By: Todd Herman
Reviewed by: Liyana Johan
Todd Herman is a high-performance coach for ambitious people who want to achieve outrageous goals. He’s coached athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, and companies that have become internationally known. In The Alter Ego Effect, Todd shows readers how to tap into the human imagination to create hidden versions of ourselves that help us overcome the challenges we’re facing. He takes readers on a journey of exploration to find their alter-ego, a character, item, person, or animal that embodies all the things we WANT to be in difficult situations. The playground of creativity is wide in this book, and the rules are few and far between. So, our alter-egos can be anything we want it to be. But even though Herman shares that there are no limits to what or who our alter-ego can be, he’s clear to outline when and where our alter-ego should come out and play. It isn’t for everyday use, and shouldn’t be applied to all situations. The book is a choose-your-own-adventure type guide, filled with exercise readers can do to better help define their alter-ego and bring it to life. It starts with helping readers see what is holding them back, and how to craft an alter-ego for that situation.
I really enjoyed this book! It was easy to follow and had so many examples that really drove home the points he was making. There was no room for misinterpretation. That being said, I also felt the book could have been half the size. It’s chock full of exercises, guides, and real-life examples of people whom he has coached through a wide range of challenges. My favourite part about this book is that Herman gives you the freedom to create who and what you want for your alter-ego. I didn’t feel confined to a strict 10-step process that I had to follow exactly to find my inner superhero. It’s a very “you do you” book, which resonates with my own philosophy on leadership, that there is no one right way to be a leader. Herman’s main point to creating an alter-ego is that it has to evoke a deep emotional connection for you, and gives great examples of people who have chosen animals, fictional characters, mentors, and family members as theirs. I found mine closer to the end of the book in one of the final alter-ego-defining exercises; when we give it a name. For example, Beyonce has ‘Sasha Fierce’, and Kobe Bryant has ‘Black Mamba’, and my heart skipped a beat when Herman talked about his client called ‘The Big Wave’. The Big Wave was his client’s way of embodying the fierce ocean, something he had a deep connection to as he grew up on a tropical island. That’s when this book really clicked for me, knowing that my alter-ego can come from anywhere I want, because it’s mine, and no one else’s. The exercises in this book are so easy to follow, you’d be silly not to give it a go.
Recommended for anyone feeling stuck and needing something fast and simple to apply right now. Give this method a go because what have you got to lose?