The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Exceptional Leadership

What makes a good leader? Looking at my own personal growth at SAP, I have found that the Holy Grail of leadership today is engagement. It’s only through truly engaging customers that we’ve increased profitability, and only through employee engagement do we increase productivity. I have been lucky enough to work with an executive coach who truly understands how leaders can inspire teams and foster engagement within both their organizations and their customers’ organizations. This is some of the insight I’ve gained from her on engagement, people management, and leadership.

Build a team of your own personal challengers

A recent article in the Economist claimed that as technology continues to become more intelligent, the role of the leader will center more and more on innovative thought leadership. In order to prepare themselves for this reality, leaders must continually nourish their minds with complex problems, new ideas, and divergent perspectives. To this end, everyone needs their own group of personal challengers; external experts who fulfill that part of their development and growth on an ongoing basis. This could be mentors, coaches, business advisors, or just friends who work in different industries. While it takes some work to assemble and practice, it’s a critical element to developing your breadth of thinking and continuing your growth.

A very helpful leadership philosophy that I have learned is to convene and intervene. On one hand, part of being a leader is cultivating growth which entails convening people under a common purpose and allowing ideas to flourish. On the other hand, it’s about knowing when to jump in and steer the ship which entails helping the team take their ideas and shape them into something meaningful and executable. The leadership philosophy of convene and intervene allows you to be more present in a meeting by taking the onus off getting to the answer and instead focusing on the process of watching ideas grow and then simply shaping them. Not only does this help people feel engaged in the process, it also helps you learn a lot about the people you work with.

Two-to-one

Traditional thinking says that when coaching people, be sure to balance things that are working (positives) with lessons to be learned (negatives). Recent thinking suggests that the magic ratio is not 1:1, but in fact, 2:1. The 2:1 theory is that by emphasizing the positives, you create more buoyancy, leaving people feeling bullish and supported while at the same time having something constructive to work on. It’s so easy to jump right into the issue, especially in a company like ours where urgency can sometimes rule the day. I find myself needing reminders to adhere to this simple 2:1 rule of thumb, but when I do, I am stunned by the results.

Flying high and diving deep

Leadership in a sales driven organization requires an interesting balance of skills: the ability to help refine the details while simultaneously understanding the business with enough breadth to shape the strategy. The balance of knowing when to ‘fly high’ and ensure the overall health of the business, and when to ‘dive deep’ and run right alongside the teams, is a careful balancing act that is imperative to master for the sustainable health of both the business and the team. It can be really unnerving for people when a leader moves from one to the other quickly, which happens when leaders have both skills. Over time, and with amazing support, I have learned that announcing the switch – in a deliberate way – can help people understand what you’re doing. It ensures that people know they’re still trusted even though you need to understand the finite detail, and it allows them to understand that you also see the big picture and are looking out for their long term wellbeing.

Give, give, give, gone

Because there is never enough of it, time is the most valued gift we have to give. I’ve learned that when you have time with someone, give them everything you’ve got – your absolute undivided attention. If you say you’ll do something for them, do it there and then. Make the phone call, find them the document, send the email – but when they leave, move onto the next thing. This means you can always be true to your word, people get from you what they need, and you’re fresh and available to do it again when you move on to your next meeting.

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The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to Help Put “Thanks” and “Giving”

5 Tips to Help Put “Thanks” and “Giving” Back In Thanksgiving

It’s that time of year again. So, why is this money expert, who provides financial advice to Baby Boomers and their offspring, writing about Thanksgiving? Because the “giving” part of money is key to any money discussion (and I love Thanksgiving and this is my blog!)

I’m not alone when it comes to my love for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to CNN.com, Thanksgiving is America’s second favorite holiday after Christmas. And, thanks to editor of Ladies Magazine, Sarah Josepha Hale’s 36 year advocacy, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that falls on the fourth Thursday every November as proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It’s a day of indulgence for approximately 88 percent of Americans who will consume over 45 million turkeys (not including the one that President Obama will spare). But what about the remaining folks who are not as lucky to be stuffing birds and their faces with friends and family?

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it really is integral to the American culture, non-commercial and inclusive. (I will note that “non-commercial” takes on a new twist when you see the number of stores opening on Thanksgiving.) My hope is that families are celebrating the same thoughts of gratitude for our collective bounty. It should also be a time to reflect and to give thanks.

