Posted by Mitch Mitchell on Nov 22, 2010
This is the first of products I’ve created that I’m going to talk about this week. In this case, I’ve written about it on this blog before. Advertising is going to be a little different from the norm. I’m going to give links to the main sales page, and if I’ve written about it here before I’m going to link to that as well. But in general I’m going to tell the story of what got me to create the product instead of doing the hard sell here. Anything to stand apart from the crowd.
The name of my first book is Embrace The Lead. That wasn’t the original name. The story of this book actually starts in 1998. The hospital I was working at had merged with another hospital, then become part of a larger hospital system. Then the powers that be decided to bring all management level people together for a big retreat. They gave us tools which were supposed to help all of us come together at one; didn’t work, and that was the first time I thought about putting together my own theories of management and leadership.
Then in 1999, a strange thing happened. My hospital decided to set up leadership classes, and hired a guy who I was less than impressed with. He took a major dislike to me on the very first day, and trust me, if you didn’t like me, you were going to have problems with everyone else at time. Over the course of 8 weeks we clashed because I thought his material was great, but his theories were stupid. That and he had this way of talking down to everyone.
The ninth week he actually threw me out of class. It was within 30 minutes, and I have no idea what I did, but he decided to “dismiss” me. The powers that be kept telling me not to take anything he’d been saying to me personally, but it’s kind of hard when he kept messing with me, and when he threw me out, it definitely was personal.
Then a funny thing happened. At the end of that particular class he decided to ask what they thought about how he handled throwing me out of class. They took that as permission to tell him what they thought, and for the first time in all those weeks people let him have it. I had been the only one not putting up with things, but finally they let loose. They told him how bad he’d been treating me, how bad he was, and many other things. I got wind of it later on, actually feeling happy beforehand because I didn’t have to go back.
Once word got out, he knew he was in trouble, and I knew he was in trouble as well. Upper management put the last couple of classes on hold, and suddenly this guy was blowing up my phone; I knew it because of the caller ID. And I wouldn’t pick it up; I didn’t want to talk to him. I wanted him to squirm. I wanted him to come to me. But he’d been banned, so he couldn’t come to me.
I talked to one of my friends about it all eventually, and he told me I deserved to talk to the guy and set him straight. So one day I did pick up the phone. He apologized, then asked my opinion on where things went wrong. That was my invitation, so I spent the next 90 minutes telling him pretty much how stupid he was and how he’d messed up. I wasn’t that harsh, as I never am directly, but in general I told him that he hadn’t taken any time to understand his audience, nor any time to figure out just what I actually meant to all of those people. And he’d also missed that his behavior made him look racist; none of those people were putting up with that, as I wasn’t either.
At the end of all that he thanked me, then said I knew as much, if not more, about management and leadership than him and that I should write a book. And that was confirmation number two.
Number three… I started the book in July 2001 with an outline, then started actually writing. And then, September 11th… you know what happened. It bothered me for a long time, so I didn’t touch the book for 2 months. Then we learned my dad had lung cancer, and suddenly I knew I wanted to finish the book so he’d have a chance to read it. I did get it finished, but unfortunately he only got to read the first 60 pages or so before his mind just wasn’t there anymore. But he told me he liked what I’d written; I’ve carried that with me all these years.
And there you have it. Embrace The Lead is a book on leadership and management, yet I tried to write it in a conversational style. Of all things, Ken Blanchard, author of One Minute Manager, read it and critiqued it. He said it sounded like I was giving a seminar; it wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I took it that way because that’s how I meant it to be. If you follow the link back to the sales page, you’ll see that I have a cross section of people who read it, and all seemed to enjoy it. And I sell it as a softcover book and as an ebook, so two different prices; I’ll even sign the softcover book. And I even talked about how I self published my book on this blog.
It’s not pretty, but it’s my book, and I talked about how I published it. And now I’m done. Embrace The Lead; take a look at it, because you might know someone who’s a bad manager that could use it. 😉 No ad since the book is there on the left side; actually for all of these posts it makes no sense advertising something else at the bottom, so you won’t see it on the second day’s post this week.