Thursday, January 15, 2015

Straight from the Mouth of Productivity Guru Harris Kern

Harris Kern is one of the world’s leading organization mentors and personal mentors He is a frequent speaker at business, leadership and management conferences. His passion is to help people excel in their professional and personal life by helping them develop their self-discipline skills to combat the top issues: severe procrastination, poor time management, ineffective goal management, lack of focus, no sense of urgency and unmotivated. He also helps individuals improve their EQ skills (communication, relationship management, inter-personal, etc.) and leadership skills. He pioneered the Discipline Mentoring Program and Professional/Personal Growth Program (P²GP). Mr. Kern is also the author of over 40 books, some of the titles include:
·       DISCIPLINE: Six Steps to Unleashing Your Hidden Potential
·       DISCIPLINE: Training the Mind to Manage Your Life
·       DISCIPLINE: Mentoring Children For Success
·       DISCIPLINE: Take Control of Your Life
·       Going From Undisciplined to Self-Mastery: Five Simple Steps to Get You There

Mr. Kern is recognized as the foremost authority on providing practical guidance for solving management issues and challenges. He has devoted over 30 years helping professionals build competitive organizations. His client list reads like a who’s who of American and International Business. His client list includes Standard and Poor’s, GE, The Weather Channel, NEWS Corporation, Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminal (HACTL), among hundreds of other Fortune500 and Global 2000 companies.

Mr. Kern is the founder and driving force behind the Enterprise Computing Institute and the best-selling series of Information Technology (IT) books published by Prentice Hall. As founder of the Enterprise Computing Institute, he has brought together the industry's leading minds to publish "how-to" textbooks on the critical issues the IT industry faces. The series includes titles such as:

·       IT Services,
·       CIO Wisdom, CIO Wisdom II
·       Managing IT as an Investment, among others.

Mr. Kern’s goal is to arm individuals and organizations with the tools to empower them to become more productive and successful.

Listen to a radio interview with Harris Kern on Conversations Live.

Check out his latest book, Going From Undisciplined to Self-Mastery: Five Simple Steps to Get You There, on Amazon.


Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I started writing IT books with Prentice Hall/Pearson in the nineties. Writing books has always been a passion of mine. I ended up with my own imprint with Prentice Hall titled 'Harris Kern's Enterprise Computing Institute'. We published over 20 books with this imprint. It did wonders for my resume and my career in IT. Then I branched out to writing books on self-discipline because I saw people wasting too much time all over the world especially when corporations and pressures with home life dictate for people to do more with less resources. I wanted to help as many as possible.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

I actually hate the process of writing a book; it's grueling and demanding. It's very boring - you read the same sections/book dozens of times. The perks are second-to-none especially when you're associated with the largest publishing company in the world: Pearson. It's instant notoriety and accelerates career growth. Not to mention having an incredible resume/bio.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I went the traditional route with Prentice Hall/Pearson at first and eventually established my own imprint with them. It was hell dealing with such a large and bureaucratic company. It's very painful. The entire process from start to finish is agonizing, however when you see your new book for the first time it's an awesome feeling that sucks you in and then you're addicted to writing more.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

It's hard on the family because typically writing a book is a side hobby - except for a few big-named authors - although I've written over 40 - it's very time consuming and takes away from quality family time. However, my family is very supportive and are very proud of my accomplishments.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I was never late to work. When the phone rang - if it was business or immediate family member I answered it. My solution: I cut my sleep down to 4 hours a night so I can write when everyone else was sleeping by choice. I've been sleeping on 4 hours of sleep for the past 3 decades in order to produce more. I believe in living life to the fullest.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

The book was published without a TOC - it totally dropped off during the copy-editing process and nobody picked up on it until after it went into print.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

That I left behind more than just pictures when I die I will have left behind a legacy for my family and too me living life is about many accomplishments and leaving behind a legacy for your loved ones.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Although I hate the writing/publishing process - I wouldn't have it any other way - seeing your brand new baby come out for the first time is an awesome feeling - although short-lived - can't wait to write the next book. Really weird - For over 20 years I've been saying no more books and I just keep on's that SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT OVER AND OVER AGAIN is a feeling like no other!

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