Yes, that’s right, I’m now a writer.  Make that Writer.  My first published work is out today.

Snapshot_20130819_3  Don’t worry, I’m not going to sell you a copy (although you can go and get one from Amazon here if you like, a snip at £23.64.  How did they calculate that pricing point, I wonder?).

I have contributed one whole chapter (out of 26 – let’s not get too carried away with ourselves). My chapter is Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders, and the book is called “Business Analysis & Leadership”.  It’s published by Kogan Page, who are proper publishers, and it’s a proper book, with pages and a cover and everything.

So, now I’m a Published Writer.  Not quite an Author, I think – maybe that’s next.

Funny how who you are changes over the years.  The way you see yourself – what I call your Identity – is very much an organic thing.  I reckon your Identity influences your behaviour very powerfully.  “I’m an expert”, “I’m a Dad”, “I’m a failure”, “I’m a leader”:  all of these Identities lead to behaviour.

When I’m coaching people it sometimes helps to get them to rethink their Identity. Sometimes it’s become out of date, or simply inaccurate.  “I’m new around here” is one I often hear used by people who have been doing a job for months or even years.  As the Identity evolves, so does the range of the person, and their potential becomes unlocked.

Looking back at how mine has evolved, (funny how these milestones cause you to reflect on life), I see that it’s happened in a variety of ways:

  • Me, aged 12. chorister at Westminster Abbey. I started there at the age of 8.

    Me, aged 12. chorister at Westminster Abbey. I started there at the age of 8.

    Personal choice.  I decided, at the ripe old age of 20, that I no longer wanted to wear the “musician” Identity my parents had encouraged me to wear since the age of 5, and walked away from University with a degree in Music and joined a Brewery as a Graduate Trainee.  First job:  warehouse supervisor.

       New Identity = Fast Track Corporate Guy

  • Encouragement from others.  When I was 16 I was asked by the Director of Music at school to conduct a small choral ensemble for a private concert to be given for charity, attended by its Patron, Her Majesty the Queen Mother.  I had never conducted anything in my life.  In at the deep end, and lived to tell the tale.

      New Identity = Conductor.

  • Irresistible outside forces.  When I was 35 I was made redundant from my cushy role in Marketing at the Brewery.  Thrown on the scrap heap in a less than dignified manner.  I had two young children, and a big mortgage.  I hit an all-time low, which lasted 2 weeks.

       New Identity = Failure.

  • Coaching.  When 6 months of self unemployment later I joined a small training company as a Marketing Manager I was given coaching support from various directions which helped me to transition to a Training Consultant role, and at last to find a job I both loved and was good at.

      New Identity = Principal Consultant.

  • Opportunity.  When the kids left home there was finally the opportunity to take more financial risk, and at last to go self employed.

      New Identity = Entrepreneur, Business Developer,  Blogger, and now Writer!

I’ve got a few more that I’m working on:  they include Improviser, Organist Reborn, Novelist, Fly Fisherman.

How about you?  What is the Identity you carry tattooed on the inside of your skull?  Is it due for a refresh?  Are you waiting for events to come along?  Or could you create the opportunity for something new?  If so, as ever, the perennial question from me:


We’ll finish this week’s rant with a piece of music of complete relevance to today’s title.  Can you guess what it is?  Enjoy.

PS Just noticed this:  take a look at George Harrison’s left hand.  It looks as if he has grown a 6th finger!  Or perhaps he had one anyway and I am the first to notice it.  Is that why he’s so good at the guitar?

PPS The book is a damned good read, and this is speaking as someone who is not a Business Analyst.  I’ve learnt loads from my fellow contributors, all of whom have done BA in the real world for years.


If you think the book might be of interest to anyone you know, please share this article with them.  I have nothing to gain from extra sales of the book except more profile, which being the show off I am I value very highly!  The share buttons are at the bottom of the article.