Our book, "Accelerate: High Leverage Leadership for Today's World" actually debuted in July of this year. We haven't been saying alot about it and doing lots of publicity and such because first, we wanted to find out if it had value to readers. We spent more than five years developing the content; researching, writing and editing it and it's based on 20 years experience in the field of executive leadership development. We have literally put tens of thousands of hours into working with leaders and their teams and we compiled this knowledge into a book we are very proud of, but the question still remained, would it be of use to anybody else? So we decided to do a "soft launch" and we have been using the book with clients, soliciting feedback from peers and colleagues and conducting "informal testing" of the material. We now have enough feedback from enough people to feel like we can say with all humility, we have actually written a very valuable book, (and we are SO grateful to all who have put in time and given us this feedback!) What we have heard is that the book is dense with rich content and yet easy to read. It has breakthrough mental models, powerful Operating Principles, and a set of Practical Applications that are all immediately useful. So why is the title of this blog post, "don't read our new book?"
We all know there are lots of great books to "read" and there are lots of great leadership books to read. What he have found with the folks who have invested time with our book is that the best way to use our book is as a reference manual and resource for solving your leadership issues for when you truly don't know how to get into action, have already failed over and over, or simply would rather have a root canal than even try. It's a real world guide for real issues that leaders face day in and day out.
So don't "read" our book from cover-to-cover, and then put it on the book shelf where it joins your other volumes of "shelf help," (books you enjoyed, had "a ha" moments while reading, then put away and forgot about). If you want a reference to help you navigate your daily leadership challenges buy the book and get familiar with the table of contents, the models, the nature of the Operating Principles, and the subject of each of the Practical Applications.
When you are ready to start building your conversational capacities, use it like you were going to the gym. Pick out an Essential Notion, an Operating Principle and a Practical Application that call to you. Read them and practice in your real life situations during the week. In the following week, pick another set, read, and practice. Within three months you will build a new basic level of leadership effectiveness in your interactions. Then you can start the process over again and raise yourself another level.
When you confront communication breakdowns, organizational upsets, resistance to change, or any of the many the other leadership issues that drive you crazy, grab the book and read the relevant sections. Fill out the the worksheet in the Practical Applications section, meet with the appropriate people, and get to work.
Keep your focus on learning and applying, rather than "reading" and filling your brain with new intellectual notions and you will achieve real results! Meanwhile you can "read" all those other books piled on your night stand ;-)