"The Matheny Manifesto", by Mike Matheny, with Jerry B. Jenkins (book review)

When I recently watched the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs on television, I was stricken by the imposing figure who was the team’s head coach – Mike Matheny.  Every time the camera showed him, I couldn’t help but admire how he led his team – from the way he stood calmly and stoically in the dugout, to the manner in which he argued close calls.  I make no bones about it, I’m a Tiger baseball fan!  More than that, however, I’m a baseball fan as there are so many aspects of the game I enjoy.  Baseball is so much more than a sport of bat, ball, and glove.  And Matheny models character that youngsters (and oldsters alike) would be good to emulate. 

Matheny appears to live the class he preaches.  While fans can watch him in action in person and on television, now we can read about it in his new release, “The Matheny Manifesto”.  Here’s the gist: Prior to agreeing to coach a youth-league baseball team, Matheny wrote a letter to and for the parents of the boys on the team.  It became known as his manifesto.  The general synopsis was that parents need to keep quiet and trust the coaches to coach.  While explaining his coaching philosophy, Matheny lays out 8 keys to success: Leadership, Confidence, Teamwork, Faith, Class, Character, Toughness, & Humility.

“The Matheny Manifesto” is not just another hoo-rah book spouting various leadership principles supposedly valued by some high-paid, upper-class, successful individual.  Instead, it is a short, easy, leadership primer that highly encourages one central theme: Class!  Class is weaved into each of the keys to success.  Win, lose, or draw, in order to teach youngsters class, we must be adults who model class. Even if you’re not a baseball coach or fan, the principles laid out in the book apply to all arenas of life.

DISLIKES: I fully recognize Matheny didn’t intend for this book to be about him.  It’s about his philosophy of success.  However, high-profile figures have the ability to espouse their philosophies in books people will buy because we look up to these individuals.  That said, there is not one picture in the book…and no, I’m not like a 4th grader who chooses books based upon the number of pictures it contains in order to make it a quicker read.  Like I said, I’m a baseball fan, so I would have liked (even expected) to see some pictures from Matheny’s high-school-to-the-pro’s playing days.  Especially for the outrageous price being asked for this small 221-page book ($24 USD), I would hope it would contain a few glossy pictures.  That being the case, I think the pricing will be the main discourages from people buying this book…and it’s unfortunate because the book is so well-written, containing much encouragement!

RATING: 4 stars out of 5

DISCLAIMER: I received this book free of charge from Blogging for Books in exchange for my unbiased review of it.  All opinions are mine, and were not forced upon me.  I was not obligated to provide a positive review.

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