The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership was first published in 2004 and has become the cornerstone of my body of work. In preparing for the launch of the 10th Anniversary edition (coming in September!), I found myself looking back through my original notes and scratchings from twelve years ago, when I was first giving birth to this thing.
As an avid reader, I always find it fascinating when I can get a glimpse into the creative process of writers I admire, but I’ve never shared my own process with anyone else.
In celebration of the impending release of the new edition, it’s my pleasure to open up my notebooks to you with you a series of revealing–and sometimes awkward, sometimes inane–snippets from my personal archive of handwritten scrawls.
Maybe it’ll help you get some insight into your own creative process. At the very least, you can have yourself a chuckle at mine.
Here now, is an entry from my notebook on November 19, 2002. (I’ve transcribed it into a text that you can actually read, too):
I feel stuck. Is the story moving in a way that makes the essential points of Extreme Leadership? The Extreme Leader’s journey is extremely personal – maybe the essence is to bring one’s self fully into work – show who you are with boldness. Make Janice more guarded to begin with. Make my character more despairing to begin with. Character/leadership development is a process of self-discovery and self-revelation (i.e.: reveal yourself publicly) and focus that powerful intent on an audacious mission (change the world).
Cultivate Love, Generate Energy by understanding/discovering/re-connecting with your deepest motivation, individually and collectively; Inspire Audacity by expanding your intent beyond the “normal constraints”; Provide Proof through bold, consistent, loving, urgent action (What can I do today to prove I mean it?)
Cultivate Love by desiring to do so; finding the lovable in people, products, company; lowering your gratitude threshold; expressing your appreciation; putting your attention on the good in people; building relationships.