Tape Breakers Review & Jim Akers Interview

How can you make the biggest impact in the most important areas? This is the question at the heart of Purposeful People, and Jim Akers has written an excellent book on the topic called "Tape Breakers". You'll find my review below in this post.

The book is so relevant to our mission here at Purposeful People that I snagged a 10-minute interview with Jim Akers to find out more. Here's the video, along with 4 must-watch highlights.


The video is short enough, but if you are really pressed for time then here are some gems:

  • At 1'24" Jim warns about the regrets that so many feel as they get older
  • At 5'16" Jim gives some examples of real races we run in our lives
  • At 6'53" Jim gives a brilliant definition of success, which is crucial to make sure you are running the right races in your life!
  • At 8'01" Jim gives perhaps the crucial element needed to make an impact.

Enjoy the video, and let me know what you think of Jim's perspectives in the comments field.

If you want to check out Tape Breakers by Jim Akers, you can find it on Amazon here. Finally - here is my Tape Breakers book review...

Review of Tape Breakers

  • Subtitle: Maximise your impact with people you love, teams you lead and causes that stir your heart
  • Author: Jim Akers
  • Review by Richard Medcalf, February 2016

Jim Akers has written a compelling book for those of us who want to live a purposeful and well-lived life. It resonates very well with the goal here at Purposeful People of orientating our lives around the causes that truly matter to us, and maximising our impact in those areas.

I read it recently in electronic format, and enjoyed it so much I bought a couple of physical copies for friends.

Tape Breakers Review book Jim Akers

In Part 1 he focuses on identifying the races that we want to run, and warns against seductive but fruitless races that can absorb our time and and attention. He helpfully uses the concept of 'sigmoid curves' to point out that we will have multiple 'races' in our lives (across multiple roles in our lives and corresponding to different seasons), and that there will be certain markers that signify the plateauing of one trajectory and the need to start another.

For example, Jim talks about season milestones, change milestones and warning lights (declining energy, interest and commitment) as signals that a new race may be in order.

The best time to invest in a new curve is on the way up. The best time to execute the future is before it arrives.

Jim Akers
Author, Tape Breakers 

In Part 2 Jim talks about preparing to run, with a focus on imagining new possibilities to get out of the 'local maximum' in favour of the 'global maximum', as well as building courage, skills and support. I particularly felt the section on possibilities is important for so many of us whose sense of the possible has gradually reduced over time.

I loved this quote in particular:

Set aside conventional wisdom and think about the races you can run that will have the greatest impact on the people you love, the teams you lead and the causes that stir your heart.

I can assure you that your potential, capability and capacity for impact is much larger and more expansive than what is contained in your current possibility box. It is time to clean out the stale and unimportant dreams. Begin to think about remodeling and expanding your platform for impact.

Jim Akers
Author, Tape Breakers 

Finally, in Part 3 he deals with the messy practicalities of intentional living - commitment, accountability, hazards, getting back on track, and so forth. Important as races need to be finished as well as started!

The book is an easy read - with plenty of stories and illustrations - yet it is thought-provoking and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to live with more balance, focus and direction.

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