Those who follow this forum or know me personally can attest to the fact that I am a big fan of Seth Godin. In fact, it was his book Linchpin and the coaching of a few of my mentors that helped me to acknowledge the importance of “Shipping”.  The premise is rather simple and if you are not familiar with the terminology, please consider reading it in his own words. There are many reasons why we choose not to put ourselves and our ideas forward; there are many reasons why people choose not to make a decision (which is, in fact, a decision); and there are many reasons why people “admire” problems without doing a darn thing about them.  I say there are many reasons, but there are really only two:

  • We are afraid
  • We don’t truly care enough

Five years ago I ignored my fear and began putting my written thoughts out there for anyone to see.  The first platform was a blog related to my job at the time and though I used it as a means to inform and educate other Naval Officers on issues, I was ultimately directed to take it down. The second platform was a personal blog that hosts the very words you are reading right now. Being one who firmly believes that the more time we spend outside of our comfort zone the better we become, I decided that an e-book series was the next step in the progression. In fact, as part of my goals for 2013, I committed to writing a book to share with whoever might choose to read it. Because I am hyper-aware of giving anyone (especially myself) the perception that I am not walking the walk or following through on commitments made, I am pleased to say that I “shipped it”. Mentors encouraged me, friends and family served as focus groups and editors, and established authors coached me. Even with all of that support, I found myself on the fence of following through. As Steven Pressfield points out in his book, The War of Art, “the resistance” was giving me a reason to pause. With my finger firmly back on the play button, I offer the first e-book in the series for your reading pleasure.

Book One: Leading Before Arrival (Released SEP 2013)
Many leaders are identified long before they hold a leadership position, while some are charged to lead before they are truly ready. Regardless, there is a transition period where an individual prepares himself for the leadership position to which he will be assigned. Rather than wait to lead upon arrival, we have the opportunity to lead prior to arriving. This book shares one leader’s experience leading before arrival and provides ideas that will help others do the same.

As you enjoy the first installment, I will get back to writing the rest of the series. As mentioned on my Amazon Author Page, the objective of this Commanding Cooperatively project is merely to share my experience as a Commanding Officer and provide some insight as to how I chose to spend the most significant opportunity and best tour of my career Commanding Cooperatively.

For those of you who find it a challenge to “Ship It” and may not be familiar with Seth Godin’s work, here are some of my favorite Godinisms that may help you get over the hump:

  • “You can either fit in or stand out. Not both.”
  • “The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.”
  • “The real problem when working with a consultant, a therapist or a coach isn’t that we don’t know what to do. The real problem is that we don’t want to change our mind.”
  • “Make a decision. It doesn’t have to be a wise decision or a perfect one. Just make one.”
  • “You are not your resume, you are your work.”
  •  “Life is a buzzer box. Poke it.”
  • “Creating ideas that spread and connecting the disconnected are the two pillars of our new society, and both of them require the posture of the artist”
  • “Hard work is about risk. It begins when you deal with the things that you’d rather not deal with: fear of failure, fear of standing out, fear of rejection. Hard work is about training yourself to leap over this barrier, tunnel under that barrier, drive through the other barrier. And after you’ve done that, to do it again the next day.”
  • “Wouldn’t it be great to be gifted? In fact… It turns out that choices lead to habits. Habits become talents. Talents are labeled gifts. You’re not born this way, you get this way.”

And my favorite, “The only purpose of starting is to finish, and while the projects we do are never really finished, they must ship.”

  • What is the last thing you shipped?
  • What is the next thing you will ship?
  • What is presenting you from shipping?