To be honest, I’ve always felt sorry for Thanksgiving being “stuffed in” between Halloween, the scary costume and sugar holiday, and Christmas the holiday of joy that has morphed into the holiday of the shopping spree. Now it’s time to revive the essence of Thanksgiving and turn it into  “Thanks” and “Giving” for you and your next generation. Here are five tips to reclaim the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday:

Tip #1 – Tell The Story

In my home, we start the meal by designating a family member as the storyteller to tell the grandkids about the origins of the holiday. It’s not only about football, parades, turkey, cranberry sauce and my way too sweet, sweet potatoes. I’ll make it easy for you: Thanksgiving has its roots dating back to the Pilgrims celebrating their first harvest in the “New World” in 1621. (Obviously, the harvest took place earlier, but you know how hard it is to nail down the origin of a holiday!) This feast was said to last for three days and to be attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The holiday was religious in nature and thanks was given to God for survival and the prosperity that was enjoyed. The Pilgrims didn’t have it easy their first few years in this country. They made seven times more graves than houses, but still they were able to set this time aside to give thanks.

Tip #2 – Share Your Family

Welcome a person or family to your Thanksgiving dinner. It is a simple, but powerful gesture. It’s also a great way to establish a family tradition of real unity behind a common purpose and to set the example to share your family and its good fortune. As William Shakespeare said, “Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.” Each year, we try to invite someone who doesn’t have family with whom to share the holiday.  Get the kids involved in that discussion prior to the meal. It may be one of their teachers, who is far from home, or a neighbor, or someone from a foreign country who has never experienced the holiday.

Tip #3 – Share With Others

Sharing needs to be built into a ritual for this holiday. It’s a core component to the celebration. Celebrate what you, as a family, have done this year. There are many great causes to which to donate. There are local shelters, food banks, and even organizations like Amp Your Good, where you can go online to make donations that will be turned into food for those in need. The big thing is to get the kids involved in the donations. If you can fit in the time, take your offspring to a shelter and have the whole family donate, prepare, and serve food. The experience is invaluable and it will be incredibly empowering for your kids to directly give their time, as well as money to those less fortunate. Frankly, recognizing that others are less not well-off, and doing something about it, is a key element in this celebration—I firmly believe, in fact, that the celebration is hollow without it. Teddy Roosevelt said it well, “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”

See More Tips Here

 

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips For Thought On A Startup Budget

7 Tips For Thought Leadership On A Startup Budget

This summer, I recently participated in a thought leadership workshop for Arizona CEOs (from which I was inspired to write an article for Upstart Business Journal on “3 Lessons Startup Founders Could Learn from Corporate America“). Molly Castelazo of Castelazo Content led this event at the annual Arizona Technology Council’s CEO Retreat. The audience was comprised of mainly well-established companies. However looking around the room, I thought of how thought leadership can still be achieved on a shoestring or startup budget.

Here are seven components to advance your thought leadership early on:

  1. Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out)

HARO is an awesome tool that makes it easy to include your company’s ideas or opinions in someone else’s story. It is free—a clear appeal for startups—and only requires time to prepare the pitch. The trick is to be very succinct and answer the reporter’s query precisely.

In our early days, we answered the queries of others and successfully used HARO to appear in Entrepreneur several times. Today, we are posting our own queries on HARO as a way to gather IP Horror Stories from others (a big thanks to Stephanie Burns from CHIC CEO for that tip). There is a prerequisite that you have to have a top million ALEXA rating and we are finally there!

  1. Enter Contests

Enter early and often. Honing your pitch is critical to your success and winning some cool prizes along the way is not bad either. Contests or competitions often require support and can be a good way of spreading your name around. We gained momentum from winning a few contests early on and this helped us to refine our message.

  1. Use LinkedIn

Do not sell your business on LinkedIn. Period. End of story. Your LinkedIn posts should be informative or educational only. At the top of my list of pet peeves are those who post spam on LinkedIn as if it were something we all need to read. We used posts that prior to our software launch as a way to spread the word on our company and provided education on the value of IP.

  1. Blog Regularly

Some sites blog daily and others blog weekly; more posting is definitely better but regular posts are best. Pick a cadence and stick to it. We learned this first hand when our website traffic fell when we stopped blogging.

To shake things up a bit, we like to exchange blogs with other sites and invite guest bloggers to write relevant content to share with our readers. We have found that sharing quotes and linking to others is great for raising our profile and providing legitimacy.

  1. Social Media Strategy

Like blogging, it is important to be consistent with social media posting and follow-up with engagement. Re-purpose and recycle old blogs by linking to new articles and sharing on social media. Ask others to share your content. It can lead to guest blogs and that help establish you as an expert.

