After coauthoring The Power of Peers with Leon Shapiro, which published in Spring of 2016, I delivered keynote addresses, participated in panels, led workshops, wrote articles, and with the help of Randy Cantrell, launched a podcast on topics related to the content of the book. Truth be told, during all those engagements, where I was charged with leading conversations about the value of the people who surround us, I was the one doing most of the learning. Surround yourself with really good people and that’s what happens.
The first book served as a study of how and why formal peer groups can be so effective for business owners and business leaders at every level. With the help of facilitating about 60 workshops, primarily for Vistage CEO and Key Executive Groups over the past two years, I learned a great deal – enough to have written a second book exclusively on that topic. But…the conversations I started having everywhere, most especially with my podcast guests, began to evolve in a most fascinating way. We started to talk about all the people who surround us (our parents, kids, teachers, mentors, mentees, etc.) beyond just our peers. We shared stories and insights about enlisting and engaging our entire circle of friends, family members, and colleagues in our everyday lives – beyond just formal peer group meetings.
The second book What Anyone Can Do: How Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Drive Change, Opportunity, and Personal Growth asserts that making a difference in this world starts with enlisting and engaging the people in your circle. They help you, you help them. It’s that simple. The reason self help doesn’t have a better track record is because too many people see it as by-yourself-help, failing to recognize that no one in the history of the world ever realized any semblance of success or happiness completely by themselves.
In Joe Henderson’s 1976 book The Long Run Solution, the author asserts that success does not necessarily require one to perform superhuman feats. All too often, success and happiness in running and in life are experienced by those who do the things anyone can do, that most of us never will. I believe anyone can surround themselves with good people and enlist their support for whatever endeavor they choose to pursue, and when they do, they will do the things anyone can do far more often.
Not unlike the airline safety instructions that pertain to putting the oxygen mask on yourself first before attempting to assist others, making a difference in this world at any level starts with you. What Anyone Can Do will show you how to make that difference in your own life and in the lives of others. It’s my WHY for the second book. I hope you find it to be as compelling a reason as I do. Enjoy!
*Special thanks to Robert H. Thompson (who inspired the book), Randy Cantrell (the reason I ever got into podcasting), Ryan Foland (for the awesome cartoons that open every chapter), Dan Hoffman (for writing the Foreword), and to my podcast guests (subscribe if you like) and workshop participants whose contributions can be found on every page.