaders must be wise to remember that when there is a gun to your head, you are not the negotiator, you are the hostage.

B. If we give in to the hijackers’ demand and release terrorists, everyone will understand us, but no one will respect us. If, on the other hand, we conduct a military operation to free hostages, it is possible that no one will understand us – but everyone will respect us.

C. Far too often, especially under stress, we turn inward and close down. Believing distraction is the greatest danger, our analysis simplifies in hope of increasing not the odds of success, necessarily, but the chance we will be certain about what the outcome will be. This can be a great strategy for defense, but until one accepts that “unlikely” does not mean “impossible,” the chances of developing creative solutions are scarcely limited.

D. If an expert says it can’t be done, get another expert.

E. It is only after we see failure that we can know if we misjudged the risk.

F. This is one of the hardest things for some leaders to understand: a decision can be right even if it leads to failure.

3. Peace is a purpose – a goal worthy of the chase, while war is a function – born out of reluctant necessity. No rational person could prefer the latter.

4. Outnumbered and outgunned, we refused to be outmatched, and our forces used whatever they had to defend their positions.

5. And yet I also knew that I was right, and in being right, I should be willing to stand alone, that the doubts of those without imagination were no reason to abandon an important idea.

6. And yet I knew that we would never achieve great things if we let austerity become an obstacle to audacity. To build a stronger, more prosperous State we had to set our gaze higher than our temporary limitations.

7. I’m come to believe that when you have two alternatives, the first thing you must do is look for a third – the one you didn’t think of, that doesn’t yet exist.

8. Success built my confidence. Failure steeled my spine.

9. I had to come to understand that in addition to a clear vision and strategy, true leadership requires intricate knowledge – a facility with the granular details of every aspect of the mission. If I were to lead a group of scientists and engineers, I had an obligation to understand the work I was asking them to undertake.

10. History hinges on successes and failures. But reaching for the former to avoid the latter does not depend on our capacity to hope. It depends on our capacity to think clearly, to choose wisely, and ultimately to make the moral choice – even in the face of danger.

11. We need leaders who believe that the world can be changed not by killing and shooting but by creating and competing, leaders who prefer to be controversial for the right reasons, rather than popular for the wrong ones, leaders who use their imagination more than their memory.

12. I don’t regret any of my dreams. My only regret is not having dreamed more. I got my life as a gift. I’ll give it up without an overdraft.

I could only capture a little of the gems he dropped. But I hope you find meaning and relevance in the above views.

Thank you for your time.

Olumide Holloway aka King Olulu
2020 and beyond.

Twitter @olulu4ever, Instagram @olulutheking, olulu4ever@gmail.com, +2348025070892

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