LEADERSHIP AND MORE
[ "You don't need a title to be a leader - and having a title doesn't make you one." ]
THE BOOKSHELF REVIEW
By Anthony T. Eaton |
THE MOUSE WHO ATE THE MOON
Review by Anthony T. Eaton | APRIL 2017
Have you ever wondered what happens to the moon during an eclipse? This hungry little mouse knows. Experience a total lunar eclipse through
the eyes and imagination of an 8-year-old.
AE: You wrote your book in 2015, how was it initially received?
ERC: My papa was really proud of me. So was my mom. They were the first people to ever see it. My best friend Cameron was the first person to see it that was not in my family. She really liked the story.
AE: You recently did a book signing where you sold out of all your English copies. Were you surprised by that?
ERC: Yes. I was really surprised. I did not know that many people were coming.
AE: I was surprised to see that The Mouse Who Ate The Moon is also available in Portuguese, what made you choose that
over other languages?
ERC: Well my papa only speaks Portuguese to me and I have Portuguese relatives so that’s why my papa wanted to do it.
AE: Is the book available in other countries? How has it been received?
ERC: The book is available in other countries. A few copies have been sold in Canada, Portugal, and England.
AE: In the book, you don’t name the mouse, but did the mouse have a name when you were writing the story, or now?
ERC: I never really thought about giving the mouse a name. A couple days ago a little boy asked me that and I said he could pick the name. But I think a good name would be Cheesy.
AE: How involved were you with picking an illustrator and the final illustrations?
ERC: My papa chose the illustrator. She also drew my face for the Team Elise shirt for the last two years. I saw the illustrations and I approved them.
AE: What do you hope people take away from reading your book?
ERC: I want people to learn about the phases of the moon and the science behind it.
AE: What do your siblings think about your book?
ERC: They love it!
AE: What do your friends and classmates think of you being a published author?
ERC: They are amazed.
AE: Do you have advice for other young people who might want to write a book?
ERC: Let their creativity flow and write with their heart.
AE: Do you have plans for more books?
ERC: Yes! 3 books are ready to be edited and then published.
AE: What do you like to read and do you have a favorite author?
ERC: My favorite authors are J.K. Rowling (I have read all 8 Harry Potter books) and Rick Riordan (I am on the House of Hades book).
AE: Besides being a pioneer as a young author, you are also a pioneer in that at age 6 you were the youngest person to be enrolled in a trial for a bionic pancreas being that you have T1D, also known as Type 1 Diabetes. What kind of effect has that had on you personally?
ERC: It was awesome. I made new friends and I got to eat so many sweets to try to bust the bionic pancreas (Oreos, cookies, s’mores, etc.).
AE: In the last nine years you have had over 1,500 people walking for Team Elise raising money for T1D in Dallas, Toronto, Lisbon, Maputo, Little Rock and Abu Dhabi! You and your team have also raised over 100K for JDRF. How does it make you feel to know you are having such a positive effect in increasing awareness and making a difference?
ERC: I feel happy that I’m making a difference and I hope that they find a cure to type 1 diabetes.
AE: What do you want people to know about T1D and those that have it?
ERC: That we’re not different and we’re as awesome as everyone else.
AE: You are a remarkable young person and have already made a bigger impact than some adults. Do you have any goals for the next few years?
ERC: Help find a cure for type 1 diabetes, learn how to cook and publish lots of books. Elise, I thank you for doing this interview, I hope you write more books and no matter what you do I am sure you will be successful.
ERC: You’re welcome.
The Mouse Who Ate The Moon is available in paperback and for Kindle on Amazon.
