One of the great learnings of my life is this: If you want to make a new contribution, you’ve got to
make a whole new preparation. Though every significant writing project I’ve ever undertaken has
reinforced this principle, it is so easy to forget. I began working on this book five years ago thinking I
could draw on my lifetime of study, teaching and consulting in the field of leadership and “whip it
out” in a matter of a few months. After more than a year of teaching the material and writing, my team
and I finished an initial rough draft—thrilled we had finally arrived. It was at that moment we
experienced what hikers often discover when climbing mountains: We hadn’t reached the summit at
all, only the top of the first rise. From this new vantage point of sweat-earned insights we could see
things we had never seen before—ones only made visible at the top of that hill. So we set our sights
on the “real” mountain and began the new climb.


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