We in ABC are so happy on the publishing of our 1st book! It’s not because it flew off the shelves, and not because it made the NY Times Best Seller list. It is because the dynamic of the group has propelled us into sequels! We already have titles for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th installment on the Grace series and are deep into our second book: Spotlight on the art of Resilience. As you may have heard from other leadership books, the physical/mental/spiritual goals that we set for ourselves are not the end of the quest. It is what we become to achieve them that is important. I personally have seen amazing changes in each participant of this writing collaboration. We have all grown in many ways by writing this book.
What changes did we see?
Our wall flower grew by learning new skills such as formatting, proof reading, editing, moderating and project management! What was her reward? The book is listed as Spotlight on the Art of Grace by JONES. Yes, she got her name in capital letters on the binding of the book! Her husband learned how to stretch his thoughts from 600-700 word sound bites to thoughts going deeper and more descriptive requiring 5000 words to communicate. One learned the art of organizing her thoughts into coherent, understandable, and cohesive progressions to best get her point across instead of through-composing and letting her thoughts develop as she writes. I learned to concentrate my efforts into making a single point at a time to support a general idea. Regardless of what we did to grow, it was How we accomplished the growth that launched the thoughts of sequels and bigger projects.
What was different about this dynamic
The dynamic of this group, the ABC, is quite unique. I have been a member of many groups: sorority, musical groups large and small, Toastmaster clubs and leadership teams, my team at my place of business, my church, and my bible study. The only group that has come close to this was my bible study and then not on this scale. What is different with this group?
First of all, we had a common goal: to becoming accomplished professional speakers. Are you surprised? We went to seminar after seminar, and we had numerous one on one conversations with successful speakers…the kinds of people we wanted to emulate. The one thing they all said was, “Write a book!” That shot a lot of us down. We soldiered on trying to find ways to get to our goal by sharing information we each had. One had expertise in technology and publishing. One had expertise in marketing and promotion. Another had expertise in entrepreneurship and business with emphasis in law and finance. Each member had a unique gift to share with the others. The dynamic held us together.
Secondly, we had common experiences. We were all Toastmasters and had participated in many different aspects of the program. Nearly all of the members of this have attained the designation of Distinguished Toastmaster. All of us have served the district in leadership positions. We had experienced the dynamics of leadership for ourselves, and saw positive and negative dynamics in the organizations we were serving.
Thirdly, we had a desire that focused our emotions into one laser beam of thought: we did not want to be anonymous or conform to what was around us. We knew we could not rise above our current situations to become professional speakers if we didn’t stand out. The dynamics of a group of people striving for a common goal with feeling and desire that could not be denied kept us coming back to our meetings. There were times that we felt we were going through withdrawal when we didn’t meet!
We had declared our enemy: conformity and anonymity! We declared war on average. One of the events we all participated in became the spark that set ablaze the dynamic of this particular group.
I believe that this dynamic is unique to any group that doesn’t have these three things: common goals, experiences, and emotions. And it will not move us to action unless we have a declared enemy: one that is equal in power and strength and intelligence.
Because IN this dynamic group of people are engineers, musicians, philosophers, psychological thinkers, politicians, young and old. But we all have this spark within us that tells us we can accomplish anything now. We have written a book TOGETHER, a task we were not likely to have taken on had we not had the dynamics in this group.
Is this dynamic reproducible? I don’t know. Will it grow to something much bigger? Who knows? Get on board though, it’s going to be quite a ride!