TYPE 1 DIABETES (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a person's pancreas stops producing insulin - a hormone essential to the ability to get energy from food. It strikes both children and adults suddenly and changes life as they know it forever. T1D causes lifelong dependence on injected or pumped insulin and carries the constant threat of complications. T1D cannot be prevented and there is no cure. If you would like to become a Team Elise sponsor, go to the Sponsors page to view the sponsorship packages available and email email@example.com for more information. Read more about Elise and her team at http://www.teamelise.com/
THE JOB INNER-VIEW | By Scott Engler
Review by Anthony T. Eaton | SEPTEMBER 2016
The vast majority of folks approach job interviews with emotions ranging from mere nervousness to fear and dread. The anxiety most job candidates feel as they anticipate an interview is natural because there is so much at stake. In The Job Inner-View author, Scott Engler provides information that is commonsensical but not commonly found, engagingly presented and easily absorbed as well as the practical ideas you can use to put that information to work
I recently had the opportunity to talk to Scott about his first book The JobInner-View and a little about his most recent book Job Seeker of The 21st Century, what inspired him to write them and the lessons he has learned.
AE: Tell me about your first book and why you wrote it.
SE: The first book was The Job Inner-View and I wrote it because when I started Grad school in 2008 I could not find a full-time job in my industry. More than that I could not find a job while in school to supplement my income and I went through a long process of frustrations where I could not understand why I could not find a job.
I was into this rude awakening when I was looking for books on how things had changed for job searching. I realized I was not alone and during that time I learned a lot of creative and effective strategies. I wanted to share my success with others. There were not any other books on contemporary job searching strategies.
AE: How was the first book received?
SE: People were excited while I was writing it but it was not the same when it went on sale. I found that the people interested were in managerial and academia. It wasn’t as well received as I wanted but that is why I wanted to adapt what I had learnedinto my future applications.
AE: Tell me more about that experience.
SE: I found with my first publication that people do not want to read books on job search strategies. Most people want those strategies, but I had to be honest that although people want something it does not mean they want it in a certain package.
AE: In the book you make the analogy that looking for work is similar to dating another person how did that come to you?
SE: My background is as a therapist and at the time I was dating and began to see parallels in the way dating had evolved with the use of dating sites with the job search and the use of applicant tracking systems. I also found when I used analogies with people about it they laughed and it lightened things up. It was able to make a lighter subject of something that can be very heavy.
AE: How did you go from being a therapist to being a writer about job searching?
SE: It is different but yet the same, what I do now as a coach, writer, and speaker is very similar to having the same outcome with people so they can reach their highest potential. I want to have the same outcomes, now it is just more focused on a particular area as opposed to what my clients came to me for. I switched over because I was having such a hard time finding work in my field, it is the most over populated field along with lawyers. I found that I was having to take my own advice as I was searching for a position and there was not a lot of optimism with people who had worked 20 plus years in the industry of counseling.
AE: The Job Inner-View is geared towards the job seeker but there is a lot of great information for those who hire as well don’t you think?
SE: Definitely yes, I find that people who see both sides of it have a much clearer picture and thus come up with better solutions to the problems presented. That is why I shared with the job seeker what the employers go through and their need to leverage technology. Miles Jennings and J.T. O’Donnell both provided that technical reference.
AE: How did your new book come about?
SE: I had been putting together interviews on my website from successful job seekers, looking for commonality and posting to provide inspiration. I had the idea based on those interviews. I found they were not only a quick read but had the ability to help people with their job search.
AE: How is it different from the first book?
SE: I see it more of a handbook or training resource. The university addition is a compilation of successful job seekers from the last one to three years who have found the job they wanted after graduating. I highlighted these stories from university students and was also able to get the collaboration from some experts such as Dick Bolles the author of What Color is Your Parachute? And others. I wanted to combine the human experience and the expert experience into one.
AE: What is your goal for this book?
SE: My goal is to have this book in as many universities around the nation to help them and have money from the sales of books go back into the recruiting departments and job services. My own experience when going to school was that we really did not have the kind of support we needed. I would like to see some high quality support for these kids whose families are spending large amounts of money to fulfill what they want to do.
AE: What lessons did you learn frompublishingyour first book that you are applying now as you prepare to publish your third one?
SE: Actually while it was nice to self-publish my first book myself, it would be nice to find a publisher that could do the distribution and I am looking into that now.
AE: Scott shared the following about his latest book in his own words.
Success through Stories
I created “Job Seeker of The 21st Century” primarily as a result of my observations over the last several years following the publishing my first book “The Job Inner-View.” I was observing and experiencing that although many people were desperately wanting help in their job search and looking for career advice, a great majority of these same people highly resisted reading a book on job search strategies.
