Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: Larry H. Miller—Behind the Drive: 99 Inspiring Stories from the Life of an American Entrepreneur

Larry H. Miller—Behind the Drive:
99 Inspiring Stories from the Life of an American Entrepreneur
Compiled by Bryan Miller

In Driven: An Autobiography, business mogul Larry H. Miller shared his painful and joyful lessons about the many facets of his life and legacy and candidly spoke about the people and circumstances that influenced him. In Behind the Drive, the tables are turned as we hear firsthand from both famous and obscure people whose lives were influenced, inspired, and even transformed by the compassion, generosity, and leadership of Larry. More than 100 individuals share personal stories about the man who they came to know and love as a philanthropist, a Good Samaritan, an angel in disguise. Quite frankly, Larry H. Miller was addicted to helping people. It didn't matter who they were. It didn't matter what he was doing at the time. When Larry heard the call for help, he unassumingly went about to make things better. The marvel of Miller isn't what he did to shape a community or touch a life, it's how he did it—one person at a time. Readers might ask how did Larry H. Miller have the time to personally impact so many lives? The answer—Larry chose to use his time a little bit differently than most. Behind the Drive pulls back the curtain and shows us the difference one person can make when he's driven to serve.

Joseph's Review:

I’ll start out by saying that I was a big Utah Jazz fan back in the Stockton, Malone era.  I would spend many an hour watching or listening to games agonizing over loses and reveling over wins.  I have always had great respect for Larry Miller and what he did to keep the Jazz here in Utah and help make them relevant. 

A while ago I read the book Driven and enjoyed learning about Larry Miller and how he lived his life and the impact that he made on our community and the lives of many people. He truly was driven and had many talents that made him successful. Reading the book Behind the Drive by Bryan Miller was another opportunity to gain perspective and understanding of Larry Miller. The traits of an incredible memory, mastery of numbers, risk taking, relentless work and a kindness towards his fellow men were all exemplified in this book. (I guess if you’re going to write a book an easy way to do it is to ask 99 people to write two or three pages each on stories that exemplify Larry Miller and bind them all together).

I thoroughly enjoyed the stories from these 99 people from all walks of life. From young children, to employees, successful business people, religious leaders, sports personalities and neighbors, they each gave insight to a very complex and giving man. Each of these stories point out character traits, both good and bad, that made Larry Miller so successful.

Behind the Drive is a very easy read and very entertaining. It was well worth my time and was inspiring to read what a difference one man can make in the world.

Cameron's Review:

I was a young boy when Larry H. Miller was really starting to make a name for himself in our community. As a very big fan of the Utah Jazz, and a kid who was very dedicated to sports, what he built with the Utah Jazz franchise went far from unnoticed. I paid attention to as much as I could when it came to how the team was run and what they did to be successful. I even paid attention to his softball teams, as my father’s construction team also played in a league, which was, if I recall correctly, a level below Larry H. Miller’s teams.

Fast forward several years as I grew up, and as with most people who followed what was going on with sports in Utah, Larry H. Miller really did have his hands in just about everything. Basketball, baseball, racing, etc. But then it started to grow to educational contributions, religious endeavors, and other very worthy causes. Not only was he now the guy who was very involved with owning the Jazz in a hands on way, but he was making his mark everywhere else as well.

I eventually ended up reading his book Driven and as someone who is very involved with sport management and business, found his approach and drive to succeed to be very helpful.

So when I had the chance to read Behind the Drive I certainly jumped at the opportunity. This was a very easy book to read, and with the format, is one that can be read in a very short amount of time, or can be done over an extended period. As I read it, one of the things that I came away with was just how much influence for good that he had. To have that many people contribute to the book is pretty
impressive. The other thing that I liked was how you got a feel for the way that Larry progressed throughout his life. He was willing to work on his weaknesses and deal with them to the very end. I found that to be motivational. Not one of the 99 stories implied that he was doing what he did with an extremely selfish attitude.

Yes, he demanded success and refused to fail, but it seemed like he had a constant internal battle to make sure he was also trying to do what was right and make a difference for the better. 

Overall, this was a book I would recommend to anyone. As I mentioned, it’s an easy read, that can be rather motivational in respects to making a difference, admitting to weaknesses, and enduring to the end.

Title: Larry H. Miller—Behind the Drive: 99 Inspiring Stories from the Life of an American Entrepreneur
Author: Bryan Miller
Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing
Source: We received review copies from the publisher in exchange for a review.

Purchase: Amazon | Kindle | Deseret Book