“Jim Collins likes to talk about ‘getting the right people on the bus,’ but Stephen Lynch could pull that bus, and all those people, right down the street. That’s the kind of challenge you have to meet when you compete in the New Zealand’s Strongest Man competition, as Stephen did in 1993.”
That’s straight from Stephen’s bio in his book, Business Execution for Results, but it’s really only the tip of the biographical iceberg. Stephen has also been a police officer, a body builder (Mr. New Zealand 1993), a pharmaceutical sales and marketing manager, a nightclub DJ, and a software entrepreneur. He’s currently the COO of RESULTS.com. He wanted to be an author.
He started writing a few times, beginning back in 2006. By 2011, it was clear that going it alone was not a good strategy. He went looking for someone to work with, and I got the privilege. We started with tons of content.
When we started working on the book, Stephen had written articles for publications like the Economist, blogged regularly, and created presentations on developing a strategy for results. We had all of that to work with. One challenge was selecting the most important material and figuring out how to present it in a book.
We blew up the first outline and tried another one. That one didn’t work either. It took a few tries, but when we finally got it right, the book flowed naturally.
The other challenge turned out to be getting Stephen into the book. We had plenty of factual material and other business examples and stories. When we added the stories and examples from Stephen’s life, the book got a lot better. It also became a book that only Stephen could write.
Advice from Stephen Lynch, in his own words …
How would you describe your book?
“I would describe Business Execution for Results as taking best practices and distilling them and putting them in a language that the owner or CEO of a small to mid-sized firm can understand and implement. So, it’s making the creating and execution of strategy practical.”
What advice do you have for other people who want to write a book?
“They should follow the process that I encourage companies to do. Get very clear about the outcome you want to achieve. Getting clear on that will at least give you the momentum to keep going when it gets tough, because it will get tough when you’re writing a book.
“You need to be mentally committed to the amount of time it takes and the discipline of being able to produce the content on a weekly basis as we did and knowing that you’re going to be working on the book for maybe it’s twelve, maybe it’s eighteen months in order to get from ground zero through just published and on the major book publishing sites.”