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Is that the Arc de Triomphe?

By June 27, 2023December 15th, 2023No Comments

I made it. Just.

Is that the Arc de Triomphe?

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On Saturday, the Tour de France begins. I watch as much of this extraordinary race as I can – it’s my happy space in July – although I have no idea why I find it so compelling. Skinny men with huge thighs cycling for three, four, or five hours a day? It should be the very opposite of compelling.

The new Netflix documentary on the Tour is brilliant, and watching it made me realize how much like the race doing a book launch can be.

A huge amount of deeply unglamorous preparation in the months beforehand. Cyclists riding up and down big mountains in miserable winter weather. Michael trying to write the best book I’ve ever written, and despairing about the inadequate 7th draft …

The race itself, an intense three weeks of racing, sprinting, climbing up enormous mountains, having crashes, falling into ravines, carrying on through the pain, relying on the support team, getting up when you’re bone-tired and carrying on.

Michael and team … well, it’s exactly the same, just for three months and with a little less lycra. Emotionally, the whole thing is like this + this + this. And then, finally, hopefully, something like this.

Finish line. Pah!

Here’s what’s exciting in this very moment. That today has arrived. That tonight we’ll be having a book launch party. And that tomorrow, we continue on our goal to improve 10 million working relationships.

It turns out today is a huge milestone, and wonderful success, and not the finish line at all, but just the start of something fantastic.

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.