Book by: Dr. Tim Elmore
Review by: Tanya Fritz
Coordinator, First Year Experience Program
Seminole State College of Florida


What causes one student to finish their college degree and another student to stop short before reaching this goal? While there are many factors that can contribute towards being successful in college and completing a degree, the book Habitudes for the Journey focuses on the inner qualities of a person that are conducive to not only completing a college degree, but also for successfully navigating change, transitions, and challenges throughout life. Some of the soft skills that are presented include; personal values, building diverse relationships, perspective, and balancing emotions, among others.

The book format is eclectic, utilizing words and photo images together for describing and reinforcing key concepts and including interactive activity exercises for reflection and discussion opportunities. The book reads like a resource or activity guide for which the reader can use the content as needed, and can be read chronologically from cover-to-cover, or by jumping between sections of interest.

Each chapter section focuses on a specific inner quality that a successful person possesses, and that concept is reinforced by associating a photo image as a visual representation of that key concept using the theme of a road trip. For example, when introducing the concept of personal values, it is associated with using a compass or GPS when driving in unfamiliar territory with a one-page photo image of a compass. In another section, a road trip theme of carrying baggage is associated with unresolved conflicts and relationships in one’s life and how these unresolved conflicts and emotions can affect one’s successes or failures.

This book may appeal to visual learners, and the photo images combined with the road trip theme can make it easy for the reader to remember key concepts, form real-world connections, and personally relate to the ideas presented. This book can serve as a great resource for advisors and faculty to be used in one-on-one or group student meetings or in the classroom, particularly in freshmen seminar or college success courses or in student leadership trainings. All students can benefit from the concepts addressed in this book, including first year college students, high school students, student leaders, first generation students, or any individual facing life transitions or challenges.

Habitudes for The Journey: Images That Form Leadership Habits & Attitudes (2013). Book by Dr. Tim Elmore. Review by Tanya Fritz. Norcross, GA: Growing Leaders. 92 pp., $15.00 (Paperback). ISBN 978-0-9886201-0-0

Book by: Dr. Tim Elmore
Review by: Gabby Steinbrenner
Advising and Career Center
University of Wisconsin-Parkside


What do these items have in common: compass, bridge, roadblock, and baggage? They are all related to a trip or journey. Elmore (2013) uses this illustration to discuss navigating life’s transitions – whether it be starting college, failing a test, or transitioning to a career. Habitudes: Images that Form Leadership takes a unique approach by using images for visual learners. One can probably remember at least one of the items listed above. This illustrates how memorable pictures can be to convey a message.

To guide a student’s path, it is important to assess their own values to provide direction, as their GPS or compass. One can successfully navigate such transitions by using grit and changing their habits and attitudes. Some examples include: relinquishing the past, using values as a guide, building diverse relationships, establishing boundaries, having perseverance and realistic expectations, letting go of things out of one’s control, and appreciating the journey, to name a few. For example, when Elmore discusses a bridge, not a wall, he outlines how essential it is to get out of one’s comfort zone in college and to expand on one self. In advising, this can support the purpose of general education requirements; to make sure students are well-rounded and learn new perspectives. Additionally, the book discusses using boundaries and having people to support, guide, and hold one accountable. Some students, especially first-generation students, may not have such support systems at home. Therefore, it is key for advisors to assist students as they develop these new attitudes and habits.  

A strength of this book is its unique application through images, storytelling, examples, self-assessment, discussion, and exercises. This format makes it a quick, yet engaging read. While it seems to be geared toward freshmen, it can also be applied to anyone experiencing a challenging time or transition. I would recommend students read this book to understand what it takes to succeed in college, how to get the most out of the experience, and how to successfully transition to and from college by reminding them of the lessons they learned on the journey. Although it is a fresh perspective, it does not seem to be a resource that an advisor may reference too frequently. Yet it does provide some tips and new understanding can be gained when sharing with students. Some aspects of the advisor’s role would be helping to mentor and guide students to identify their strengths, develop character, focus, advocate for involvement on campus, and decrease the gap between potential and performance.

Since retention is essential more than ever, reading this book would provide tools to increase student’s likelihood of staying in college and reaching their ultimate goal, graduation and a profession. Freshmen tend to be the majority of students who cannot adjust to college, and hence leave. Therefore, this book would be a great tool to integrate into a Freshman Seminar to teach students the skills needed to succeed, while also encouraging self-reflection. Advisors can only enlighten students, but sometimes information needs to be presented in a different learning style to ensure lasting changes. This book could facilitate students to take ownership and responsibility of their education. 

Habitudes for The Journey: Images That Form Leadership Habits & Attitudes (2013). Book by Dr. Tim Elmore. Review by Gabby Steinbrenner. Norcross, GA: Growing Leaders. 92 pp., $15.00 (Paperback). ISBN 978-0-9886201-0-0



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