Behind the Scenes

Since letting you all know that I have written a book I have had so much support and enthusiasm, I can’t thank you enough! Your interest has now kept me in the Amazon ‘Hot New Releases’ list for business books for 3 weeks, which quite frankly I have found mind-blowingly awesome (and super scary!)

I’ve had lots of messages and questions, so here’s a little summary!

What should we expect? A no-nonsense approach to being a better leader and creating better workplaces. A mix between theory and practical and in a framework that will encourage reflection and action. Here’s the contents….

To be a human

Understanding the brain

Organizational Culture

Human leadership

Ways of working

A place where people thrive

Argh, the robots are coming!

The Human-Centric Workplace Playbook

How do you feel? My feelings are flipping from super excited to nausea and everything in between. I also feel a bit lost, more on that in a minute!

Will the book be available on Audible? Probably not. I have books that are sat on my shelf in pristine condition and some that look like I got them out of the library in 1976. I want this to be a book that not only you read more than once, but I want you to underline, highlight and fold pages.

Will the book be available on Kindle? Not everybody wants to buy physical books (and there’s the eco element too) so yes, there will be a kindle version.

Where can I buy a copy? Any of these places here or you can ask your local bookshop to pre-order for you.

How did you keep the secret? It was SO difficult, up until a month ago, there was only around 10 people who actually knew anything about it.

Where did I start? How did I get a publisher? How long did it take? Was it difficult? What’s next? Ok, here’s a “behind the scenes”….

Where did I start?

3 and a half years ago I sat with my coach and worked on my 10-year plan. I wrote down 3 goals. At the time I remember thinking, two of them were SMART and one was utterly bonkers. I know I am laser focused and competitive (it’s the years of playing sport) but writing a book felt a step too far.

I started to do small things every day to work towards the book, from blogging to reading and mind mapping. I challenged myself to read 100 books in the year, I was taking lots of notes and marking pages and ultimately considering what I wanted my book to be like. I was continuously learning, applying, and reinforcing concepts. I was organised enough to research and ask for recommendations, wise enough to put down a book I wasn’t enjoying, disciplined to choose books over Facebook and competitive (…stubborn) enough to continue. I managed to read 84 books! (15,194 pages read – 58 Books and 4,711 minutes of listening – 26 audio books).

How did I get a publisher?

I received a LinkedIn message from LID Publishing to ask if I would be interested in discussing the prospect of writing a book, my stomach flipped with excitement, and it went from there!

How long did it take? Was it difficult?

Once I’d committed, the excitement turned into nausea. And so the writing began and I genuinely had no idea where to start. I opened a word document and started to write what I would deem now as absolute dross.

Done. Erm, okay, that’s 1,831 words. Erm, 60,000 to go.

I got a flipchart pad out and did a mind map of all the things I wanted and needed to write about, it was big! (Think Martin Pickard…and times it by five). After some sound advice from Neil Usher I focused on how to pull together a structure and how to write without it being perfect.

For 7 months my Monday-Friday life was to work 8-6pm, walk the dog, eat food, spend an hour with my wife and then go back upstairs to write. I’d write from 8/9pm until 2/3am. My dog slept at the side of me, snoring, yawning, and pawing at me for a cuddle, I’d keep typing until I could barely see. Strangely, it was during the later (earlier) hours and through the shear tiredness that the best ideas came to me. Saturdays I rotated between my Wife / Friends / Family, and Sundays I researched, read and did some more typing.

There were days of exhaustion where I didn’t do anything… well, nothing apart from worry about the fact that I wasn’t typing. There were days where I wanted to press delete and start again. There were days where I doubted myself. There were days when I wondered what the hell I was doing. There were days where I reflected on experiences and felt really low. There were nights where I would wake up sweating.

There were also days where I read back what I had typed and smiled to myself. There were days where I knew there was somebody out there waiting to read what I had just typed. There were days where I was determined to say what needs to be said. There were days where I was pumped up, energised and proud.

Between the research, the writing, and the editing, I’m not sure there is an emotion that I didn’t feel, but the second I saw my front cover, I knew it had all been worth it!

What’s next?

After all this time and focus, I’m trying to remember what life was like pre-pandemic AND pre-book writing. I am feeling a little lost, trying to remember what I used to do, what I actually want to do, and also trying to remember how to socialise again.

Next? Well, it was my birthday yesterday and I opted for a duvet day, that probably tells you that I am ready for a rest! But, I’m super looking forward to the release and for you to start reading, and after that, well, let’s see….!

Stay safe,

SFJ.

P.S I hope this helps to explain why I said, “please just bloody buy it”.

P.P.S please just bloody buy it!

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