Common Sense is my fifth and final book released in 2016

I’m sure you wonder why the author of gay fiction suddenly releases a management handbook? Trust me, there is some logic to it, and I hope you’ll allow me to explain. See, I wasn’t always the author of such darlings as The Jonathan Trilogy or The Opera House. Instead, for more than twenty-five years, I was crisscrossing the world as a learning and development executive in the manufacturing and IT industry. It wasn’t until three months before the birth of my son, when I left the position as VP of channel development at an Internet start-up that I seriously began writing, knowing that I’d never land another gig in such a short time. My husband and I switched places and I stayed home for the first six months of our son’s life, enabling me not only to publish the first two books I’d written, but also start out on the third: Family Ties, Jonathan’s Hope and The Opera House. The rest is history, albeit recent history.

The new cover for Common Sense. Isn’t it great?

Before that, I had written two books. My first one was a book about e-learning and how to create courses where people actually learn something, and that book came out in 2000, followed by a second edition shortly after. It was a huge success here in Sweden and was even used for university courses, as there simply was nothing else out there. Quite frankly there still isn’t. In 2003 I began writing a book about my experiences from my time as learning and development exec. I’ve always found that in management, there are a few things that are “more” important than others: communication skills, change management and understanding of how people “learn”, function, tick. Unfortunately, we still value subject matter expertise higher than management skills, thus promoting the best engineer to lead the engineering team, the best finance person to be manager etc. Sadly, being a great engineer doesn’t “automatically” make you a great leader or manager.

I also think that to a degree, management is a question of talent, but there are a lot of skills that can be taught and learned. And just as I’ve been teaching thousands of people to be better teachers of their subject matter expertise in companies and organization all over the world in a unique three day seminar, I also believe that we can teach managers the skill set they need to be successful as managers, not just as subject matter experts.

In my case, life got in the way and I ended up working all over the world from 2004-2010, whizzing around the planet from meeting to meeting, and there simply was no time to finish the book. Once I was laid off in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, I finished Common Sense in a matter of weeks, and it was published in October of that year by a Swedish publisher of management literature. It was a big success, and sold a couple thousand copies within a year, which is pretty good given that it was the first English title in an otherwise Swedish environment. In 2013 I got my rights back, as the publisher was sold to Sweden’s largest publishing house in non-fiction. We couldn’t agree on terms and so I sat there, with a book that I felt deserved a second chance, but not just in Scandinavia, but world-wide. Call me vain…

Way back, in 2010, we did this big release tour with the publisher. Here at a cinema somewhere in Sweden. on the screen, the original cover from the first edition.

Meanwhile, my focus was elsewhere, on fiction. I already had three titles out and wanted to see if I could focus and “just” be a writer of gay fiction. Well, I can, but I can’t make a living off of my writing, just as most authors these days can’t. We either have day jobs, have a Maecenas or make a pact with the devil. I chose a middle path, and I’ve always been working with my consulting firm on the side, providing train-the trainer training to companies and management seminars. Ahead of next year I decided to develop a brand new training course focused on the content of the book, a one day seminar (feel free to ping me if that would be of interest to you). And together with my publisher, we updated the content of Common Sense, I added a chapter on talent management, a task increasingly landing on managers’ desks around the world. The entire book was re-edited and proofed, the illustrations were updated for a more modern look and feel and the entire book was typeset anew. It really looks sleek and beautiful now. I’m very proud of it.

Did I mention that Common Sense is also available worldwide? So please, have a look at the new edition of Common Sense – in Business & Life, because just as the title suggests, there is a lot of wisdom and knowledge that is applicable not only in your day job but in your personal relationships as well, be it with your partner or children. The new edition is published by Beaten Track Publishing, my great publisher from the U.K., and is available not only directly from them, but from Amazon, iBooks and other fine online retailers around the world.

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Thank you for attention. Have a wonderful day.

Hans

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