A few years ago I starting playing around with a book concept that described several personal and professional leadership methods and habits I had developed over my three decade career. I collected ideas, supporting information, and would occasionally – often on long plane trips – take a stab at writing a section or two. I even put those up on LeanPub for folks to review and comment.
For many reasons I never made much headway. There was always something a bit more pressing, or seemingly more manageable, than tackling that behemoth of a project. I enjoy writing, and I felt I had something important to share, but it was never THE priority. In the meantime the project occupied valuable space in my brain. As I get older I’m realizing just how valuable that space is.
Then, last fall at the Lean Accounting Summit, I was approached by an attendee who introduced himself and immediately asked when I was going to finish the book. He knew from my blog and LeanPub that I had been working on it, and he said the story so far had really helped him improve his own leadership style. I decided it was time to either put up or shut up (the polite version of the phrase), and one way or another resolve the project and get it out of my head.
I put up. I sequestered myself on a tiny island for two weeks in December and finished the writing. That draft went through several rounds of brutal editing by a professional copy editor, then text and graphic design. Several colleagues provided very valuable reviews, and Matthew May was kind enough to write a foreword. Todd Clarke did a great “visual one pager” summary.
A week ago I received the final proof, and yesterday the book went live on Amazon. Kindle and iBook versions are just a few days away.
Receiving that final proof felt incredibly good. It is done and I’m very happy with how it turned out. I’m sure I’ll think of improvements over time, but for now the project is complete, and it is no longer consuming space in my head.
Not coincidentally, that is also a concept I talk about in the book.
The more we put off decisions and tasks, the more we are juggling in our heads. This makes it increasingly difficult to calmly and rationally evaluate an issue and come to a conclusion, which just adds to the chaos.
5S your brain. Make the decision, or complete or kill the task. Either way you’ll probably be rewarded.