Why I wrote ‘Made to Thrive’
Almost twenty years ago today I started a business.
I remember my accountant at the time saying the business plan I presented him was the best business plan he had ever seen. I knew I didn’t want to build a good business. I wanted to build a great business.
If anyone knew or was interested, they may debate whether that was indeed a great business. But what was never up for debate was the burning desire I have always had to build truly great, enduring businesses. Firstly through the aforementioned business and then subsequent businesses I founded, and then for the past ten years as a leadership team coach being fortunate enough to work with some of the most inspiring leaders of mid-market businesses around Australia.
And in the past ten years, I’ve set my own goal to pursue mastery, to become a master at helping mid-market businesses achieve the greatness they deeply desire. I think I’ve learned that the more I know, the more I realise I don’t know. Yet I believe that the pursuit of mastery is a worthwhile goal.
Through this journey I’ve tried to maintain 3 key principles;
- Be useful.
- Be curious.
- Be humble.
As a leadership team coach, and often a leader, I’ve found these principles (not values) to be useful, and whilst I don’t want to be prescriptive, may serve as useful principles for other leaders or leadership team coaches.
But through this twenty year journey one thing has really struck me. There’s one thing that I just couldn’t figure out.
What’s the tangible difference between a good leader, and a great leader?
Or put another way, why do some leaders create great results, while others create only good results? What are they actually doing, day to day, that is different?
This question that I struggled to solve separated what must be done in an entrepreneurial organisation from the actual role of the leader within that task. There are a lot of books that explain things that organisations must do, but I wanted to know the actual role of a leader. Specifically what must a leader do, what role must they perform, in order for the organisation to achieve great results.
You see I’m not to proud to admit that I didn’t really know what I was doing twenty years ago. Around 2002 my company was growing at 84% per year, and I had really no idea what I was doing. Luckily for me I read a book called Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish which helped me enormously. It gave me an understanding what actually needed to be done in the company, and I’m forever grateful for that book. As good as that was at explaining what must be done in the company I still didn’t understand exactly my role as CEO founder.
And that’s the real problem. I see a lot of people in their career transition from worker-to-supervisor, supervisor-to-manager and manager-to-entrepreneur/CEO. As a worker, they know exactly what to do. They complete a university degree or an apprenticeship and are often mentored within the business. But when they become an owner they end up ‘flying solo’, they just don’t know what to do. And no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find a book detailing my role as CEO Founder and what I needed to do.
That’s why I spent the last couple of years writing the book Made to Thrive that has been released today.
So that leaders like me never need to go through what I went through.
I dream of someone saying to a struggling leader “Just read this“. And they do. And it really helps them because it’s simple, practical and useful.
I’m honoured that the book has sold out on it’s first day. I’m honoured that people have already gained value and shared insights from pre-release copies.
I was humbled when the sound engineer who recorded the audiobook with me said after listening to it, having never led a company, that he now had the confidence to.
But I think most of all I’m honoured that it has been described as exactly what I wanted to write by people around the world I have great admiration for — ‘a concise step-by-step manual on how to be a great leader that connects directly to your results’.
I’m going to close now by sharing the first paragraph of the book.
“How to be effective. That’s every leader’s problem.
The question you are asking yourself, either consciously or unconsciously, is, “How can I make my potential count for the most in this world of effort?”
And this is the absolutely the question you should be asking.
But not in order to achieve fame for the sake of fame, nor to acquire money for the sake of money, but for the sake of usefulness in the world. For the sake of helping those you love. For the sake of benefitting society.”
Made to Thrive: The Five Roles to Evolve Beyond Your Leadership Comfort Zone is available worldwide today in Paperback, Audiobook and eBook.
You can see where to order it here.