This realization became more valid to me as I reached out to other authors of job search books - venting my frustrations and concerns, to which they adamantly agreed with me. I finally had to be honest with myself - I had also felt the same type of resistance about job search books as others were demonstrating. Even as an avid reader, I read job search books during my own book research (which felt like a necessary task as I was writing on the same subject) and the act of doing it was like pulling teeth each time - though most of the books were very helpful once I buckled down and actually read them.
Having this awareness, I began asking myself some new questions. “What WOULD be something myself and others might be more willing to read to help us in finding a job?” “What could be a tool or resource that would actually be appealing enough for me to take the time to look at without all the resistance?”
Shortly after asking myself these questions, I thought about various case studies of successful job seekers I had interviewed during the course of writing my first book. I recalled how taking five to fifteen minutes and reading their stories actually provided me with useful job search strategies and a sense of increased motivation in my own job search. Moreover, it was always comforting to know that these people had experienced the same types of feelings and frustration as I had, yet were able to overcome major challenges and be successful. “That's it!” I thought to myself in excitement. “Why not create a short booklet with JUST the stories? Now THAT would be interesting and a good read!”
I began asking other job seekers regarding their feelings on this concept for a book and was getting great feedback. I then took it one step further and reached out to interview some of the most influential people in the career development and recruiting industry. What formulated from this was a simple booklet or “handbook” containing both exclusive interviews with highly influential leaders in the world of recruiting and career development, along with the gathering of more case studies of successful job seekers.
“Job Seeker of the 21st Century: University Edition” came to fruition as I chose to focus specifically on one of the populations I am most supportive and passionate about – University students.
Ouryouth are the future and foundation for our society, and in my opinion - anyone taking an honest look at the dramatically increasing imbalance in the United States of tuition increase versus return of investment for graduates attending most four-year universities has reason to be VERY concerned.
On a personal level, it was during 2008-2012, while pursuing and graduating with a Master’s degree – that my career search pre and post- graduation presented some new challenges for me that myself and other classmates weren’t prepared for. During the time I spent attending graduate school full time and for several years post-graduation, finding any types of internships (unpaid),part-time jobs to earn supplemental income, or landing a paid position in my industry (which I had worked extremely hard to obtain my degree(s) in) proved to be exceptionally difficult on a level I had never experienced before. Giventhe large amount of my time and money I had invested in my higher education, this was an extremely frustrating and confusing period of time for me.
These frustrating experiences plus hearing similar stories of many others in my same position are what inspired me to write and publish “The Job Inner-View” in 2013, a book focused on personal, interpersonal, and professional experiences with contemporary job searching strategies to help those adapt to the current trends and changes in the process of job searching.
In regards to this publication, I wanted to focus on the small percentage of University graduates that actually landed their desired position and what they specifically did to achieve their goal.
My hope is that their stories of success coupled with insight and tips from some of the very best experts in the career and recruiting industry will provide readers with all the inspiration, tools, and strength to go out and follow their career dreams despite the reality of challenging circumstances present for us today.
"To Your Success!"
Owner and Head Coach at "B.Y.O.B." Coaching & Consulting
Speaker Highlight Reel: https://youtu.be/4tectoB_o8g
Publications: The Job Inner-View & Legends of the Recruiting and Career World
SHOW YOUR INK | By Todd Dewett
Reviewed by Anthony T. Eaton
Not long ago I stumbled upon Dr. Todd Dewitt and his book SHOW YOUR INK and was struck by his message. Through the power of story, Todd shows you how to begin improving yourself personally and professionally. SHOW YOUR INK contains twenty short stories and uses the power of those stories to grab you emotionally. Focusing on a different aspect of success in leadership and life these stories will make you think about the importance of authenticity, the need to use your mistakes, the vital role of feedback, why values matter, the key to personal change, and much more.
An easy read, SHOW YOUR INK will transform how you view your career and your life. Helping you become a better version of yourself, this book will show you that being more successful is not complex. The following is my interview with Todd about his great book, SHOW YOUR INK.
