“Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.” Thomas J. Watson Sr
I like to write in winter, when the warmth of the fire crackles quietly in the background, feeding my creativity, when I am not easily distracted to spend time in the garden, at the beach or walking outdoors. My favourite season is spring – when the blossoms emerge and the sun starts to shine, when there is an air of expectancy and promise. My seasons seem to be marked more by books than by weather.
I co-write my first book, Raise your Game®, about the basics of business and life skills, in spring 2006. I thought that it would be printed, land in the book stores and hopefully enough people would buy it and use it. It took me by surprise – it was identified by the Education Department as a life orientation text book. We proceeded to then take the 13 chapters and convert them into 45-minute electronic teaching tools so that teachers could bring them to life in the classroom. Teachers, who are expected to prepare children for the world of business, a world in which many of them have never operated. It was at this time that RiskSA started publishing excerpts from the book on a monthly basis.
The first chapter particularly, on Personal Brand, incited an overwhelming response as it was before the term was widely understood. Requests for talks and courses based on this brought me more opportunities to address a wide variety of audiences. A few years later, in autumn 2009, I launched Raise your Profile, a brand and personal marketing book. It was partnered by SABMiller, who wanted to expose their entrepreneurs in their KickStart programme, to the material so that they could gain confidence and insight into how to market themselves and their business. Sections from this book were then serialised into RiskSA, and many more requests for talks and courses, now at an executive level, were met. It gave me great exposure to established and credible leaders, and I knew that I needed to support them by writing a book to spur leaders to grow new leaders in our country that so evidently needs strong, credible leaders.
In the winter of 2012 I wrote Raise your Leaders™, based on an in-house leadership academy run by The Laser Group, who then came on board to support me in this project. Bringing the material to life in their company, and in monthly columns in RiskSA, was the result of many hours of early mornings and late nights when I hardly knew what season it was!
In all the seasons I have been questioned by people who want to write a book but lack the confidence. I think there is a book in many of us, but not everyone makes the time or sees the value in sharing their insights, experience and expertise. I urge you, if you have ever contemplated writing a blog or a book, to just do it. Not for you, but for those who will benefit from your wisdom. It may be a blog on your hobby, a book on your speciality, or it may even be a family history to leave behind as part of your legacy. I hope that my books, and these columns, are part of my legacy.
I have enjoyed the privilege of being published in an award-winning magazine like RiskSA, to associate my brand with this winning brand. Now it is my season to do more talking than writing, exposing my passion to wider audiences in my performance management and leadership courses around the country and beyond. For you, may the silly season be a safe and happy one, and the year to follow your best ever.
Published December 2013