Edinburgh School Guide Interview

Nikki Miller: School Guide

Clifton Hall School Headmaster Rod Grant has had his first book published on Amazon, both in kindle and paperback formats. Entitled ‘Success Decoded’, it is a self-help guide to future fulfilment. The book was based on Rod’s experience in schools over the past 30 years and work that he has done in the commercial environment.

It was originally conceived as a book for his senior school students who face a modern world that can, at times, be daunting. With encouragement from family and friends, the book is now available for sale. Its content is aimed primarily at teenage children and young adults and gives them advice on which characteristics are most required in order to find future fulfilment.

On hearing of its publication, I interviewed Rod to find out more:

NM: Congratulations, first, on having your book published. How does it feel?

RG: Well, actually, I feel really exposed. I suppose I’m likely to be judged critically on the content and that can be quite uncomfortable as you can never really know how people are going to react. On the other hand, it is incredibly exciting.

NM: What’s the book about?

RG: Well, it’s a really short book for a reason. I wanted it to be quite succinct and quite clear about the messages I wanted to get across. Basically, it deals with our fears and worries and our natural discomfort when being placed outside our comfort zone. It gives practical advice in what I hope is a very conversational, non-academic way – it is an attempt to help youngsters (primarily) to see a way through what is the very difficult process of growing up and finding themselves in an adult world.

NM: Is your target audience youngsters?

RG: I believe so – I wanted to provide something for my own students. I think our young are so used to being told what to do in quite authoritative ways and I wanted to try to produce something that was non-threatening and that might give them an opportunity to think.

NM: When on earth did you find the time to write a book?

RG: Well, as a Head who discusses constantly the need to be creative and have a work ethic, it seemed only reasonable that I model that behaviour myself.

NM: What has been the response of your pupils?

RG: Well, it’s very early days but I think they are quite pleased that I have done it. Of course, they will be the harshest critics but I look forward to their feedback!

NM: So are you being lined up for a TED talk?

RG: Ha-ha, that would be nice. No, I’m not in that league although give me a platform and I’ll talk about education all day long!

Buy the book on Amazon.