“All I can do is be me, whoever that is”, said Bob Dylan, a famous American singer and songwriter. This quote could have very well been the inspiration behind “Start With Who”, a recently launched book on leadership development and coaching written by Marcus Marsden.
The author is also the Managing Partner of The Coach Partnership (TCP), a Singapore-based company that offers ground-breaking work in professional and personal development.
In an interview we did with Marsden, he discusses more details about “Start With Who” and the process on how his second book came about.
- This is your second book in 3 years? You mentioned that both books are different, yet similar. What are the differences and similarities?
It’s the 2nd book in 5 years.
The similarities are that both books challenge conventional wisdom. Fit to Lead stresses the important role of the physical body in leadership, rather than just the brain and the heart. Start with Who stresses the primary importance of ‘Who’ rather than ‘Why’ or ‘What’. Both are rooted in the importance of taking personal responsibility for your life, if you want to be productive and purposeful.
- How long did you take to write this second book? Was it easier than the first to write?
The second book took 6 months. It was a little easier because I had prior experience and I was writing solo this time. It was more fun to write the first with Sari though!
- You talk about building blocks and building foundations in character and values, before people are able to attain their highest potential. I understand that you are a transformational coach. Could you elaborate on how you have built your own personal building blocks, that led to you being an author? Is bring an author a natural progression of being a coach?
I don’t think it is a natural progression but as a coach I get to meet so many fascinating people, that it became an obvious route for me. I think people prefer to write while others, like my business partner prefer to talk … and that’s why she has a podcast: Tini Talks. I think it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever have my own podcast.
I have always built my foundation from being honest and responsible about my current results. That’s the essence of Start with Who – it requires you to give up your justifications and excuses about your current situation.
- If you had to describe the book in 3 words, what would they be? And why?
Take personal responsibility.
It all stems from this stance. You may or may not like your current results, but if you are willing to own that you are creating them, then you can also change them.
Similarly if you are willing to take responsibility for the stories and meanings you are assigning to situations, events and the people around you, then you can create new, more productive versions – IF you are willing to give up being right, which is one of the most addictive habits known to humankind.
- Are we going to see a book 3? Like a trilogy? And what would the possible title be?
I do have an idea for a third book already … and while it would be rooted in personal development and leadership/coaching, it would have a very different feel. It would also heavily feature giraffes.
- You have opted to donate the proceeds for the hardback version of your book to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation. Why giraffes? How do they contribute to the building blocks of yourself?
Giraffes are my favourite animal. Our apartment is full of them! Soft toys, pictures and ornaments. I think they are fascinating creatures, that are sadly under threat of extinction. My wife has been known to mention a certain resemblance between me and a giraffe, so I also feel a certain kindred spirit.
- Any other comments you would like to add.
I just sincerely hope that the book supports people to create the life they want.
As a coach and trainer for the past 20+ years, it has been a privilege to play a small role in supporting so many people to transform their lives. This book is a distillation of much of the work that TWP and TCP have offered to organisations and individuals for the past 25 years. I hope people enjoy it and use it.
Marcus Marsden’s work is established by more than 30 years of business and management experience, developed in senior management roles in companies in Europe and Asia. A graduate of Oxford University, Marsden began his career in Marketing before specializing in the field of personal and professional development, particularly experiential leadership. He lives in Singapore with his wife Sari, who co-authored the first book, Fit To Lead.
“Start With Who” is a great read for individuals who aim to achieve their personal or professional goals and transforming their capacity to produce results. If you are a professional looking to improve your career, an individual who wants to unlock your hidden potential, or even a parent who wants to learn how to coach your children on becoming more productive and responsible while having a positive attitude in life, then you need to grab a copy of “Start With Who”, now available in bookstores and online at www.thecoachpartnership.com/shop, and on Amazon.