The truth of the matter is that writing Making Remarkable: How to Deliver Purpose, Inspire People and Build a Platform for Exceptional Results wasn’t my idea. My wife Luiza felt that what we had done at the Calgary Chamber was worthy of putting down on paper. I wasn’t so sure. Who would want to read that story? Pretty boring. But then Scott Crockatt, my friend and former colleague who was the Director of Marketing and Communications at the time for the Calgary Chamber, also suggested I write a book. Again, I didn’t think anyone would want to read that.
But they kept bugging me. They said it would help a lot of leaders and organizations. They felt it was a story that should be told—the incredible turnaround of an organization that was near the edge of running out of cash, had bled members and had a disengaged staff. Luiza even got me to commit to a timeframe for writing it and getting it done. I am not-so-proud to say that I am about two years late on that original deadline, but am proud to say that it is done.
I wrote the book for a host of reasons. To scratch my own itch—in the sense that the next time I take on a leadership role and am faced with turning the place around, I will have the roadmap and the playbook of how to do it again. My memory is terrible, so having it down on paper will save my butt one day that’s for sure.
But I also wrote the book because the more I thought about it, I wanted to share something with the thousands of current and future leaders that could help them with their journey. I have come to realize that my purpose as a leader is to inspire other leaders to make their organizations remarkable, and in doing so enabling them to do their finest work and hopefully improve their communities and the world. Like the Abraham Lincoln quote: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe” my goal was to create something that somehow, in some way, may contribute to leaders’ ability to sharpen their axe.
I know this could sound kind of egotistical—who am I to think that I am so great that the world needs my advice and guidance? I can see that. But I also think that we learn from each other and I hope that what I have put together in Making Remarkable helps in some small way. Perhaps it is a story. Perhaps it is a model, or a framework. Perhaps it is a question or insight that sparks a whole new line of thinking that leads to a breakthrough. Whatever it might be, my goal was to create something where leaders could find some element of a new insight or idea.
Looking back and now having the finished product in my hands, I wrote Making Remarkable for two main reasons: to provide insight for new leaders as to what the role of leadership is all about; and to provide the guide and plan that didn’t exist when I took on the role of transforming the Calgary Chamber.
In terms of being a new leader, one can read plenty about what Jack Welch or Sheryl Sandberg or Richard Branson did to turn their businesses into globally recognized and powerful brands. But new leaders need more than just stories. They need a guide and a plan. Making Remarkable is meant to provide a guide to the things that any new leader should be thinking about as they assume the role for the first time.
I also wrote the book because the leadership journey, particularly for those embarking on it for the first time, is lonely—even when you have the support of friends, family, peers, and your board. You can ask millions of questions of peers, mentors or others, but the reality is that when you are sitting at your desk, or your computer, or in front of that employee you are about to fire, it is all on you. And doing that for the first time can be lonely and scary and confusing.
But perhaps the biggest reason I wrote the book was to share the framework and plan for how to become a remarkable organization. Making Remarkable came to be because I felt there was a gap. I knew we had to change things at the Calgary Chamber. I needed to overhaul the whole thing. But I couldn’t just shut it down and remodel. We had to keep the organization open and running. To do that, I needed a guide, a plan. A plan that not only outlined what we needed to do but the state we needed to achieve. The target and the guide to get there—almost like a set of blueprints and an assembly manual wrapped into one. I looked. That guide just didn’t exist. So, I put it together. Making Remarkable is that guide, addressing the key elements of any organizational transformation or improvement. I hope it is helpful for you and your journey or transformation.
I can’t wait for you to be able to get your copy of Making Remarkable when it is released on August 8 through amazon and all major ebook platforms. It has been a year in the making and the feedback I am getting from advance readers is fantastic. To learn more about the book, what people are saying about it, and for some “extras” head to www.makingremarkable.com
Feel free to email me at email@example.com or leave a comment. I would love to hear what your journey to remarkability is like. If you are curious to learn more, follow me on Twitter, Instagram, or sign up for my newsletter to get inside tips and tools to transform your organization into one that is remarkable, and for your chance to win a signed copy of the book before it comes out.