Thoughts on Life & Leadership

A Junto Strategy Project

The Wrong Lessons

Recently I had an interaction with an author of a book from one of the courses I was taking for my doctorate at Pepperdine. While reading the book, I ran across a couple of typos that made it difficult to understand what the author was trying to communicate. I don’t usually say anything when I come across typos when it’s a missed period or misspelled word, but in this case the typos actually made the content difficult to understand or comprehend. Given the impact, I thought I’d try to let the author know so that he could take the appropriate action as I didn’t have any direct contact information with the publisher.

Here is my email from the form I had to fill out on his website. (You’ll notice I tried to use a bit of light-hearted approach, kind of poking fun at myself, knowing that writing a book is a labor of love and perhaps a different approach would have worked better. That is my mistake in this interaction and I’m happy and willing to own it.):

[Author],
I got your book “[Book Title]” as part of a consultancy course I’m taking for my doctorate and am really enjoying the book. I’m not sure who to send this to (this is the writing geek in me coming out), but I noticed a couple text errors on the bottom of page XX and the bottom half of page YY.
Pg XX – “The longer you take to establish relationships and ain conceptual…”  – I think it probably should read “The longer you take to establish relationships and gain conceptual…” Pg YY – “Would you agree that they’re our external best practices…” – I think this one is probably “Would you agree that there are external best practices…”
Thanks again for the words of wisdom.
All my best, Lyall

Here is his response, and yes, this is the entire email; no reference to my name nor a signature or “regards” at the end:

“Typos are the responsibility of the publisher. Just ignore them. Enjoy the book, and never concern yourself with typos in your career or life!”

My first response was…well never mind what my first response was. Let’s just say it was a good thing I didn’t write it down.

As I stepped back from the email, I started to have some serious epiphany magic start going on, and I knew I had to capture the wrong lessons that I learned from this “guru’s” response and (what I would argue was) highly ill-timed advice. So my next several blog posts will talk about those wrong lessons and some important takeaways I relearned as a result of this interaction with this consulting guru.

Here’s a little lesson preview:

  • Typos Matter & The Difference of One Degree
  • Advice: Easy to Give, Hard to Live By
  • Responsibility or Pass the Buck
  • Feedback is a Gift
  • How to Make a Small Problem Get Bigger
  • Leaders Versus Consultants

One comment on “The Wrong Lessons

  1. Cheryl Lyon
    July 30, 2013

    Lookin’ for ward to you’re insites. (You are a gifted & insightful writer/thinker.)

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This entry was posted on July 30, 2013 by in Wrong Lessons and tagged , , , , , , .

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