Book Review – Wins, Losses, and Lessons

September 11th, 2008 by Gallagher John No Comments

Recently, I completed Lou Holtz’ autobiography Wins, Losses, and Lessons.

Now, I must admit, I was biased picking the book up as I am a fan of Notre Dame football(despite the current condition of the program!), and Lou Holtz spent the first few years of his life living in my home town, Follansbee, WV, a place my parents, John & Vickey, still call home.

But, I also find Lou Holtz, with his ability to tell a story, relative success in most of his endeavors ,and his unique leadership style, to be fun and easy to read.

Now, when I read a book, I like to mark it up. This allows me to go back and review the main points I picked up and try to apply them to my life in some way. The pages that I mark up with a pen also get ‘dog-eared’, so that I can easily refer back to those pages. I can tell pretty early on in a book if it will keep my attention by the number of dog ears. For me, a great book would have at least 10 dog ears!

Upon completion of this book, I had 8 dog ears, so my rating would be an 8/10. I say this is pretty good for an autobiography! Some of the takeaways from this book:

  • Chapter 2 was titled “Success is a choice” – In it Lou says ” Everyone’s life is a compilation of the people he meets, the things he does, and the decisions he makes.” – Profound. He goes on to say that no one but you determines your success in life and that making the right choices paves your way.
  • His family lives spread out through the country and they get together regularly for a ‘family meeting’. In the acknowledgements, he details the ‘agenda’ for the trip so that the tough items can be discussed, adults get their time, kids and grand kids their time, and lots of family time! I thought it was great and would like to try it next time our family is able to get together for a week like we did this summer at Myrtle Beach. Now that my brother has also moved away from Follansbee, I want us all to be able to get together like this on an annual basis.

Once I got started on the book, it was difficult to put down. I recommend it for your reading pleasure, even if you are not an ND fan or from Follansbee, although clearly those qualifiers attach me closer to the story!!