I’ve talked about The 7 Non-Negotiables of Winning: Tying Soft Traits in general terms over the past few weeks, but I haven’t really gotten down into the nitty-gritty details of it.
Is It Finished?
I’ve been a part of this book’s development for more than eight months before its release on July 29, 2013, so I’ve seen just about everything that went into it, as well as what got taken out and all the other changes (big and small) that occurred on its way to publication.
To me, it will always be a work in progress. I used to mock legendary filmmaker George Lucas for not being able to stop tinkering with his amazing Star Wars films years after the fact because of supposed flaws he saw in them. But now I sort of understand where he was coming from.
There are very few jobs that can be declared definitively finished and perfect. Everything could be improved in some way. But the important thing is to not live in the past, but simply learn what we need to from what we’ve done in the past and take it with us into future projects.
The Story of Fishbowl
My point in saying all this is that The 7 Non-Negotiables of Winning is the story of a bunch of imperfect people doing their best to beat overwhelming odds. It tells how:
- Fishbowl’s original employees believed in their company enough to never give up on it, but help it rise to its current stature.
- Fishbowl’s leaders offered to give up their personal savings and take other extraordinary measures to save the company in its most desperate financial hour.
- Fishbowl employees upped their game and scored record sales months when the company needed them the most.
- Fishbowl employees and leaders took the lead and kept the company going strong while CEO David K. Williams spent months away from the office caring for his dying son.
- Fishbowl bucks traditional business models by offering employee ownership.
More Than an Autobiography
The 7 Non-Negotiables of Winning is more than Williams’ autobiography. A lot of people at Fishbowl put their ideas into this book and helped it become what it is. I’m sure it’s the case with many books that a number of people had a hand in them, more than just the author who is credited on the cover.
I have read this book seven times in its numerous incarnations. I (and several other people) have picked away at it time and time again, trying to smooth away its every flaw so that what remains can be enjoyed free of error and inconsistency.
I hope that we succeeded. Just as I hope that Fishbowl continues to be successful and help businesses with their inventory management. By opening himself up to criticism by showcasing his most painful experiences, Williams (and, by extension, Fishbowl) has shown incredible courage.
By getting all of this out there for the public to see, we show that we are ready to move on and embrace new challenges. When you replace fear with faith, the future looks much brighter.