No— I promise this isn’t a blog about Hindu religious leaders. It’s about self-leadership. Let me explain.
Sometime back I read the book “Become a Recognized Authority in Your Field in 60 Days or Less!” by Richard Bly. The book is as you will see from the cover is sort of a plain wrapper, and it doesn’t draw any attention to itself. When I was in the bookstore I nearly passed it by because it was so vanilla.
Even so, because the idea was such a good one, I decided to pick it up. So I stood there in the aisle of the neighborhood Barnes & Noble and decided to give it a quick once over. I was surprised.
About an hour later I came out of the fog and realized that I had read an unusually important professional book– one that has continued to direct part of my career all these years sense. Not that it’s the only book… but it has been an important book that I’ve come back to again and again. So wanted to share it with you.
The Author: Robert Bly
Bly is a non-assuming type of guy as he is spent most of his career writing technical books for direct marketing. Perhaps that is why the title was so descriptive and not dynamic. Even so, Bly is a professional writer and consultant with 30 years of experience that is made him a self-made millionaire. He is written some 80 books in his career most of which were on technical writing and marketing. Here he turns his attention to the idea of career and especially how to make one’s niche in a given field. He is certainly done this and speaks from experience. In fact, his personal newsletter, The Direct Response Letter, has over 60,000 subscribers. But this post is not really about his work as a copywriter. It is about his tremendous insight into advancing one’s professional career.
Thumbnail Sketch of the Book
The book is basically about how to quickly ramp up your impact on a certain field or profession. To some degree every person who is serious about what they do would like to make a greater impact than they currently are. Bly understands this and gives a type of strategy to help a person go from invisible to impactful.
Because this movement from obscurity to visibility a journey toward “Guruship.” A guru is of course understood in some cultures especially Indian culture as a go to leader, an authority, and an undeniable presence who speaks with grativas. It’s someone people seek out—because they know this person has the answer or is the answer to the problem.
He contends that each field is governed or at least influenced by Guru Elites. Under this layer of field heavyweights are the mini-gurus. For a person whose voice and face are in obscurity they must, he says, develop a Guru Attitude and a Guru Plan.
A Guru Attitude is about becoming no-nonsense and serious about moving away from being a bottom feeder and plankton in a sea of big fish. Person who doesn’t make this decision is going nowhere. It will just be the same view from the rear of the line that they’ve always had.
A Guru Plan is a personal strategy that looks different in each field but that essentially involves taking a multifaceted approach to develop high visibility and a certain niche area in which one wants to succeed. It may involve performance at work, formal or informal writing, greater devotion to social media streams, visibility on digital media, or producing other types of content and building certain types of relationships. So both productivity and networking and strategic tool development is what he has in mind.
Of course a person cannot become a recognized authority in their field and only 60 days but that isn’t really the point. He simply saying that one can do this more quickly than we think and that we can motivate ourselves to get the ball rolling if we do something rather than nothing.
Step Negative Inertia and Drive Positive Momentum. Stop Negative Inertia in your life and career—including that crazy mindset of yours that’s keeping you down—and Drive Positive Momentum that will push you across the goal line for the score. This means getting a new attitude. It means making today the day you started caring again. And with a decision to devote intensive effort over a brief amount of time, you can stop the dive bombing death spiral you’ve felt dragging you into the vortex of oblivion. So look up and “believe again.”
Look for Part 2 of this series coming soon.