Professional Leadership

Compassionate Accountability

Author : Nate Regier PhD

Published: 2023

How can we use emotions 🖤 as a source of renewable energy for ourselves and others? How can we funnel compassion and accountability to enhance connection and impact? Dr Nate Regier’s latest book “Compassionate Accountability leads the way in bridging the gap between compassion and accountability. Building cultures of compassionate accountability results in mindsets and ways of leading that improve outcomes and craft thriving workplaces, excellent boards and enable product and happy spaces. Brilliantly Dr Nate tells us how, why and when we can create these spaces. Skilfully he bridges the gap between theory and practice. The templates in the book are practical, simple and fantastic.

The Psychological Safety Playbook

Author : Karolin Helbig & Minetter Norman

Published: 2023

Ready to foster psychological safety?   The Psychological Safety Playbook contains twenty five actionable  ideas to enable teams and individuals to feel safe, supported and heard.  The resources will guide teams to perform to the highest levels.

Learn how to communicate courageously, master the art of learning, manage your reactions, embrace risk and failure.    Leaders are guided to deliberately build inclusive cultures where diverse ideas and talents can flourish.   Designing inclusive rituals makes checking for psychological safety more accessible.  Appreciation is highlighted as a crucial habit, as is respect for all voices and the importance of upgrading meetings to ensure all voices are heard. 

The illustrations are helpful and wonderful aides.   What is particularly useful is that all the plays and moves are self contained.  This guide will help support leaders and teams to thrive as they make the world of work a better place. 

The Psychological Safety Playbook can be found on Amazon.

The 6 Types of Working Genius

Author : Patrick Lencioni

Published: 2022

The 6 Types of  Working Genius by Patrick Lencioni, best selling author of the five dysfunctions of a team. 

This organizational health approach offers a better way to understand your gifts, frustrations and team. Understanding the 6 types of genius transforms the way people  and teams see themselves, their roles .  The impact is experienced immediately.   Definitely a game changer, living in your genius releases super powers!

The 10 minute assessment at cements the applicability of the working genius approach.  

The 6 Types of  Working Genius can be found on Amazon.


Author: L. C. Fowler 

Published: 2022

Real Christian Living Requires the Grit, Courage & Confidence of a Navy SEAL in Training 

L. C. Fowler Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL (BUD/S) Class 89

“Begin believing like the champion you were created to be. Never give up on your dreams”

Larry’s book struck me because of its Christian leaning, and I know it will bless many lives and equip many leaders. No words seem necessary when people look at you with tears in their eyes.  If you’re hurting, it’s unlikely you’re the only one. So do what you can to help bear another’s burden. My goal is for my sorrow to propel me to love and serve others. My faith is bigger than my fear.  Believing this requires real trust.  Sometimes the worst roads lead to the most beautiful places. It’s a choice. Perhaps the toughest choice a person can imagine.

“If you’re walking through loneliness, anxiety, addiction, loss of a job, anger, lust, greed, suicidal thoughts, a broken relationship, or broken promises—this book is for you. Life’s a mess—a beautiful, strange, wonderful mess. As messy as life gets, know that you are wired to thrive through temporary failure—the kind that breeds a lifetime of unfathomable success—transforming you into a warrior”.

This is a book that will remain in my collection.   L.C Fowler shares practical tips which are accessible and will make a difference if implemented.   These include the following:

  1. Find a community of people who bring out the best in you
  2. Build relationships with them. Raise the communal bar. 
  3. Keep wise people around you who have similar goals. Iron sharpens iron.
  4. Have an “I can do anything” attitude. And believe it.
  5. Yesterday is already gone, and tomorrow is never guaranteed; so live bravely in the moment of today
  6. Hard times reveal our true ambitions, but above all else, our depth of character. How we respond and who we respond to is everything.
  7. Wisdom, skill, fortitude, work ethic . . . all of these things are built grain by grain.
  8. As you grow, be prepared to be alone without being lonely. Be comfortable going against the grain.
  9. Find the best in others. Be a thoughtful listener, and give every person dignity and respect in every interaction.
  10. Acknowledge the bigger plan that you can’t see.
  11. People who have suffered naturally expose a maturity that cannot be taught. Such maturity enables boundless compassion for others suffering similarly
  12. Don’t forget to celebrate with others

Dare to Be Courageous 

  1. The best predictor of success is grit. How you choose to respond to life’s trials—your uncommon moments—is everything. 
  2. Never underestimate the power of a single voice to change the world.
  3. Your past is important, but not nearly as important as today and tomorrow. 
  4. Your faith will be sharpened amidst trials, suffering and hardship; and your purpose will become unmistakable.
  5. Repurpose weaknesses into strengths. When fear threatens to overwhelm you, suck it up and dive in. 
  6. Be the first to volunteer. And don’t just meet your fears head on; thrive even in the midst of them
  7. A person’s character is shaped during life’s most turbulent storms.
  8. Treat every day like the gift it is, and make the most of your time by investing in others.
  9. Spend time with good friends who lift your spirits and make you laugh

“Though a mighty army surrounds me, My heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident.” —Psalm 27:3 (NLT)

From Conflict to Courage

Author: Marlene Chism

Published: 2022

Unresolved conflict is workplace kryptonite. 