AE: SHOW YOUR INK is your third book, what are the first two about?
TD: The first was The Little Black Book of Leadership, a short and to the point introduction to the fundamentals of leadership and managing teams. It was written initially so that I could offer my graduate students an affordable book. As a professor, I was bothered by the sky-high prices of textbooks, so I wrote my own and ended up giving it away free to my students. They gave it to their bosses and friends, and the rest is history. The second book is a novelty token item, The Little Black Book of Leadership Ideas – a book of inspiring or funny quotes. I loved creating quotes as an exercise in learning to say something meaningful with only a few words. I’ve been creating them ever since, thus, a revised and expanded version will be forthcoming.
AE:Your latest book was published in October 2014, how has it done?
TD: SHOW YOUR INK has done well for a self-published book. Any self-published book that sells more than a few hundred is considered quite successful and this one has sold several thousand.
AE: What kind of feedback have you received from the book?
TD: The feedback has been strong. There are not many books in this space, if any at all, focused exclusively on stories. My platform of followers is modest in size but quite loyal. I’ve heard from people who have read it five times, many who have shared it with others, and more than a few who have thanked me for being so honest which has pushed them to be more self-reflective and honest as well.
AE: What made you decide to write the book?
TD: I was told by other professional speakers that you must protect your keynote material. Don’t share the stories in podcasts, or blogs, or books. Eventually, I decided they were wrong. Sharing more creates more interest and demand. It allows a great takeaway for those who have heard me speak and want to revisit the stories. It also pushes me to not rest on my laurels by forever offering the same speech.
AE: In your book you talk about how you stopped hiding your tattoos in professional contexts. How did that change your interactions with people?
TD: I have become progressively more honest and candid, while of course still being respectful when speaking to others about nearly any topic. My decision to not hide my ink combined with my growing credentials as a successful professional seemed to allow me increasing latitude to be honest in conversation. I beat around the bush less, I compliment more glowingly, etc. – in short, I’ve learned to censor less and be a bit more authentic.
AE: You are very candid in the book talking about your experiences, family, and feelings. Have you always been that way or is it something you have developed?
TD: I’ve always been an above average speaker. I had to develop the ability to be more open and expressive. When I was a senior in high school my father decided to end a dedicated career as an alcoholic. Part of his treatment and recovery pushed him to embrace his failure, learn from it, talk about it, even laugh about it when possible. That’s when I started embracing the same behavior, slowly but surely.
AE: Having lost both of my parents your stories about losing yours is familiar to me. How did the experiences change your view on life and death?
TD: Like nothing else, this specific loss makes you feel alone. Thankfully, if you choose to cling to positivity, soon it changes from despair to a clarity about the very short nature of life. That becomes freeing and motivating. Why censor or not take risks when out time here is so small?
AE: Will there be another book?
TD: There will be many more. The next, which just came out, is an edited volume from Oxford University Press called Creativity: A Reader for Writers. I wrote 3 of 33 chapters, each focusing on some aspect of creativity (my original love as a scholar). My next solo book will be out late 2016 or early 2017. It will be a lively book focused on great relationships – particularly adult marriages and partnerships. Another book of original stories is likely to follow.
AE: In the book you say “People are starved for real talk, uncensored dialogue, and real emotional engagement.” Do you think technology is hurting our ability to connect with each other in an authentic way?
TD: Great question. On average it hurts. It allows expeditious yet much less thoughtful communication to become the norm. Electronic communication is very efficient, but almost never as clear and useful as face-to-face communication. On the other hand, for a minority these tools (e.g., text, instant messaging) provide a needed medium. Just as some learners have been shown to learn better in online programs instead of traditional classrooms, so to are some communicators better aligned with electronic channels instead of traditional channels given their more introverted personalities. However, in general, we typically use our technology to inadvertently create more communication problems, not answers.
AE: When I read the story Using Your Mistakes: For the Love of Ham it made me think of similar things I have seen in a number of organizations where I have worked. How do leaders stay “connected” and not get into the bubble?
