28
Apr
08

My No-Compromise Leadership book: a brief history

I wrote the first outline for No-Compromise Leadership in March 2005. I wrote the bulk of the book by Fall of 2006. Rewrites on the first third of the book were done early 2006. At 61,078 words, I stopped writing and the book sat untouched until March 2008. I was frustrated.
My goal was to write a book worthy of sitting alongside great business books like Jack Stack’s The Great Game of Business and Jim Collins’ Good to Great. But something was missing and preventing the words I needed to finish the manuscript. It was me. I allowed compromise to get in my way – to degrade my confidence. How could I write a book on no-compromise leadership if I felt compromise in myself as a leader. No compromise has a simple definition: If needs to be done, it gets done. No excuses.
For anyone close to Strategies, you know that I took a three-month sabbatical in 2007. I needed to regroup and rethink my goals and intentions. I returned to work last September and began reengineering not only my company, but myself as a leader. Simply put, compromise gave way to a new and wildly empowering no-compromise culture and behavior at Strategies. By December of 2007, Strategies was a new and highly invigorating company. Everything became easier and faster. I re-awakened the no-compromise leader within me and, almost instantly, amazing things started to happen. New business flowed to us. New ideas and shared responsibility created incredible lift. Everyone felt it and still does. No-compromise leadership was the difference – and it began with me.
Fast forward to March 17th. I was on a flight from Edmonton, Alberta, to Chicago. I was flying home after presenting at a show with an old friend and author, Dr. Lew Losoncy. I decided to open my computer and show Lew the cover design for No-Compromise Leadership. He flipped and told me he was calling his publisher about my book. That night, Lew called me with instructions to call his publisher, Dennis McClellan at DC Press. I called Dennis the following day and sent him the cover, page designs and, of course, the manuscript. Needless to say, I was nervous as only a few had seen the entire book. Was it worthy? That was my burning question.
About two weeks passed without a word. I was on pins and needles. Then, on April 10th, I received an e-mail from the publisher that said, “I read your book cover-to-cover. This book needs to be published.”
Right now, we’re working on finishing the cover and adding quotes.  To begin creating buzz for No-Compromise Leadership, the publisher is going to show a near-complete mock-up of the book at the BookExpo American show in Los Angeles the end of May.
No-Compromise Leadership will be on bookstore shelves this December. Woo hoo!
Here is one quote that truly stopped me in my tracks:
“In the multitude of business books available through the years, No-Compromise Leadership stands out for its clarity and usefulness. If I could only have five business books on my shelf this would be one of them. After 15 years at Southwest Airlines and 35 years of working with other high performance teams, I have seen Neil’s four business outcomes and BIG 8 Drivers at work among the highest achievers. No-Compromise Leadership is the difference between high performance and mediocrity. And, you get a smattering of Neilisms as a bonus. You will want all your people to read, execute and live the no-compromise mantra.”
Terry “Moose” Millard,
Former Southwest Airlines Pilot
and Expert on Corporate Culture
Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends They’ll appreciate it.
Neil Ducoff, Strategies Founder & CEO

79I wrote the first outline for No-Compromise Leadership in March 2005. I wrote the bulk of the book by Fall of 2006. Rewrites on the first third of the book were done early 2006. At 61,078 words, I stopped writing and the book sat untouched until March 2008. I was frustrated.

My goal was to write a book worthy of sitting alongside great business books like Jack Stack’s The Great Game of Business and Jim Collins’ Good to Great. But something was missing and preventing the words I needed to finish the manuscript. It was me. I allowed compromise to get in my way – to degrade my confidence. How could I write a book on no-compromise leadership if I felt compromise in myself as a leader. No compromise has a simple definition: If needs to be done, it gets done. No excuses.

For anyone close to Strategies, you know that I took a three-month sabbatical in 2007. I needed to regroup and rethink my goals and intentions. I returned to work last September and began reengineering not only my company, but myself as a leader. Simply put, compromise gave way to a new and wildly empowering no-compromise culture and behavior at Strategies. By December of 2007, Strategies was a new and highly invigorating company. Everything became easier and faster. I re-awakened the no-compromise leader within me and, almost instantly, amazing things started to happen. New business flowed to us. New ideas and shared responsibility created incredible lift. Everyone felt it and still does. No-compromise leadership was the difference – and it began with me.

Fast forward to March 17th [2008]. I was on a flight from Edmonton, Alberta, to Chicago. I was flying home after presenting at a show with an old friend and author, Dr. Lew Losoncy. I decided to open my computer and show Lew the cover design for No-Compromise Leadership. He flipped and told me he was calling his publisher about my book. That night, Lew called me with instructions to call his publisher, Dennis McClellan at DC Press. I called Dennis the following day and sent him the cover, page designs and, of course, the manuscript. Needless to say, I was nervous as only a few had seen the entire book. Was it worthy? That was my burning question.

About two weeks passed without a word. I was on pins and needles. Then, on April 10th, I received an e-mail from the publisher that said, “I read your book cover-to-cover. This book needs to be published.”

Right now, we’re working on finishing the cover and adding quotes. To begin creating buzz for No-Compromise Leadership, the publisher is going to show a near-complete mock-up of the book at the BookExpo American show in Los Angeles the end of May [2008].

No-Compromise Leadership will be on bookstore shelves this December [2008]. Woo hoo!

Here is one quote that truly stopped me in my tracks:

“In the multitude of business books available through the years, No-Compromise Leadership stands out for its clarity and usefulness. If I could only have five business books on my shelf this would be one of them. After 15 years at Southwest Airlines and 35 years of working with other high performance teams, I have seen Neil’s four business outcomes and BIG 8 Drivers at work among the highest achievers. No-Compromise Leadership is the difference between high performance and mediocrity. And, you get a smattering of Neilisms as a bonus. You will want all your people to read, execute and live the no-compromise mantra.”

Terry “Moose” Millard, Former Southwest Airlines Pilot and Expert on Corporate Culture

Pass this email on to your business colleagues, managers and friends They’ll appreciate it.

Neil Ducoff, Strategies Founder & CEO and author of No-Compromise Leadership

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