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25 March 2019

Stop trying to be amazing, start being useful

Jay Baer


Jos Burton is one of Gradvert’s skilled coaches and holds over 30 years of experience as a Training Consultant and Coach, specialising in developing the leadership and management attributes of people within organisations. With experience of working on both a national and international level and with an impressive career behind him, Jos was motivated to invest more into the world and wanted to provide people with an easy to digest summary of many motivational concepts that help people…well, become more useful!

I recently read the highly sought-after book “Be Useful: Is the World Making Good Use of You?”. The book is engaging and has some informative content that can easily be applied to the reader. The general themes of emotional intelligence and self-motivation allows readers to understand some of the key theories in the Leadership and Management world. For example, the Johari’s window and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need are discussed in a way that is easy to apply them to your own professional and personal life.

What I liked most about this book is how it is simply divided into key sections which add value to the importance of the significant subjects in Leadership and Development. I later heard on the grapevine that Jos sketched all the images in the book himself, impressed! It is a book that I can refer back to for some clarity and goal drivers, keeping me on track and encouraging me to really think about my direction. There are some key questions that Jos encourages you to ask yourself such as: what challenges and opportunities do you have? Is trust earned or given?

Some takeaways I wrote down when reading “Be Useful: Is the World Making Goof Use of You?”.


‘If you are not working towards your own goals – you’re working towards someone else’s’


‘If you’ve decided not to be a role model, you’ve decided to be a bad one’

I was fortunate enough to sit down recently and have a chat with Jos about his book.



What motivated you to write the book?


“It’s funny, a teacher once asked me: is the world making good use of you? This always kind of resonated with me and I guess I got to a point of my life where I could add value to what I do by bringing my own ideas and experiences together”.


Who would benefit from reading this book?


“Someone who works hard but is wanting to go further…they need to be ambitious and want to grow both professionally and personally”.


As a recent reader, I asked Jos: what advice do you have for your readers?


Jos replied with a question: “What is important to you?” I explained that I was at the start of my career journey. Jos thought about it and replied with some advice for readers at all stages of their careers:

“Ask questions and be open to opportunities. It is important that you enjoy the journey but also spend time talking to people, reflecting on these conversations to understand both what you can learn and where you can go”.



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