TD: No leader ever avoided the bubble completely. You can, however, ensure it’s impact is small by striving to be a colleague who wants to collaborate more than a boss who wants to dictate. Share decision making when it makes sense. Share praise widely. Strive to be open and authentic, a person not just a professional. These behaviors all build trust and make a leader approachable, limiting issues associated with the status bubble.
AE: Has State Farm called you for their discount? (You will have to read the book to understand the question!)
TD: No! Though I have made it my custom when telling that story to tell the audience that if they know anyone who works for State Farm at corporate to contact them! I’m hopeful I’ll be able to make good on that debt in the next few years.
The Art of the Journey is available at Xulon Press, Amazon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Todd Dewett is a globally recognized inspirational speaker focusing on leadership, teams, and success in life. He doesn’t just speak, he moves people to embrace behavioral change. At every event, people laugh, learn, and cry. Attendees leave excited about becoming a better version of themselves. For Todd, speaking is about changing lives.
His credentials, message, and Harley Davidson-inspired rock star style have made him one of the fastest growing speakers in the world. After beginning his career with Andersen Consulting and Ernst & Young, he earned a Ph.D. in Management from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
His hard work was awarded with several scholarly publications, a prestigious Post Doctoral Fellowship, teaching awards, and, finally, a tenure track appointment at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. Todd’s teaching at Wright State focused on leadership-related courses in Wright State’s nationally ranked MBA program. He also served as the assistant Dean for MBA and Executive Programs.
As an entrepreneur, Todd wears many hats: speaker, author, trainer, advisor, not to mention being the go-to leadership and career expert for millions of members through Lynda.com at LinkedIn. His library of work with Lynda.com has earned praise from professionals in over 160 countries. As a speaker, Todd possesses a rare combination of traits: world-class expertise, a rugged authentic style, and an ability to use words and humor in way that lights a fire inside every attendee.
His leadership and life insights have resulted in quotes in the New York Times, TIME, Forbes, BusinessWeek, US News & World Report, CNN, Chicago Tribune, and hundreds of additional outlets. His electric performance as a speaker has secured recent clients including Exxon Mobil, State Farm, JM Smucker, Ernst & Young, Medtronic, TGI Fridays, Standard Register, Cox Media, NCR, and scores of additional corporations, conferences, and nonprofits.
LEADERSHIP CONVERSATION | By Anthony T. Eaton
Reviewed by Joan Whitman Hoff, Ph.D.
Professor of Philosophy @ Lock Haven University (LHU)
Founding Director, LHU Ethics Center
Leadership Conversations, as suggested by the subtitle, is comprised of a series of interviews on the topic of effective leadership by Anthony T. Eaton. The series consists of ‘conversations’/interviews with men in various industries, each of whom has a diverse set of experiences and leadership roles.
The conversational nature of the books helps one to understand the importance of several things, first and foremost the fact that leaders arise in a variety of contexts and have diverse histories and philosophies on life, business, and leadership. Some key themes run through these conversations, and they are important to note from the start: the importance of a skill set, compassion, empathy, courage, advocacy, emotional intelligence, inspiration, service, relationships, listening to people, and the need to challenge oneself and learn continually.
The first conversation, with Michael Thomas Sunnarberg, author of 21 Steps to Better Relationships, highlights the importance of knowing oneself and paying attention to one’s intuitions. Sunnarberg stresses the importance of understanding the nature of ‘power’ and how it plays a role in communication and relationships. One point I particularly like is the fact that, “Even the best intentions can create unexpected or undesired results”, since it is clear that living with intention is insufficient; we must live with good intention. Moreover, as Sunnarberg notes, “Leadership is something that comes from within you.” It begins with ‘us’.
The next conversation is with Rod Miller, a Certified Human Resource Professional, management consultant, and educator. Miller discusses his being an introvert and how he has learned to use his energy to work as an actor, early in his student career, and how it has empowered him in his leadership role. Miller stresses the importance of understanding that people are individuals with unique personalities. “You can tell products what to do, but you can’t tell people what to do.” People are rational and emotional beings and a leader must keep that in mind through all sorts of interactions. Such awareness will enhance one’s ability to mentor and lead ‘openly and willingly’.
