Friday 18 November 2011

An Author by Any Other Name is Half as Sweet

Last week, I attended a 'Change Management Roundtable' session hosted by the Strategic Leadership Forum. It was the first industry function I had been to since starting to write. The registration form had asked for my title; for the first time in my career, I didn't have one.  I thought about using my old title, but that didn't seem right. I thought about leaving it blank but that also didn't seem right. I settled on 'Author' because 'Author-to-be,' although accurate, really didn't seem right.

I received my ID tag on arrival, which included my name and title. My initial feeling was embarrassment. I felt naked among a crowd of clothed business people. I hadn't earned this title and already I was displaying it on my chest for the world to see. Things got worse. The administrator asked for my card so it could be entered into a draw.  I knew that someone might ask me for my card so I was confident in saying, "I don't have a card at this time." She kindly offered to make one for me. Then I thought, what happens if I win the draw and they broadcast that Phil Buckley, Author should come up and collect his prize? I felt naked again and hoped I didn't win. 

As the evening wore on, I felt more comfortable with my newly adopted title. I also felt clothed again, which was a relief. I met an interesting man who showed a real interest in my book. He said he looked forward to reading it. I also had a great conversation with a woman who was encouraging about my journey. There are many amazing people in the world to cheer you on. Sometimes they are people you have just met.

Looking back at the experience I am reminded of a great quote about confidence by Adlai Stevenson:  “It is hard to lead a cavalry charge if you think you look funny on a horse.” So, here I am, Phil Buckley, Author, typing away with purpose and conviction. My name tag is in front of me on my desk, just in case I forget who I am.



  1. Titles are so subjective and tend to create images that are not always justified. Tis always better to be who you are. And behave with the confidence you have have developed over the years of experience of doing,

  2. If you can walk you can dance. If you can talk you can sing. Zimbabwe proverb

    Phil, it was great to meet you. I admire your courage and candor ... seems to me a fantastic place to start to lead your own personal change and to set an example for your topic.

    Bravo. Gail

  3. Raj and Gail,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Raj, this is so true. Contribution and value come from within, regardless of the title you hold.

    Gail, It was great meeting you, as well. I have found that I do a better job helping people make changes when remembering I am human, too.

    Thanks again,

  4. I know exactly how this feels, being "naked" at the moment myself:)
    BUT you ARE an author! you don't need a final book print to prove it my friend:)