Posts Tagged 'teamwork'

Keys to Corporate Success

2009 pics book 008

Comedy magician and Minnesota Author Autographs books in St Paul’s Red Balloon Bookstore

Working as an author with Capstone Press taught me a lot about what is right in business and the corporate setting. My awesome editor Aaron made me look great. As did the photo artist and graphic designers.

There is a real top notch team at Capstone Press! They all strove for excellence and in the end, the four hard cover books, really look great.

I had the opportunity to observe their process from start to finish and was amazed at their efficiency and skill. Teamwork like this is an example of excellence to all businesses.

I observed several keys to corporate success.

The first Key is:  Clear communication.  The editor and I had many helpful discussions that made my writing go easier as it was clear what they were hoping for in a finished product.  This made everything smooth all work out for the good in the end.  They work with hundreds of authors and were very patient and kind to me. This encouraged my creative output.

Around 55 tricks were selected from the ones I developed for the books. Each one had to be written in a clear and readable style. Inventing some tricks was fun. Others were adaptations of old tricks doen with new props or storyline. Writing out the method for the magic tricks can be a challenge; we plotted out the photos and made sure it would be understandable so the readers could actually make the tricks work on their own.  Aaron, the Editor simply encouraged me to do my best. Thanks to him, I came out looking great.  I also saw clear communication between the departments and this kept the project moving along at a brisk pace. Communication should be clear and concise so no one’s time is wasted. Aaron was a gem. His kind suggestions and clear guidelines made the text and flow of each book come out in a superior way.

Each person that was involved in my books were also working on various stages of several other books at the same time and they went from one project to the next with excitement for their work and with cool confidence. Clear communication was a major key to this team’s success. They knew how to do their job and they did it well, and worked well with each other. This brings us to key #2.

Key #2 – Hire people who are experts and let them be free.  At Capstone press I saw extremely creative people working with excellence and style. The results of their work was artistic, and in many cases very stunning. I paged through many of their other books and the body of work was absolutely excellent.

The photo artist who took the pictures for the book was equally skilled and had a keen eye for the composition of the photos. She set me at ease and it was a relaxing and fun photo shoot. Setting the subject at ease goes a long way to the overall quality at the end of it all. There were hundreds of photos taken in one day and you can see in the books the playful way it all came together to teach the subject in a fun and clear way.

The key is to hire experts and let them do their thing… excellence will result.  A great team needs one more thing in their people. This characteristic is: to be just plain nice people.

Key #3 The key is to simply be kind and nice. This is simple yet can be difficult. These seem like obvious skills that we learn in kindergarten and from our parents, but without these attributes no business will last long. To keep a positive working environment is vital. If there is bickering or put downs in the office, creative people shut down and the negative effects can come across to the clients or customers.  A positive attitude and cheerful disposition can be cultivated in ourselves and spread to others. These are valuable traits that bring joy to the days work and contribute greatly to success.

Key #4  Set reasonable goals and achieve them.  This team knew what they were capable of and they set goals that were challenging yet, doable. They worked out the approximate time needed to achieve each goal.  In my case, there were four deadlines one for each book.  The deadlines were tight but within reason. When I got approval in each magic trick I would go forward and write the final draft.  Of course there were many changes and adaptations and it was fun to see the books evolve throughout the creative process.


These books are found across America and around the World. This is the original set I wrote a few years back.. I now have ten total titles with this wonderful publisher.  The first set sold over 100,000 copies making.


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