John Saint-Denis, the co-founder of the La Brea Highland Association for shelter businesses, discusses the importance of using his ‘artistic design skills’ to foster social justice and education. Saint-Denis stresses the perennial lesson he continues to learn in his life: “… leadership is service.” One striking point that Saint-Denis makes pertains to his claim that he routinely ‘blurs’ business and personal relationships. What is so striking about that is that it reduces the possibility of the attempt to justify doing something ‘because it is business.’ It acknowledges the importance of truthful, honest relationships in no matter what one does. In fact, Saint-Denis notes that one problem leaders often confront is in not taking ‘appropriate responsibility’ but taking ‘complete control’. Leaders must take ownership of what they do.
In his conversation with Michael Pollock, an Executive Coach for Creative Media Professionals, Eaton finds that, in addition to setting clear and obtainable goals, a leader is passionate and communicates that passion to others. Such passion and focus can help leaders to resolve conflict, be that conflict in ideas or with others.
Eaton’s conversation with Richard Reily focuses on inspirational leadership, which can take place in a variety of contexts. Reily notes the differences between not-for-profits and for-profits. He believes that both require the same set of tools to be successful. Vision, direction, and inspiration must play a role no matter the type of organization or the individuals therein. Riley stresses the importance of learning from both good and bad leaders and explains that it is important to ‘give back’ and ‘transform’ followers into natural leaders. In short, there are opportunities to lead everywhere.
Joe Gerstandt, in the next conversation, centers on the importance of translating leadership from one’s personal life to one’s professional life, thus emphasizing the consistency that is necessary in the lives of leaders. Gerstandt, whose experience entails farming, the Marine Corp, and Fortune 500 companies, claims that authenticity is important to leadership, as is the ability to understand the importance of courage and diversity in organizations and society. This emphasis acknowledges the diverse, and democratic, nature of true leadership.
According to Eric Holtzclaw, author of Leadership: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior, and radio program host, The Eric Holtzclaw Show, 2011-2012 Toastmaster of the year, leadership entails trusting instincts, being a detailed observer and worker, and actively working on business. Comparing good leadership to chess, a leader must be able to plan strategically yet adapt ‘on the fly’. In doing so, the leader not only becomes empowered but also empowers others.
Next is Eaton’s conversation with Tim Kincaid. Kincaid is CEO and Founder of Kincaid Associates Coaching and Consulting, LLC and is certified by the International Coach Federation. Trained in journalism, public relations, business, and aviation, Kincaid claims that there are different leadership styles, but all types of organizations require good leadership skills. He notes the fact that both ‘corporate and higher education environments’ require the same leadership qualities, despite their differences. Arguing in support of servant leadership, and stressing the importance of emotional and social intelligence in organizations, Kincaid also notes the importance of paying attention to people’s needs. Clearly, doing so connects to the notion that good leaders must be adaptive and keep learning and pay attention to thoughts, feelings, and ideas in order to maintain their agility and grow. He concludes that “leadership… is a state of being…”
Tony Smith, who holds a Ph.D. in Education and is currently a Director at the University of Colorado, is an active researcher whose passion is in coaching/development. Smith, like others, notes the importance of a ‘special skill set’ that fosters successful leadership. For him, this combines with a passion for helping and supporting others, which he also fosters with whom he works. This requires balancing one’s ego with serving others, and getting out of one’s own way and identifying continually what motivates others since the world and people have changed and require new ways of being inspired so that they can empower themselves.
Eaton’s conversation with Tim Paynter focuses on ‘good leadership’ and unity. Paynter, an attorney, argues that handling aggression is an art and requires educating clients with compassion. He is also an advocate for social justice. Paynter claims that partisan politics has undermined the common good. Achieving that good requires good leadership—leadership that fosters unity. He believes that technology can help in this regard, noting his role in a radio show as an example. Overall, Paynter believes that a good leader must be willing to stand alone as opposed to following the crowd.
