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Why I wrote a book in 2021

Old book with magic

How the pandemic motivated me to grow

My father passed away in January of 2020, less than two months before the first COVID-19 lockdown.

Like many others that year, I spent most of my time simply coping. Watching the world unravel from the shelter of my own home, I felt like an animal who had retreated into a cave for safety after losing a battle, licking her wounds while she waited for her body to heal.

When 2021 began, I finally felt ready to leave my cave. I had read Option B by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant during my quest to understand my grief. Their words inspired me to do better than just emerge. Instead, I wanted to be like the rare breed of survivors Sheryl and Adam had identified who were able to find post-traumatic growth.

2021 New Year’s Day Facebook Post - Anh Dao Pham
2021 New Year’s Day Facebook Post – Anh Dao Pham

I set three goals for myself in 2021. First, to become a certified yoga instructor. Why? Because the vessel that houses our soul is precious. We only get one for this lifetime and I wanted to take better care of mine.

Second, for the first time in my life, I decided to advocate for myself by pushing for greater responsibilities at work. Why? Because I no longer wanted fear of failure to rob me from an opportunity to generate more impact through my job. I wanted to give myself the chance to achieve highly aggressive goals; I wanted to make the most of the primary activity that consumed most of my waking hours.

Finally, I decided to pursue my lifelong dream to write a book. Why? Because I wanted to become something more than myself.

I wanted to create something that could reach beyond the people I touched on a daily basis, that could permeate the boundaries of my social network and surpass the limits of my mortality.

A book. A hardcover book, covered in dust on the shelves of a home or library with my name on the spine. One that my children could read to learn from me when my mind was long gone.

A book to house my personal stories. One that people could read anywhere at any time. One that could communicate my thoughts to someone I might never have met, and infuse my mind with theirs in some small way that would make them better.

A book that could leave a legacy.

Announcing my book: Glue

GLUE by Anh Dao Pham - Book Cover
Glue: How Project Leaders Create Cohesive, Engaged, High-Performing Teams

On this first day of 2022, I am proud to share my dream has come true.

My book Glue: How Project Leaders Create Cohesive, Engaged, High-Performing teams will be published by G&D media on March 8, 2022. And (shameless plug) it is available for pre-order now on Amazon.

Glue is devoted to the craft of leading projects. It is my career of twenty-some years, packaged in a little over two-hundred pages. Each chapter contains the best wisdom I’ve gleaned from motivating the people I work with on a daily basis to achieve common goals. It outlines steps you can take to immerse yourself into a project. It shows you how to integrate yourself into a team in a way that builds cohesion and drives the best performance.

Glue features a cast of characters from my work-life and my home-life. It interweaves lessons from parenting, personal projects and experiences, and relates them to my philosophies on work. It also cites dozens of books I’ve read to help me deal with both personal and work struggles, and fuses the thoughts I’ve learned from their authors with my thinking.

In the end, each page of this book captures a piece of me. It captures my ability to draw meaning at work by being the glue– not only by delivering on objectives, but also by building genuine connections with the people I work with. It captures my passion for creating work-families and work-communities that elevate and support one another.

My hope for 2022 and beyond

My hope is that Glue inspires readers like you to strive higher and achieve more in your day-to-day work.

I hope it helps you successfully deliver on any personal or professional project you undertake, so that you can feel the deep sense of pride that comes with achieving your pursuits.

I hope that it will be a flint that ignites people to bring their whole selves to work, to create work-families and communities like those I’ve cultivated and loved.

When you read Glue, I hope it builds you up and emboldens you in some way. I hope it sits on your shelf and gets dusty for years to come, reminding you of a lesson that I shared.

Ultimately, I hope that Glue leaves a tiny imprint of me on your work and your life. In doing so, I hope it allows me to cheat mortality just a little bit, by ensuring that at least part of me will live well beyond 2022.

Inspirational Quote of the Day

“I now know that it is possible to experience post-traumatic growth. In the wake of the most crushing blows, people can find greater strength and deeper meaning.”

— Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant, Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

1 thought on “Why I wrote a book in 2021”

  1. Pingback: 4 Meaningful Ways Leaders Can Support Grieving Coworkers

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