Chect this Out.. 6. Read, Write, Read, Write

The Shearin Group – Engaging the mobile work force

Our primarily mobile health care team does 11,000 visits every day to care for people and allow them to remain in their homes. With 6.4-million visits annually, we have an almost unheard of opportunity to collect data, test and prototype, and improve quality. But from a business standpoint, there are some real challenges for leaders of mobile staff when it comes to communication. It can be difficult to share your vision, build strong bonds and encourage engagement.

Despite my occasional longing to be able to see everyone all at once, there are untold advantages to a mobile work force. I believe that harnessing the strengths of these independent problem solvers may just be the secret of innovation.

Let me share with you some of the strategies we’ve implemented. I hope they get you inspired and energized.

Love the one you’re with

Are you spending time hoping your mobile workers will magically check the company intranet more frequently? Or come to the head office more regularly to connect? News flash – they won’t. The key we’ve found is to work with the inherent strengths these dynamos bring to your team. Think independence. Agility. Adaptability. Empowerment. Develop ways to tap into their natural talents. We recently implemented SoapBox – to gather and share ideas in a virtual way. It builds on our pre-existing virtual community and taps into the insights of staff who see clients every day. We’ve allowed the community to grow organically, and although it has been an investment, we believe we will see better results based on this strategy.

Video killed the radio star

It’s obvious that technology can bring people together to socialize in ways we never thought possible. But sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that if we load up our mobile workers with tech gear, everything will be beautiful. There are so many components to technology and the mobile worker: Will they use it? How long will it be relevant? How much does it weigh when you are dragging it around?

But perhaps more importantly is the idea that we cannot ever lose sight of the fact that technology is an enabler and not the outcome. True innovative technology can transform human interaction for the better.

We are the world

To truly connect and galvanize your work force, you need an anthem – a mission – a bandwagon everyone can jump on and feel great about. Exceptional leadership takes people on a journey to a better place.

Finally, we recently held a company event where we brought everyone together. We offered employees three different ways to participate: in person at movie theatres across the country, via live webcast, and we made it available immediately afterward so anyone who missed it could watch it later.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips – Finding Balance: The Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

Like the proverbial saying, putting all your eggs in one basket, many of us focus on just one thing — usually our career — and ignore the other aspects of our lives. Even in my own life I have found that it’s easy to just delve into my work or training, maintaining a very single-minded focus that can be an advantage for what I’m doing at the present moment but at a disadvantage to the rest of my life.

You do want to be “in the zone” and focus your attention on what you’re currently doing. But problems occur when you only focus and do one thing all the time. That creates an imbalance that affects all areas of your life. Those areas, which I believe are essential to a balanced life are career, relationships, health, spiritual, financial and well-being. You want all these areas to be in harmony with each other, and your core beliefs, so you live a life that’s authentic to you.

A quick exercise to bring these areas in sync: Ask yourself these four questions across all six key areas of your life. You’ll discover which areas are unbalanced so you can bring them — and yourself — back into balance.

What are your goals? For each area, write down what you really want. Putting your goals in writing is the first step in success. Be as specific as possible, do you want to learn a new skill to be eligible for a promotion or do you want a new job by the New Year? Putting your goals in writing focuses your intention on achieving your goal, and holds you accountable. I did this with a group of children and their parents in my leadership class over the course of a year, and the results were amazing — from better grades to improved diets, everyone reached (or were well on the way to reaching) their goals.

Where are you? Notice which areas are currently out of alignment. Maybe your career is on track, but your relationship with your spouse could use some nurturing. Brainstorm ways you can better align future actions to meet your goals. Starting a new ritual with your spouse, such as a weekly date night or meeting for lunch one day during the workweek, may be all it takes to reconnect. Even catching up throughout your workday with texts can bring you closer. You can never communicate enough.

What can you do now? I’m sure you’ve heard the Lao-tzu quote, “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” By taking even the smallest of steps you will be one step closer to reaching your goal. Start where you are, and take action. If you feel disconnected from your faith, perhaps you can devote a few minutes each morning to read inspirational stories, meditate, or pray. If you want to better manage your finances, schedule some time on your calendar this week to create a budget. What about your sense of well being? Is there something you can do right now, in this moment, that will make you a happier person? Calling a childhood friend, writing a thank-you note, petting your dog.

What can you do later? Not every goal is a short-term one, and not every step you take is going to yield immediate results. Think about it, making healthy changes such as quitting smoking or losing weight, are not going to be one-and-done tips or tricks. They may be long journeys with setbacks and you’ll need different strategies to continue moving forward.

