Sarah Robb O'Hagan’s Extreme You: Step Up. Stand Out. Kick Ass. Repeat represents a departure from the typical book I review. That said, I found the premise interesting and thus jumped at the opportunity from TLC book tours and Harper Collins. While I may not assign the text a perfect score, O’Hagan details an intriguing life, one that has taken her from working for New Zealand Air to Virgin Atlantic to Atari to Nike to Gatorade.
What separates the book from a lengthy stack of self-help texts comes in that O’Hagan does not admit to having all the answers. O’Hagan posits various philosophies to court the Extreme You, this exaggeration on personal greatness ranges from checking yourself out and exploring the options before you as well as the depth to your soul. She lists numerous strategies, but also details her numerous failures. While she fails to fully acknowledge luck as a player in her successful rise through the world of corporate enterprise, she does craft a trail of persistence. She pushed herself, pushed those around her, pushed buttons, took chances, and tried to upend nearly everything in her path to success.
Her real bits of wisdom rest in these failures. She missed a fundamental shift at Virgin and was left out in the cold. That’s right, not only did she get fired, but she admits her faults and encourages us to do the same. Later, she fails to understand her lack of interest in video games and nearly ruins her career path. It is here, as at other times, where her persistence pays off with a dash of luck. At Nike she feuded with a marketing team without taking the time to understand the direction of the company and in the end her efforts nearly cost her all of her credibility. Her extremes prompted both her successes and her failures, and while her career path has not been perfect, she has come out on top time and again due to these very same characteristics.