I was thrilled to announce the publication of my book Sweet Stakeholder Love when the paperback first came out.
It was a huge milestone for me, and it was important to pay tribute to the wonderful souls who helped bring my literary baby to life: my beta-readers, Craig Thomson, David Abbott and Darren Brackwell, and the blessed angels in my fabulous publishing team, Karen “Elohor” Morton, Tanja “Alafia” Prokop and Graciela Aničić.
I also felt grateful to the many readers and patrons who support my work in various ways.
I send them all boundless voodoo love 💚.
Getting to this milestone was a process of pleasure and pain for me.
The pleasure was the bliss of feeling my creative juices flowing, with a sparkle as bright as the beautiful Mediterranean sun. When you’re in flow like this, totally immersed “in the zone”, it feels like your spirit is brimming full of rapture, as it glides effortlessly in a rhapsody of all that is good in life. It’s a feeling so blissful, so beyond words and, to borrow a phrase from Charles Handy, quite like a Turkish bath for the soul.
Yet the pain was there too. The kind of “sweet pain” mountain climbers feel in their aching muscles as they progress upwards, ever closer to the magnificent view awaiting them at the mountaintop. The kind of sweet pain whose rhythm keeps you going because you know you must bear it to attain your destiny. Just as the metal bears the blows of the blacksmith’s hammer to become a valuable tool. Just as the land bears the dark night to see the glory of the next sunrise. Just as the tree bears the loss of its leaves to survive the cycle and thrive in the coming seasons.
The tree, the land, the metal and my soul all share the primal knowledge that it’s the pain that leads to the pleasure. In the same way that suffering often leads to growth.
So, in truth, Sweet Stakeholder Love was a growth experience for me. I greatly enjoyed writing the book and hope readers will enjoy reading it just as much.But why a book on stakeholders and why should you care?
Because our relationships with stakeholders or colleagues at work have a tremendous impact on our workplace success and fulfilment; and affect our overall well-being – since we spend so much of our lifetimes at work. And everybody has issues with stakeholders. Even almighty CEOs who seem all-powerful and supremely in control.
Perhaps the only exception is the mad scientist locked away in his laboratory, working in isolation on experiments to discover the next breakthrough in time travel or how to tame the sun and the moon.
If you work entirely in isolation, or you work solely with chatbots, artificial intelligence, algorithms and such, then you probably don’t need this book. But if you work with “humans”, then you’ll certainly gain some powerful insights and shrewd tactics for dealing with your colleagues and stakeholders at work.
As a reviewer on Goodreads put it, “Sweet Stakeholder Love is a great book… If you work in any organisation and have to deal with people, this is worth a read for sure.”
If you’re thinking to yourself, “OK, but what’s special about this book? There’re many other books on stakeholder management out there…”, then perhaps I should clarify that, yes, there are many other books on stakeholder management, but there are none that show you how to imbibe voodoo love to your stakeholder relationships to become savvier and more successful at your job and in your career.
And you won’t even need voodoo spells to win your stakeholders’ love.
In many ways, winning over stakeholders at work is a bit like winning over or seducing a love interest; but it’s a seduction without flowers, chocolates or love songs. So we should do the same things with stakeholders as we’d do with a love interest: primarily, focus on feeling their groove, and put our best side forward or show our best self, the one that stakeholders will want to love.
It’s the same alchemy of human-to-human dynamics at the heart of all successful, productive and nourishing relationships, which are always filled with sweetness. And it’s what we all do – knowingly or unknowingly – when we sell our best selves to love interests, who buy into the potential sweetness we convey and end up as our spouses and lovers.
Every single one of us knows this, somewhere deep inside of us. It’s an innate nugget of wisdom we’re blessed with.
You can see the effects of this alchemy in your own sentiments towards colleagues and stakeholders who “show you some love” at work.
When your approach to seducing or winning over your stakeholders is based on your wisdom as such (rather than flowers or chocolates), your words, actions and choices will propagate stakeholder love, to the benefit of your work success, your personal brand and your career growth.
Life is created in each moment. When we interact with colleagues and stakeholders at work, we’re creating moments that will become memories, memories that will form a big part of the story of our lifetime. It’s good for our work life if those moments are productive, and it’s even better for our spirit if the memories are pleasant ones, and better still if they’re memories of sweet stakeholder love.