One thing to remember: there will be times when one area needs more attention than another, but you can’t neglect one completely. They work as a whole to keep you balanced, happy, and living an authentic life.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: One Simple Concept That Will Infuse Your Leadership With Success

Search “Leadership” online, and you’ll find a million articles offering advice on how to be a better leader.  Eleven simple steps, nine strategies, five leadership tips – we’re inundated with so-called education and training about how to lead well.  The question remains, if the road to great leadership is so easy and accessible, why are there still so many ineffective, demotivating leaders who crush the potential of their employees and organizations?

Eight years ago, I met “courage in leadership” expert Bill Treasurer, at an author retreat of Berrett-Koehler, the publisher of my first book Breakdown, Breakthrough, and was immediately impressed.  I watched him quietly lead, and build a collaborative and open space for discussion, feedback, and dialogue among a diverse group of authors and publishing professionals.  I liked him instantly and felt this man truly walked the talk.  So I was excited to learn he has a new leadership book out called Leaders Open Doors out this week.

Bill is Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Giant Leap Consulting, and the author of Courage Goes to Work.  In his books, he shares his pioneering work in the new organizational development practice of courage-building.  Bill insights have been featured in over 100 top publications, and he draws on his experience as a former member of the U.S. High Diving Team, during which time he executed over 1,500 high dives from heights that scaled to over 100 feet, requiring intense levels of courage every day to succeed as a top athlete.

I caught up with Bill to ask him about his courage-focused brand of leadership, and what he teaches leaders to help them inspire, motivate and lead individuals and organizations forward.

Kathy Caprino:  Bill, we read so much about what makes a great leader today. What do you think is missing in all this advice we’re inundated with?

Bill Treasurer: Despite the volume of leadership advice, and maybe because of it, leadership is the most over analyzed, thoroughly dissected, and utterly confused topic in business. Too many leadership writers, myself included, have spent too much time complexifying the idea of leadership, and not enough time offering down-to-earth ideas that everyday leaders can use every day. We’ve become the Legion of Leadership Complexifiers (LLC). We’ve nuanced the topic so much, and inflated the standards for what it means to be a leader so high, that hardly anyone can be deemed a leader anymore.

Two years ago, after a conversation with a very wise person, I resigned my membership in the LLC. I had a conversation with my five-year-old son, Ian. He had been selected as the “leader for the day” at his pre-school. I gave him a big high five and said, “What did you get to do as class leader, little buddy?” His reply? “I got to open doors for people.”

Those seven words helped me cut through the clutter and get back to what’s most essential about leading others: creating opportunities for growth and development. I wrote Leaders Open Doors to help lighten the leadership load by getting back to the most essential aspects of leading others.

Caprino: What’s the biggest failing that unsuccessful leaders suffer from?

Treasurer: At first blush it’s easy to think that the biggest failing is oversized egos. But I think it’s what’s under those oversized egos that’s the real problem. FEAR. So many leaders carry (and convey) a great deal of fear, which contorts behavior. Fear can drive a leader to be ill-at-ease, hyper-controlling, and overbearing. At a certain saturation point, those fears get transmitted to the people being led, and everybody becomes anxious and frazzled. Over the long-term, it kills performance, morale, and ultimately the leader’s career.

Here’s a phrase I wish leaders would stop using: “What keeps me awake at night is…” Why do leaders continuously need to remind people what gives them anxiety and insomnia? Employees don’t want to know why a leader can’t sleep at night. They want to know what gets the leader up in the morning. Leaders should stop showcasing fears and start highlighting opportunity. Who would you rather be led by — someone who is squirrely in his or her own skin, or someone who is so confident in their role that they sleep soundly at night?

Caprino: Your new book talks about leaders opening doors.  Why is this so important, and why is it left out of standard, non-effective advice for developing leaders?

Treasurer: Einstein said, “All that is valuable in human society depends on the opportunity accorded the individual for development.” In other words, the one of the smartest people who ever lived is saying, “Hey, you know what moves society forward? When everybody has a chance to grow and develop.”

Einstein isn’t alone. Peter Drucker, the father of management consulting, was clear, “The focus of the organization must be on opportunities rather than on problems.” Yet a lot of advice for leaders focuses on sharpening their problem-solving skills.

Leaders Open Doors gets leadership back to the essential idea that, first and foremost, leaders have to be creators of opportunity. Leaders need to be continuously focused on identifying and creating opportunities for people and organizations to grow and develop. Leadership, in this sense, isn’t about the leader…it’s about those being led. Open-door leaders intensely focus on bettering the lives, conditions, and skills of others. By focusing on the individual, the collective (i.e., the organization) is strengthened. Companies grow when people grow.

