I am so grateful to be able to put my thoughts on paper, and to share my experiences and ideas with others who are interested in the subjects that I am deeply passionate about. I believe so much in the potential of people and our ability to shape our own futures, and this has certainly never been more evident than when I wrote this book. I have met many creative, eclectic, interesting, artistic, and powerful people over the years, each of them giving me a unique perspective on work and life. I believe that things happen for a reason, that there is a lesson in everything (whether we like it or not), and that people come into our lives for a purpose. For those who have given me so much time, insight, pushback, feedback, and support, I want to thank you.
First, I must thank my clients and partners who wanted to upend the status quo and create a better future. These include Jim Daly and Rosemarie Lanard for being culture change visionaries and creating the Instigators with Influence (I2) initiative. Without their vision and leadership we wouldn’t have been able to pilot many of the ideas found in this book. And, of course, thank you to the entire I2 team—Mary Beth Burnett, Madlyn Del Monte, Mark Fischer, Felix Herrera, Tina Morris, Jeff Previdi, Kristen Rasche, Stephen Ricciardi, Dmitri Sedov, Art Simonson, and Shellie Stoddard—for being brave, creative, and provocative at every step—I found your independent thinking and unconventional approaches to middle-out change truly inspiring.
Next, I want to thank my family, friends, and colleagues who gave me countless hours of their time to shape my ideas and light my fire: to start, Chetan Chandavarkar, my outstanding first employee and friend, who created the foundation of futurethink and to whom I owe so much; to Michael Gill, for telling me to “just say it and quit playing at the edges” and to “just write the damn book”; to Joan Carey and Stuart Thompson of McGraw-Hill, who gave their time and support to shape my ideas for new training experiences and “killer” exercises; to Glenn Carter, who enabled me to speak to the right people who could add credibility to the book. I must also thank my husband, Brian, who read edit after edit of each chapter, and provided his experience and perspective to ensure I was covering all the angles possible; and I want to thank my amazing friends, Mindy Walker and Patty Nusser, who gave me their humor and support throughout the entire process.
Of course, my writers, Alexis Bohan and Stephanie Land, are also high on the list to thank. I appreciate their creative thinking, even under enormous time pressure. Alexis gathered countless amounts of information and helped shape the story from the very start; Stephanie is a true godsend, for making sense of my ramblings and giving me food for thought at every turn. I am forever grateful to her for rolling up her sleeves and being such a tremendous support. And to Jennifer Wang, for her ability to pull together strategic concepts in a flash, continually focus on the big picture, and always, always having a positive attitude. I am grateful for her patience and incredible hard work.
And finally, I would like to thank my publishers, Erika Heilman and Jill Friedlander. We realized in this process that we took a chance on each other, believing in the same dream—by killing what wasn’t working in the industries we operate in, we could make our work and lives even better. At every turn, they were beyond supportive, full of inspiring ideas, and open to change. I feel so lucky to have found you both and to be part of what I know will be the early stages of your tremendous, well-earned success.
To the future!