The Proof Is . . . In My Hands

The moment when the final printed proof  of your book is in your hands is pretty special. The months of effort to revise and expand the material, researching and writing the new chapters,  the multiple revisions, the back and forth with designer and editor . . . it all becomes worth it when the finished product arrives.

A trip to the post office this morning brought the page proofs for the 2nd edition of The 8 Essential Skills for Supervisors & Managers nicely bound in its new cover. The new chapters and additional information brings the page count  to more than 420.

There is still more to do, of course. There’s the final review with my editor, Jan Andersen of Beyond Words, Inc., getting the word out to previous purchasers and organizations who adopted the 1st edition for their management development programs, marketing and promotion, as well as the upcoming eCourse.

Savoring the moment is wonderful. Now, back to work.

Stay tuned!


Adopting The Book

My recent post (Out of the Blue!) mentioned the adoption of “The 8 Essential Skills” by a large international law firm. As the sequence of orders (50, then 350, then 70 more) occured, we were initially focused on getting the books produced and making sure they were delivered on a timely basis. Fortunately, we had selected CreateSpace to produce our book “on demand” and that is what they do, and do well. Based on previous orders, my level of confidence about their capabilities was fairly high. Their track record was quite good with the few gliches we’d experienced in the past having been well-handled. The turnaround time from placing the order until the cartons showing up on the client’s loading dock was typcially about 10 days; pretty incredible.

As we got the production and shipping process moving along, two questions were of major interest to me:

  • How were they planning to use the book?

  • How did the firm “find” the book?

The firm is in the process of rolling out a 14 month developmental program for all of their supervisors and managers, and “The 8 Essential Skills” had been selected as the central text for that long-term program, along with their own internal resources. With all the long-term management development programs I’ve worked with over the years, hearing that was really gratifiying. It confirms and validates the central themes of “The 8 Essential Skills.”

My second question – how did they come to select this book? After all, there are hundreds, even thousands of other books on supervising and managing available. The answer was an indicator of how carefully this firm went about designing their program. First, they convened a task force and charged them with examining a wide variety of resources – materials that could be used in central and supplemental roles in their year-plus development program. Then the group compared what they found. One of the members downloaded the Kindle version of “8 Essential Skills”, liked it and showed it to several colleagues. Then, they ordered the printed version for task force members, who evaluated it individually. After aligning the Skills with their core competencies, they ordered copies for their 450+ supervisors and managers. That’s the kind of vetting process we think makes great sense, and I’m delighted to see the “8 Essential Skills” get such a thorough validation.

The firm kicked off their management development program this week. As you would expect, I’m looking forward to learning how that process went. Stay tuned!

Out of the Blue!

I’m delighted to report that “The 8 Essential Skills for Supervisors & Managers” has been adopted by a major international law firm. The well-respected firm has purchased nearly 500 copies for distribution to their managers around the world. More to come as this develops, but I love it so far!

Interested in seeing your supervisors and managers get better results for you and your organization? Buy them all a copy of The 8 Essential Skills. Contact us today!

What Are You Thankful For?

It’s been awhile since my last post and I’m thankful to have a few minutes to write a little. The past several weeks have been a series of rewarding, interesting, frustrating and exciting days filled with what has become my temporarily bifurcated life. Living in an old (1876) house is an adventure sometimes, and what began as a “remodel and update the bathroom” project has now become a major renovation complete with new plumbing, wiring, heating runs, and foundation work.

So, with three major client projects also kicking off this fall, the resulting 14-hour days have dried up the contribution to this blog. The client projects are now up are moving forward and the renovation project is reaching the end phase, which affords me a few minutes to say hello, and mention a few things I’m thankful for on this day of Thanksgiving:

I’m thankful for the privilege of citizenship in this wonderful, maddening, inspiring, beautiful country of ours. Even with all our mistakes our better angels still triumph over our inner demons most of the time.

I’m thankful for my colleagues far and wide and especially for my long-time collaborators in Midwest Consulting Group. As one of the first virtual corporations in the Midwest, MCG has become a wonderful team of “neat to hang out with” friends and co-creators.

I’m thankful for my family and the home we have built together. The love and support of my wife Susan has been the rock upon which I’ve been able to build my professional life for 35 years.

I’m thankful for the success of The 8 Essential Skills for Supervisors & Managers since it’s publication earlier this year. We know we’ve hit the target when we keep hearing the same feedback over and over again from readers. The book is easy to use, easy to read, and it is filled with practical ideas that work. The real thanks for this goes to my editor Jan Andersen of Beyond Words, Inc. who turned my raw words into a very readable finished product.

I’m thankful for our clients. They challenge us to help them grow, improve, succeed, and reach their potential as an organization. We are proud to work with them. Over the years we have met, come to know, and enjoyed the emergence of a host of new leaders in all kinds of organizations.

I’m thankful to have these few minutes of your time. What are you thankful for today?

A Bit More Buzz

Writing The 8 Essential Skills was certainly an adventure. Producing and promoting the book is turning out to be another adventure. Colleague, coach, and friend Mary Jo Asmus recently interviewed me about the book and posted portions of the interview on her blog. Wally Bock, who writes the always-interesting Three Star Leadership blog, is a regular reader of Mary Jo’s writings, spotted the reference and requested a review copy. Now we’ll see what Wally thinks.

Bank Orders Multiple Copies

A large regional bank with a major presence in SW Michigan ordered quite a few copies of The 8 Essential Skills – seems they want to help their already great management team kick it up a notch or two. Quality people recognize quality ideas! Yea!

Getting the Word Out

This week we’re getting the word out that The 8 Essential Skills for Supervisors & Managers is published and now available on We’ve sent out E-mail announcements letting our contacts know the book is, at long last, actually out and available.

Regular readers of this blog know this has been a longer process than originally planned, but in the high-change world we live in today, no major project is likely to go exactly as originally planned. After all, Skill 5 of The 8 Essential Skills is Managing Change. How are you doing with managing change in your life?

Next time – Quantity Discounts on The 8 Essential Skills & The 8 Essential Skills

I’m pleased and excited to announce that “The 8 Essential Skills for Supervisors & Managers” is just out and available on Three Cheers for that! For those who have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently!) for the book to be published you will now find it at:

Order your copy today!

The Proof Is In . . .

This afternoon I opened a shipment from CreateSpace – the proof for “The 8 Essential Skills for Supervisors & Managers” is in my hand. We’ll give it a final review and then . . . we go to press! More to come.

Almost Here

It’s been an interesting week and the news is good. On Wednesday we uploaded the book – all 382 pages of it – to the printing company, CreateSpace. and received word that the electronic files were useable. Thursday morning we ordered the proof. By Thursday afternoon the proof had been created and shipped. It arrives Tuesday. That will be the final test before production begins. Once intial production is ready, the book will be available on Amazon, on our storefront on CreateSpace, and from us directly. Exciting days!