Lessons from a whale and a book cover

A few weeks ago my partner’s sailboat hit a whale.

He and Zé, the other sailor on board, were on the return leg of a sailing regatta from Horta/Azores to Sables d’Olonne/France, going 19 knts in the early evening, and suddenly, they heard a HUGE bang and felt an impact.

They were 150 nautical miles from shore, it was getting dark, and water started pouring into the bow of the boat.

And this is when things got hard.

The first pump to remove the water suddenly stopped working. Once they got the second pump going, the motor, used to run the pump, stopped working.

Water was up to their knees, batteries covered with water and they started to prepare the boat to abandon it.

We were finally (!) reunited in London about a week after the ordeal (I happened to be there for meetings), and got to talk about everything.

He said that when things get really hard like that, it’s then that you find a part of you that you don’t see very often.

Resilience is all in the mindset.

You need to remember that things can always get worse, and things can always get better.

And at the end of the day, it’s up to us to choose the outcome.

The two of them made it to shore on the boat.

This is the power of a positive mindset and believing in our ability to overcome adversity.

Although this particular story isn’t in my book Return on Humanity: Leadership lessons from all corners of the world, it would fit perfectly.

And to that point, I would love to ask for your help with the book cover design.

We are now choosing the cover of the book, and your input would mean the world to me.

This has been an incredible process with the involvement of various people along the way.

But now I would love your thoughts and comments.

We sent these around recently on social media, and the conclusions are:

Version 3: is the strongest. The idea is unique, something we can own, it’s a simple design, and clearly articulates the idea of the book. It’s also a clear business book, which I think is a positive.
Version 1: Aesthetically beautiful. Has nice stand out, and simple design. Only, it doesn’t include the strong idea of ROI/H and may look too much like a text book. Also not sure what the venn diagram means.
Version 2: This is a huge favourite for its stopping power and impact. The concerns are that it’s hard to read the subtitle/my name, looks like a pro democratic book or something anthropological. Perhaps too far away from being a business book and may not reach our target

Therefore, knowing that we are going with number 3, it would be so helpful to know from all of you what you would change or like to see differently in the third option.

Should we have stronger stand-out colours (although the beige is elegant is it too safe?) and should the hand-writing be stronger and more powerful/human – more like brush strokes? Do you have any other suggestions on how to move it on?

I would love to hear your thoughts!

Here is a blurb to remind you of what to expect in the pages:

The bottom line is no longer a number.

Business can be a force for good, although many companies aren’t built to make it that right now. Becoming a more competitive business that is also better for the world is simpler than you might think. It’s already happening across the globe.

Drawing on stories from fields as diverse as human rights in Syria, the UK prison system, Brazilian psychiatric care, architecture and business, Return on Humanity provides inspiring learnings and practical strategies that prove a more human approach to leadership and business will give us all a better future.

Philippa White is a global thought leader, social innovator and the Founder and CEO of UK-based company TIE. For over 20 years she has been dedicated to unlocking the potential of corporate leaders and their companies by igniting the power of a people-first approach to business.

Thank you so much in advance for your help.

It’s time. Let’s do things differently! 💥 🌱✨



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