Richard Shapiro, the founder and President of the Center for Client Retention, works with Life is Precious TM, Communilife’s program to prevent the suicide of young Latinas. The program allows young girls to share their stories and it provides support for them and their families. Linking this to his work pertaining to customer satisfaction with ADP, Shapiro notes that it is important to create a work environment where staff enjoy working with their team members. He clearly believes that there is a direct relationship between customer satisfaction and good leadership. He recognizes that not all managers or heads will be ‘servant leaders’, but notes that emotional intelligence is key to the development of empathetic and supportive leaders.
The next interview is with James Robinson. Robinson, an activist and founder of GLBT Advocacy and Youth Services, argues that advocacy has been a key component to his leadership. Speaking about his own personal experiences, Robinson explains the importance of providing people who experience discrimination, particularly GLBT individuals, with an opportunity to find role models, support, and flourish in the world. He notes how this has been difficult in the society and culture in which we live. In essence, Robinson stresses the importance of finding meaning and purpose in one’s life despite the challenges confronted by people in their attempt to secure their basic human rights. Thus, communities need each person to be a leader and challenge the impediments to justice and fairness in society. While he notes the importance of role models, it seems evident that role models are leaders. They provide support, for example, and ‘inspire/encourage’ others. They have a vision, inspire, are flexible, and are passionate about the lives they lead and about others.
John Sparks, the founder and CEO of Online Image Works, discusses his new book about Twitter and online networking. With a background in education, Sparks claims that persistence, attitude, family, humility, courage, humor, and being a good follower are important to leadership. Claiming that a good leader knows when to follow, he argues that social media has both helped and hurt leadership. How it is used determines whether or not it is helpful or harmful. That said, being a ‘follower’ clearly doesn’t mean succumbing to the status quo; rather, it entails being a listener, an observer, and learning from others. Concluding that it is never the wrong time to do the right thing, Sparks hints at something near and dear to this review’s heart: the potential for each individual to be an effective, ethical leader.
Mind training is a component of leadership, according to James Lopata. The editor in chief at Boston Spirit magazine, and CEO and founder of innerOvation, helping organizations to identify ways to move forward in the 21st century, Lopata addresses the complicated nature of leadership in organizations. It entails team-building across different departments and indirect (as opposed to direct) authority. Ultimately, effective leadership occurs when people are inspired to choose to lead themselves. Mind training can aid in helping one, and others, to find their own strengths and focus. Actively engaged in the practice of meditation for over twenty years, Lopata explains how it has helped in the various areas of his life. While not a means-to-an-end activity, meditation helps one to ‘be’ and ‘be present’. Moreover, it inspires as much as it helps one to focus, both of which are important to successful leadership.
Chad West, an attorney and former Lt. Sgt. in the Army, discusses the impact his service has had on his leadership. Focusing on service, West stresses the importance of “giving back to your community” and serves a number of organizations. Citing the importance of growing and developing as an individual, and its impact on good leadership, West claims it is important to recognize one’s weaknesses, which can empower both the self and others. Challenging oneself continually is important. As he concludes, “remain humble.”
Eaton’s final conversation, with Croft Edwards, the founder of Croft + Company. Edwards, who also has experience in the Army, stresses the importance of authenticity (also near and dear to this reviewer’s heart) and the importance of knowing oneself, investing time and energy into what one chooses to do, and being an authentic, energetic leader. He stresses the importance of listening to what people say. What is important to them? What, and who, do they care about? In what ways do they want to be rewarded? Noting the importance of his own family, and the influence that his parents had on his conception of leadership, Edwards remarks that the challenge of large organizations is that they do need to be adaptive and versatile. It is clear that listening to people and identifying their needs can help them undertake leadership roles that help others become better leaders, to become someone they want to be a leader.
In summary, this book focuses on perspectives of men with diverse work-life leadership experiences. Despite these differences, it is clear that there are some basic themes each identifies as being at the foundation of leadership. Authenticity, mindfulness, listening, service, and helping others are just a few of the things that enhance the ability to lead. In many ways, it also is clear that leadership can be democratic in nature. It relies on engagement with others, helping others, and allowing others to be who they are and become inspired to grow, develop, and make the world, and the people in it, a better place. It can foster social justice. It can foster better understandings about people. It can celebrate diversity. It can change the world.