Last Friday I talked about the importance of how you do things in regards to decision making.

So here is my approach to writing a book. I’m currently working on a project which will turn into a book on the mastermind.

This is a very important project; I’d love to serve more leaders.

What if I was able to scale our leadership community from 60 to 600? A book is a great way to spread the message to leaders who currently don’t know my work from the podcast.

My approach to this second book is the same as my first book.

Here is my process:

  • pick a topic.
  • draft an outline
  • write for an hour each day
  • keep score of your execution
  • do your work in public
  • tell others that you are doing it (so you can’t hide)

I like to pick creative titles so the reader is engaged on our journey through the book.

May I whet your appetite? Here is the outline for chapter 1 and 2 of my new project.

Chapter 1: Why Now?

  1. The role: A riff on the complexity and challenges of the principalship.
  2. Leaders need psychological safety: What districts don’t provide and can’t provide.
  3. Evolution as a mental model: Adapt or die.
  4. Missed targets and outgrowing district offerings: Districts love to talk about leadership development but do they truly support it? And when they do, what happens when the “A” players outgrow what the district can offer?
  5. Oxygen masks and mirror moments: Two hurdles that all leaders must pass to join the mastermind.
  6. Great investments: Research on developing leadership capactity.
  7. Isolation is the enemy of excellence: We know that two heads are better than one. Then why do so many leaders operate in isolation?
  8. Our Why: Everyone wins when a leader gets better. Everyone wins when you get better.
  9. Our Community: Meet the tribe.
  10. Mastermind Anecdote

Chapter 2: History of the Mastermind

  1. What successful people do: learn from mistakes and rely on the knowledge and experience of others.
  2. Napoleon (not the little man)
  3. The Lost Generation: How artists in Paris during the 1920s changed art.
  4. The Solvay Conference: What happens when you combine Einstein, Bohr, and Curie.
  5. Aaron Walker: My mentor’s experience in masterminds.
  6. Joining ISI: Why I joined a mastermind.
  7. Growth in ISI: How I grew personally and professionally in the Iron Sharpens Iron mastermind.
  8.  Hello from Australia (Clayton’s story): Making friends in Australia.
  9.  你好 (Hello from China): Connecting with a leader in China.
  10. Mastermind Anecdote

I’m sure the end product will look much different, but this is a start. It also gives me a path for writing. The Better Leaders Better Schools Roadmap was written using this approach and I completed a 47,000-word first draft in less than 3-months.

How is that possible? Trust the process.

I new the direction I wanted to go.

I wrote each day for one hour — no more, no less. That idea is called the “20 Mile March” and was described by Jim Collins in his book Great by Choice.

Finally, I kept score each day. I either wrote for an hour or did not. If I execute on my most significant tasks each day, then I will accomplish my biggest goals. I’ve learned that a monthly score of 80% or better equals success.

Writing a book is an overwhelming undertaking, but it need not be.

I have outlined 159 topics across 13 chapters. Writing 45,000+ words (or 100+ pages) seems like a Herculean task. When I think of 159 topics as one-page stories, it is much more doable.

My goal is to write a few stories a day for an hour.

Before I know it, my second book will be done.

(BTW — I am posting how much I write each day on my Instagram stories. If you want an inside look at the process, follow me there).

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