“From Conflict to Courage” has helped me to develop the mindset and skills to defuse disagreements, overcome division, and turn conflict into an opportunity for growth.  Brave and courageous conversations require radical listening.     Marlene’s masterpiece encourages leaders to think like a consultant, to see themselves as investigative reporters who find the key that unlock the mystery.  To do so calls for responsibility, ownership and leadership clarity. 

Real skill building takes silliness, practice and courage.  Real skills development comes from real-life practices which improves relationships, increases trust levels and enriches the quality of conversations with teammates. 

Leaders unintentionally mismanage conflict when they fall into patterns “the Three As: ” aggression, avoidance, and appeasing. “These coping mechanisms are ways human beings avoid the emotions that come with conflict, but in the end it’s all avoidance

Fearlessly dealing with conflict head-on by expanding your conflict capacity  is a combination of three elements. The foundation is the Inner Game–the leader’s self-awareness, values, discernment, and emotional integrity. The Outer Game is the skills, tools, and communication techniques built on that foundation. Finally, there’s Culture–the visible and invisible structures that can encourage or discourage conflict.

There are exercises, examples, and expert guidance on developing all three elements.  The practices and reflections offer techniques to increase leadership clarity, identify obstacles, and reduce resistance. 

As a leader, I have been better supported in developing powerful skills for dealing with high-conflict people and for initiating, engaging in, and staying with difficult conversations.  I see conflict as a teacher, courageously face it, and I am continually working on transforming myself so that I continually  get the resolution I am seeking and being better able to support other leaders as they think through their options, examine their choices and  change their minds if need be.

A massive tip – instead of talking about what you don’t want, switch to what you want.   The courage of willingness – the fulcrum point of change is where you become willing to move the needle.  A must read for leaders,  I simply love this book!

Tell me the truth about love

Tell Me The Truth About Love

Author: Susanna Arse

Published : 2022

Tell me the truth about love offers a rich feast.  

13 tales from the Therapist Couch. 

Susanna Abse, has been a psychoanalytic psychotherapist for over 30 years. She is also a superb story teller. She served as Chair of The British Psychoanalytic Council from 2018 t0 2021.

 She reminds us of quotes from Sigmund Freud “We are never so defenceless as when we love” and John Bowlby “we do as we have been done by”.  What I love most is the practicality such a letting go of one set of truths and becoming open to a more shared understanding of each other.  Talking about fragile bonds, Susanna indicates what when it comes to love, we armour ourselves against fragility, because we are afraid.  Susanna masterfully uncovers the pain and hopes of relationships. 

“To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter.  To become present, means accepting the risk of absence (Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Manon Ballerina.  The reality is that in some unhealthy relationships the couple can never quite let each other go.  Sometimes there is an understanding that an affair is a symptom of other problems.  When couples lower their expectations of each other, there is less disappointment and more capacity to enjoy and appreciate what they have. 

Susanna concludes, “The more distressed the couple, the less the pandemic seems to come into the sessions. The inner world of feelings makes such a racket that the clamour and noise of the outside world hardly makes a sound”.

This tapestry of wisdom Is a must-read that contains plenty of nuggets about love. 

Balancing Act: Teach, Coach, Mentor , Inspire

Balancing Act: Teach, Coach Mentor and Inspire 

Author: Dr Andrew Temte CFA

Published: 2021

“Balance is a journey, not a destination.  Influence is key to success and influence is an essential leadership quality.  Influencers are critical thinkers, effective communicators, steady under pressure, empathetic and collaborative – all behavioural skills – understanding how to influence and lead.   Opportunities align to authenticity.  Opportunity comes to those who are continuously learning, moving forward and applying their talents in a constructive fashion. We can’t effectively sympathise and work with others until we gain that deep understanding – literacy an acumen”.

Balancing Act is truly a delight.  It subtly combines thought leadership concepts with purpose-driven leadership and how fulfilment can be experienced by intentionally focusing on what matters.  The commitment and combination to teach, coach, mentor and inspire is a wonderful contribution that can achieve balance in our personal and professional life. 

Andrew successfully pinpoints how leaders can facilitate a culture of trust while realizing the benefits of diverse organisations and mining the diversity of people. We pick up tips about how to faster a culture that encourages people to bring their whole self to work.  

