The Corporate Dojo

For the last ten weeks I have been absorbed in the world of book writing – and what an amazing experience that has been! Soon stage one of a very intense process of creating and releasing a book into the world will be complete.  It’s exciting to be able to say The Corporate Dojo: driving extraordinary results through spirited people will be released on the 2nd August 2012!

At its core The Corporate Dojo is about how leaders can achieve extraordinary standards of performance by leveraging the full potential of people.  Through each chapter I explore important aspects of the leadership approach needed to enable people to perform at their best. Deeply founded upon the 25 years I spent in the dojo (karate school), first as a student and later as a sensei (teacher), the approach I call the integrated leader advocates a balanced focus on results and people.  Modeled on the role of a sensei, the integrated leader strives to achieve the best possible outcome by tapping into both the capabilities and spirit of people.

Throughout I share my experiences as a corporate leader, HR advisor and business owner – experiences that have consistently reinforced what I first learned in the dojo about human potential and performance.  That is, the standard of performance we ultimately achieved is determined by the degree to which we successfully apply the full extent of our capabilities to the task at hand.  Whether we fail, just get by or thrive undoubtedly depends on the depth of our capabilities leveraged by the strength of our spirit and therefore positive impact of our behaviour.

Through The Corporate Dojo I propose that for a leader to have any real influence on optimising the success of people they must understand the power of the human spirit and leverage the weight of its impact on behavior.   Through sharing my experiences I provide evidence of the powerful role leaders play and explore the most important influencers of the human spirit in the workplace.  I share what together karate and business have taught me about inspiring courage, determination, focus, and discipline – behaviours made possible when our spirit is positively energised.

It’s exciting to be at this point, looking forward to sharing the book and hoping to make a positive difference with its words.  While the future is exciting I am taking time now to reflect on and enjoy my experience of writing a book. My first venture down the path to becoming an author has been energising and fulfilling to say the least with plenty of lessons along the way.

Giving life to The Corporate Dojo, a book that has existed in my own mind for a long time has demanded a welcome yet unexpected process of self-discovery or more to the point rediscovery.  To write this book, I’ve needed to recall and explore more deeply how and why I believe all of the things I teach about great leadership and optimising human performance.   While I set out with a relatively clear view of what I wanted to say, I didn’t anticipate the need to reconnect with and reflect so deeply upon my own life experiences in order to do that well. Throughout the book I tell real stories to illustrate key messages in each chapter – as I wrote I became more aware that what I teach is reflective of my life experiences in the dojo, at work and even at home.  It felt necessary to share these personal stories that I hope reveal deeper insight into the experiences that have shaped the approaches I advocate in business.

At times I had no idea where the book was going or would end up.  Despite spending copious amounts of time mind mapping what I planned to write, once I got started I found it easier to go with the flow unconstrained by a structured book plan.  Just when I thought chapters were closed, new angles or perspectives demanded to be included and just as I thought I was finished writing, a whole new chapter emerged.  Even the message at the heart of the book became clearer to me as I wrote the last paragraph. As I brought chapter fourteen to a close I found myself compelled to go back to chapter one to complete the picture.  I had heard other people say they wrote the start of their book at the end, so while not surprised I was amused.

With the printing presses already rolling The Corporate Dojo can be pre-purchased at my online SHOP!

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