Some people think all books are magical. They mistakenly believe all books possess some mystical reality that contains timeless truths to be pondered and consumed over long periods of silence.
There are books like that. It’s true. But that doesn’t mean every book has to be like that. In fact, most books aren’t.
Books are simply an ecosystem of ideas organized into a consumable format.
A leader represents an organization, cause, or brand. Both the leader and the organization he or she represents has a platform. That platform is built upon certain ideas that make you different, unique, and separate you from the crowd.
A book then allows you to capture the conversations you’re having with individuals and small groups of people in a variety of settings and contexts and put it together into a format that can be easily, quickly, and efficiently multiplied and distributed.
Leaders can’t lead without taking a stand.
Leaders cannot write something worth reading until they are willing to hold themselves accountable to the words they have written. Talk is cheap until you put the stand you have taken into a referenceable and transferable format. That is when your ideas become real.
Your book at that point becomes a plumb line by which you can measure your strategic decisions and others can manage their expectations about you and the organization you represent. This is what creating consistency and meaning for a brand is all about. (The professionals call this brand alignment.)
If there is anything magical about your book, it is this: Books hold leaders and brands accountable to the ideas they profess to be true.
The greatest disciplines a book can bring to a leader are organization and accountability: organization of core ideas about how you see the world and accountability to uphold and spread those ideas often enough and across a a variety of channels in order to move a broad base of people to action.
But accountability doesn’t have to be a negative word. It naturally reveals what others crave from leaders—authenticity. We want to know that the leaders we follow and the brands they represent see the world in the same way we do. It is the greatest opportunity we have to turn clients into fans, fans into advocates, and advocates into evangelists.
Accountability to our ideas isn’t something to shy away from. It’s precisely the way leaders and brands pull away from the pack and become truly remarkable.
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