Friday, August 13, 2010
Leader Business -- The Book!
Well…it is time. All the hype, the media interviews, and the New York Times review are over (ok…these things only happened in my mind…so far!). Leader Business is now ready for purchase. It is available on-line only through my friend, Steve Harper, and his website. Would you go here now and purchase as many books as you would like? Consider some extras for friends, family, co-workers, leader development groups, and anyone else who might benefit from a dose of Leader Business.
This book has been a journey. I knew that I wanted to write about leadership after my first tour of duty at the Army’s National Training Center at Fort Irwin. It was there, preparing Soldiers and leaders for combat, that I thought that I had some ideas worth sharing. A second, two-year stint a few years later further solidified some of the concepts and formalized the framework for the project. Tours of duty with civilians in the Army Corps of Engineers at Detroit and Los Angeles, running a $1B+ engineering company, helped me understand the timeless appeal of positive, inspiring leadership and the principles that I had identified at the NTC.
This book is a 6 year labor of love. With the encouragement of a friend, I started writing one chapter a month, sharing some of the ideas as a stand-alone newsletter. After several years of writing, I had enough material for a book. Plenty of content…but no publisher and clearly nothing close to a “ready for market” literary classic. It was then that my friend Steve, aka “The Ripple Dude,” introduced me to blogging (as a way to keep writing and generating ideas) and self-publishing. I hired a great editor, graphics man (don't you love the cover -- above?), and printer, and took charge of my own destiny. LBI Publishing (my own publishing house…now looking for other titles to add to our team!) produced the now-classic, Leader Business!
The very act of writing, of sitting down and putting ideas on paper, was definitely a challenge. I have found that there is nothing like writing to connect the dots of all the ideas in my head, to try to make sense of things happening around me, and to pull a thread through some leadership principle and see where it leads. Writing is not a natural thing for me. I am an ENGINEER, after all. But I also know that the more I write, the better writer I become (a concept that applies to anything else we might undertake – personally or professionally).
There was nothing like a deadline to push me to finish. My editor was great at setting up milestones for each new element of the book. I was great at missing them. But the “hard deadline” of deployment to Afghanistan pushed me to complete this project. Four a.m. wake-ups for about 3 months and a few working mini-vacations gave me the quiet time to get across the finish line. A team of friends helped with reviews and encouragement. They say, “It takes a village….” Well, it took a medium-sized city to help me get this done. To all of them, and to my patient family, I am eternally grateful.
So, it is ready. I hope you will purchase the book and encourage others to do so. More importantly, I hope you will appreciate the timeless leadership principles that I tried to describe as Leader Business. Give it a read and then let me know what you think. Even over here in Kabul, Afghanistan, I want to encourage you in your respective leadership journeys. If this book helps, I will be thrilled. It is simply my hope that something in the book will encourage you, bring out your passion for leading others, and enable your successes. That…is Leader Business.
Again, you can order the book here: Leader Business On-Line Purchases. Thank you in advance for doing so! I appreciate it more than you know. I will sign them when I get back!!!