Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pretty Impressed

In January a girlfriend attended the Miss America pageant and purchased a book for me called Pretty Smart by Penny Pearlman. Penny is a former Miss America. Her book has insights from twenty-two former Miss America's she interviewed. I didn't take the time to read the book until a couple of weeks ago when I was on spring break with my family. It is a wonderful book and I recommend it to everyone. I just wanted to share a few things I took away from the book.

1. Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000) and Phyllis George (Miss America 1971) have both commentated fashion shows for me that I produced. After working with both of them I walked away wondering how they could be so nice. They were approachable, genuine, basically as sweet and nice as they could be. There was nothing forced about being nice. In her book, Penny explains that there is a power to being nice. The power and influence of a Miss America is truly to enforce positive change in others and our society. Be Nice!

2. It is amazing how intelligent the Miss America's are and have to be to wear the crown. They are outspoken about the issues that matter to them and aware of everything else going on around them. Reading and life long learning is a theme in this book. Readers are Leaders!

3. I've never thought about the thick skin these gals must have. Fox and Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson (Miss America 1989) talked about people feeling like they have a right to say anything about them because they are in the public eye. It seems to be a form of entertainment today to put people down. I can think of several television shows that have high ratings because of blunt, negative, mean statements that are made. I don't think I want to participate in that. Be Positive!

4. Most Miss America's didn't grow up on easy street. Many of them have overcome personal struggles. Make the best of whatever does occur. Be Resilient!

There are so many other lessons I learned from this book. The words that I read over and over were words such as focused, disciplined, integrity, detemination, perseverance, authentic, genuine, compassionate, kind, honorable, committed, responsible, ... you get the picture.

As soon as I finished the book I went back to my hotel room to email Penny. Of course she promplty responded and seems as nice as Heather French and Phyllis George. You can purchase her book on her website

This Pretty Smart book is pretty impressive. Let me know what lessons you learn from it.