You Can't Win If You Don't Play: A Nonagenerian's Lessons on Life

by David T. Barry with Lynne C. Levesque, Ed.D.
Published by Shadow Press (2012)

Book cover art You Can't Win If You Don't Play I have had the privilege of working with Dave Barry, the original one born August, 1917, thirty years before Dave Barry the columnist, to help him write his memoirs and share his leadership lessons. Based on Dave's reading of the advice: "you can't win if you don't play," the book tells stories and presents "cases," as he called them, filled with powerful messages that he considered critical to leading a good life — one where we push ourselves and others to reach our full potential. The book also contains many valuable examples on starting and growing a new business.

Dave, a 1938 graduate of the University of California at Berkeley who died on October 12, 2013 at age 96, never settled for a satisfactory existence. He worked hard to do what he loved and did what he believed was great work. In his business and in his life, he truly listened to his own inner voice instead of to the "noise" from the opinions of others. He managed to follow his heart and intuition and was happy becoming what he truly wanted to become.

Dave had many reasons for writing this book: to show his gratitude for his family, to share the legacy that he and his brothers inherited and further shaped, and to inspire and help readers better navigate through the many challenges of life. In his words, "Looking back on my life, I know I've been lucky, but I also know it's true that you can't win if you don't play. What really matters, though, is how you win and how you play."

Working with Dave was incredible, as I learned about his family, his life, his relationships, his entrepreneurial successes and challenges, and his upbeat, creative approach to life. It was a marvelous experience to help him share his legacy. I truly miss his amazing smile and his presence!

And others feel the same about the book! From Pulitzer Prize Winning Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin:

  I thoroughly enjoyed reading Dave's stories which cut across an amazing span of American history, from World War I until today. His philosophy of life, laced with humor and wisdom, provides much to consider for readers of all ages. What more can we ask at 94 years old than to be able to feel, as Dave clearly does, that we've had a great life and are still looking forward to many more years of such joy?  

— Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize Winning Historian

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Lynne Levesque, Ed.D.

Consultant, Researcher, Author

Lynne Levesque headshot

Author of

"Breakthrough Creativity Profile
Second Edition Guides"

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"Breakthrough Creativity: Achieving Top Performance Using the Eight Creative Talents"
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