Unexpected Lessons in International Cooperation

I wrote a chapter in a book that features the work of 18 authors, 16 in Australia and New Zealand, one in the US and me, the lone Canadian. It was released the day before writing this blog.

The launch has been astonishing. I awoke this morning to this note from one of the co-editors in Australia:

We listed the book in two fairly obscure, low-competition Amazon categories hoping to get a #1 in one of the subcategories of the subcategories of business books. There may be more that we’re not aware of, but in the last 36 hours the book has hit these milestones: 

#11 All Kindle (Australia)
#1 in Business (Australia)
#1 Management & Leadership (Australia)
#1 Business Systems & Planning (Australia, USA, Canada)
#1 Business Decision Making (Australia)
#1 Business Decision Making & Problem Solving (Australia)
#1 in Business Life (Australia)
#1 in Management (Australia)
#1 in Leadership (Australia)
#1 in Systems & Planning (Canada)
#1 in Business Systems & Planning (Canada)
#14 in Business Systems & Planning (USA, Books)
#3 in Business Decision Making (USA)

…and my personal favourite,
#47 in Entscheidungsfindung & Problemlösung (englischsprachig) (Germany)

It’s a great example of “multi-year overnight success,” likely for each of the authors involved.

Here’s what I’m noticing so far from my small part of this story. It has relevance well beyond Amazon algorithms:

  • Almost four years ago, I clicked on a link in a LinkedIn conversation, ordered a book, scheduled a coffee date, ended up enrolling in a multi-year business growth program and flying to Melbourne. It seemed both ridiculous and just right.
  • Three years later, an Australian colleague from that program invited me to submit a chapter to a collection he was co-editing because he knew I did strategy work and trusted it was strong enough to be included.
  • The deadline was tight, but because I was in the midst of writing another book, I had material at the ready.
  • Nothing else was required of me for months, but I knew other capable people were working diligently to make something great happen.
  • When the book was ready, someone on the editorial team sent me a very detailed package telling me exactly what to do leading up to launch day. It was all new to me, but he explained the expectations clearly in multiple formats and bite-sized chunks.
  • I followed his instructions. To the letter. Sometimes it’s good not to know any better.
  • He made it clear what the goal was: to have 18 Amazon bestselling authors by the end of launch week. Honestly, I’d never thought of that. He cast a vision for me of something that was inspiring, useful to me and possible with the help of this fine crew.
  • They went first and I watched. Melbourne is currently 15 hours ahead of where I live. By the time I went to sleep the night before the launch, they’d already started doing what I needed to do in the morning.
  • They nailed it. And I knew it.
  • Their success fuelled my confidence.
  • Their success fuelled my success. We reached bestseller status in Canada and the US, not just in Australia.
  • Then the opposite became true too — my momentum fuelled theirs, and the flywheel was spinning.
  • And now I find myself thinking of so many ways I could leverage this momentum, return the favour and spread the learnings — none of which had crossed my mind until very recently.


Where might you need to take a risk?
Show up?
Do the work?
Be ready even when the opportunity hasn’t presented itself yet?
Break down a complex task into manageable steps?
Cast a vision that strikes a chord?
Rely heavily on others’ expertise?
Go first?
Set an inspiring example?
Amplify others’ work?

It’s Thanksgiving weekend where I live, and I am truly thankful, for them and you.

3 Replies to “Unexpected Lessons in International Cooperation”

  1. Rebecca – Thank you.

    I love this post for its encouragement . To dare, to take a risk, to step forward even if one feels not ready. How a flywheel is set in motion.

    Congratulations on your globe-spanning accomplishment — wonderful. I am amplifying your courage and learning here…. We all can learn from your story – it can start with a click for example. Wow.

    (Interestingly I am connected as the lone Canadian in a meditation group based in Melbourne. )

    Thanks for your thoughtful words and inspiration weekly. Appreciated in the world out here. 🙂

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