Book #3: Leading + Teaming + Love
I’m very very pleased and excited to share with you that my new book, Leading So People Will Follow, will be published by Jossey-Bass, probably this fall. A number of publishers were interested in it, so my agent Jim put it up for auction – Jossey-Bass made the best offer, and we’re thrilled.
I realized sometime last week, even before the offers came in, that I really wanted J-B to be my publisher this time around. It’s partly because they have such a great reputation and experience in the leadership space (they publish Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, Warren Bennis, Ram Charan, Patrick Lencioni and Mark Benioff, among others). But it’s mostly because I made such a great connection with Susan Williams, Jossey-Bass’ Executive Editor for trade business books.
When she and I spoke last month, and again when we got her offer letter, I saw and felt all the things I most look for in a partnership: honesty, smarts, heart, curiosity, enthusiasm and an innate will toward collaboration. And on top of that, I felt as though Susan truly got what I’m trying to do with the book; why I think it will be important and useful for people. Finally, it was really easy for us to communicate – we ended up talking for over an hour in our first conversation, completely free of conceptual stumbles, misunderstandings, or lack of alignment.
So when their offer came in and we decided to take it, I was doubly pleased – wonderful to have a great publisher interested in the book, period; and getting to work with the person/organization I was most excited about, as well.
And it made me realize how important partnership is to me. I’ve blogged before about how much I love feeling so ‘partnered’ on every level at this stage of my life. And with this book, there’s a lot more teaming than with my last two. For instance, my business partner Jeff is deeply engaged with me and our outside partner Sue Gebelein in creating a fully validated assessment around the Leading attributes. (Each copy of the book will have a unique code; the purchaser can use it to get a free online self-assessment, and a discount on a ‘follower’ assessment.) He and I are also working together to build on and expand our existing Leading training offer.
I’m also relying more on my larger network (that includes you guys). For instance, the members of the Insider List, my bi-weekly e-letter, helped us come up with the book’s title. and we’re planning on asking clients to be involved in piloting the assessment. As the publication date gets closer, I’d love to bounce marketing ideas off you guys, to see what you think.
Even within the book itself there’s a team element. As a part of each chapter I profile leaders with whom I’ve worked who really demonstrate these attributes in their day-to-day leadership. I’m thinking of them as members of the book team, and they’ve kindly agreed to be involved in various ways, as well.
And of course, the larger Proteus team will work together to coach and train around the Leading model, and to help us make sure it’s as seamless and as valuable as possible for our clients.
It’s a team-extravaganza! And the offer came in on Valentine’s Day. Leadership, Love and Team: a great combo.