Books | Essays | Stories

Writer Bio

I always wrote …

We all start writing, stories, poems, essays begin in school days but as time moves on, writing soon becomes a problem or a passion.

I kind of liked it.

Early jobs required some form of writing to get the job done and I did a pretty good job of it.

One day in Prince Albert, I was in a typical  “coffee row” situation with a lineman, a shoemaker and some other b.s. artist.  I was complaining that whenever, in this town, a goal was scored, the local newspaper had lots of ink.  However when someone had an art opening, a concert or some other artistic event, there was a noticeable ink shortage.

The challenge was dropped … well big mouth, why don’t you go over there and tell them you want to write for the paper?  Challenge accepted, I walked across the street, met the editor and began writing a weekly column that lasted three years.

Freelancing became a passion and for many years I wrote modest little pieces for magazines, newspapers and CBC. 

In the mid nineties my day job shifted and I wondered if I should move from freelance writing about the outside world to a more substantive writing about my own work, which I was crazy about.  I ended up writing three small books for my employer, the federal government.

  • Tools for Leadership and Learning
  • Storytelling in the Workplace
  • Facile … the art of facilitation

They were all very popular and in some demand but they have been out of print for some time.

I wrote a piece about public service after the 911 disaster for MacLean’s Magazine and the positive response led me to write a book on my own.  It was addressed to young public servants.  I focused on the importance of building a great public service as a cornerstone of democracy.  Bureaucratically Incorrect … letters to a young publicservant became a Canadian best seller and stupidly, I have yet to do a new edition.

In 2015, I wrote Handcrafted Leadership … the art and craft of building engagedworkplaces and communities as a way to try and capture the philosophy and practicality of my ideas around practice based leadership and effective tools for engagement.

These days I have resisted the social media writing of tweets and blogs and tend to still write the more long form essays (Hacking Bureaucracy) and storytelling pieces (Grace Notes) and the joy of songwriting.

I just write because it helps me cut down on the talking …

Other Writings by Bob that may interest you: