A blast from the past

CEOIn 2003 my friend Theresa Ashby and I published a book that we co-wrote. We called it How to Speak CEO.

We had both experienced working in organizations in which the managers guessed, copied what they saw other people doing, or tried to avoid the behaviors that annoyed them most. There was relatively little regard for informed approaches that work.

I should mention that Theresa has an MBA and a Ph.D. In addition, I adored her as a person. I’m sure I still do, but we have not stayed in touch.

Theresa and I thought we could bring some better management insights to bear on how to run an organization. We had both studied the subject at length, and the theme was high on our priority list.

Jumping to the present time, I had not opened the book in a decade. I decided to visit it. I have two copies left from whatever number of books we paid for. I had considered opening one of the books on many occasions, but I thought the experience might make me wince. Quite the opposite happened.

I was quickly reminded that the content was derived from many, many  brilliant sources, and we quoted them. We emphasized how people in special fields tend to respond to people in different fields. For example, how do factory workers perceive sales people, or do they even care? The same question applies to engineers and the executives who make strategic decisions for the business. The various groups have been referred to as tribes, so we used that terminology.

I received my master’s degree in organizational leadership from Chapman University, and the dean of the business school, Doug Tuggle, wrote the foreword for our book. We asked the famed Peter Senge, legendary for The Fifth Discipline, to critic one of our chapters during the draft stage, and he did. Bless him.

My visit to the book reminded me of many, many blessings that I have set aside in my memory. It was wonderful to connect with them with gratitude and delight.

I am also grateful to Morris Publishing, the good folks who printed the book for us. I sent an email asking if they still have the electronic version in their archives. In less than an hour they responded with good news. Gee whiz.

Life is good.

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