Embarking on a continuous improvement journey can result in more balanced individuals, teams and organisations. 

I particularly liked Andrew’s invitation to ‘keep the light shining for all the world to see’.    The light in our eyes shows motivation and ability to learn and grow. Organisations that offer support, nurture and balance in their environment retain their people. 

Another useful strategy to bring our whole self to what we do is to be guided by words we live by. Andrew has six words he uses as a guide to his interactions and approaches the challenge.  Andrew turns these words into action to move forward.   For example being calm can be helped by being a knowledge seeker.  The unknown becomes less scary.   You can gain confidence over time as no matter how thorny the problem a solution can be found.   The whole self superpower is predicated on the fact that words are just words unless they’re also accompanied by deeds.  

On diversity Andrew  writes “When teams are more diverse, they are much better equipped to spot opportunities and potential problems that fall into others blind spots.    Hire team members from different backgrounds with different perspectives.  The hardest thing is to let their lights shine and reach consensus to move forward with agility and purpose”.

Trust within a team and between colleagues is built over time.  Balancing Act spotlights the importance of organizational health and organizational trust.   Health organisations perform better than their peers and exhibit higher levels of employee engagement and retention. Trust is a central component of any effective organizational health model. With the right accountability, communication  and process flow frameworks in place, trust should be the baseline assumption.  Clearly defined responsibility matrices (BACI) are also an essential ingredient in building organizational trust. 

Atlas Of The Heart

Author: Brene Brown

Published: 2021

“To be human is to know sadness.  Owning our sadness is courageous and a necessary step in finding our way back to ourselves and each other.”

Brene Brown, Atlas of the Heart

Brene Brown maps out meaningful connection, necessary skills  and advocates for the language of human experience.  Her offering takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human and maps out an actionable framework.   We can build connection as we  share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another. 

Vulnerability is not weakness; its our greatest measure of courage”.

Atlas of the Heart has useful pointers for leaders

“Leaders don’t have all the answers, but ask important questions.”.   Giving and getting feedback can be uncomfortable and difficult experiences.   However there is no courage without vulnerability “Courage requires the willingness to lean into uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure”.  If  we can’t  lean into these, we can’t lead. 

“It’s brave to invite new information to the table, to sit with it and hear it out”.

And yet, we need hope

“Hope is a function of struggle – we develop hope not during the easy or comfortable times, but through adversity and discomfort”. 

Particularly comforting is Brene Brown’s take on compassion.  We build our understanding of emotion and experiences.  We share in the suffering of the other.    Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others.  “Compassion is fuelled by understanding that we’re all made of strength and struggle.  Compassion is “a practice based in the beauty and pain of shared humanity”.

And on belonging?

“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who YOU are”

Make It, Don’t Fake It Real Leadership for Real Business Success By Sabrina Horn

Make It, Don’t Fake It

Author: Sabrina Horn

Published: 2021

Sabrina’s book is a delight to read.  It starts from the very early days as a founder and touches step by step on practical steps to achieve success.  This includes consciousness of the values, focus on what works, consciousness of what is not quite hitting the mark, recognising relationship dynamics and dealing with loneliness.   I found it fascinating to see how I can use complaints to enhance my business and to use feedback as a stepping block towards greatness.   A really handy guide, I recommend it.    

Revisiting the values statement and using them as a focus

“Teamwork – We pledge to be supportive, accountable, share responsibilities, believe in

ourselves, work together as a family and in teams to support our clients.

Education – We strive to be the best at our jobs by continuously learning new skills, growing in

our strategic expertise and proficiency, well-roundedness, and mastery of our job responsibilities.

Accountability – We promise to our clients and to each other to be trustworthy, reliable,

productive, dependable, follow-through, and to produce high-quality, error-free work.

Motivation – We are always resourceful, never cookie-cutter. We have a can-do, energetic

attitude, go the extra mile, and are always proactive in the work we do for our clients.

Humor – We work hard and play hard, and our glass is always half full. We find opportunities to

laugh and always find a way to make things work.

Integrity – Integrity is a combination of humility, honesty, ethics, morals, accuracy, and

precision. We take pride in our work, and give it and everything we say and do, our honest and

best attention. We admit mistakes, and uphold the company’s values and standards.”

Embrace the Silence

Up to this point, we have treated loneliness as an enemy. If loneliness is a kind of silence,

understand that silence can foster insight and provide clarity. Embrace the silence, don’t turn

away from it. Distinguish between loneliness and solitude. Make it a priority to carve out time for silence:  

Complaints Are Gifts

Objections, negative responses, complaints—all of these are gifts. They need to be unwrapped.