Caprino: For new and emerging leaders (and veterans), what are the top 5 ways leaders can open doors, and why are these important strategies

Treasurer: Here are my top 5 recommendations:

Use opportunity to motivate, develop, and engage people.

Even small opportunities can make a big difference. Involve employees when you’re grappling with a big or risky decision. Invite an employee to join you when you’re presenting to your boss. Let an employee lead a meeting in your absence. Open doors for your employees to engage, present, create, innovate, and even fail.

Start by meeting with each person you lead and ask them about their career aspirations. What, for example, are they hoping to get out of the experience of working for the company? What skills are they hoping to strengthen or deepen? What contributions do they hope to make beyond the ones they’re already making? In other words, have a conversation with each of them about them, not just what you’re wanting them to do for the organization. Once you know what each person you’re leading wants and need, you’ll be in a better position to identify opportunities within the organization that can help them get what they desire while also furthering the goals of the organization.

Coach people to value and embrace discomfort.

Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, the CEO of IBM, put it best: “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” The opportunities you provide people should give them sweaty palms. Nudge people into their discomfort zones, but not so far out that they choke with fear. Ask them what aspects of their jobs are getting boring. Then, set stretch goals. Have them take on tasks outside of their current skillset.

Promote courage by creating safety.

If you want people to take on challenges or do uncomfortable things, you need to create a climate where people who make mistakes–or even fail–aren’t fired. Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of SPANX, said, “When someone makes a mistake at SPANX – especially when those mistakes key us on to a new insight – I am never disappointed. In fact, I go up to them and give them a high five.” Imagine what that attitude does to promote a positive environment where people feel free to be innovative and take risks.

Say, for example, you’ve shifted the role of one of your direct reports. Ways to create safety might include giving them lead time to learn the new role, scheduling one-on-one time coaching time with them, providing “air cover” from those who may get impatient with the direct’s learning curve, and having tolerance for early mistakes.

Broaden people’s view.

People can get narrow and habitual in their thinking. Open-door leaders help shift people’s perspective and help them think more broadly. Sometimes even small shifts can make a big difference. One CEO I work with was frustrated that he wasn’t getting enough leadership from the managers of the company’s business groups. They spent too much time being operational and tactical, and not enough time being strategic and innovative. In other words, they were managing, not leading. So the CEO changed their titles from Business Group Managers (BGMs) to Business Group Leaders (BGLs). The expectation shift was clear, and their behavior changed because of it.

Open up.

Too many leaders get all wrapped up in their “role” (and ego) as leaders. But employees want to know that their leader is real and not just performing a function.  People need to see the person behind the role.  They want to know that you remember where you came from, that you’re in touch with your roots, and that you can relate to their lives. Show them some of your authentic non-work identity and interests. Let them know what you care about beyond the goals and objectives of the department or organization.

* * * * **

Strategies like these are important because they are not complex or hard to understand. Leadership is hard, but it doesn’t have to be complex. Your life as a leader, and the lives of those you impact, will be far more rewarding, successful and productive if you bring your behavior back to the essential approaches above.

Simply lead by keeping leadership simple. Above all, be an opportunity-creator.

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The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Try 4 Tips From Leadership Coaches

The old top-down, command-and-control style of leadership seldom works in today’s organizations, where the goal is often to promote cooperation in the midst of rapid change.

To succeed as a leader you must know how to communicate a vision, build a network of relationships, and foster group learning and decision-making. This is true whether you’re the big boss or are just learning how to guide a team.

Leadership coaching has become a key tool for facilitating change in individuals, teams and systems. And in places where the traditional hierarchical model of management no longer works, leaders who know how to act like coaches are building cultures that allow collaboration and innovation to thrive.

Working with a coach is one way to broaden your leadership skills and deepen your understanding of modern workplace dynamics. But even if that’s not an option, these strategies from the field of coaching can help you grow:

1. Know yourself. Research shows that self-awareness is a vital characteristic of successful leaders. The more you understand about your own internal dialogue, the better you are at engaging with other people. And the more you notice about the impact of your behavior on others, the better are your choices for next steps. Coaches use open-ended questions to help clients notice their inner voices and daily decisions. Another way to promote self-exploration is to keep a journal or regularly engage in some other form of expressive writing. Write answers to questions like, “what would I do here if I knew I couldn’t fail?”

2. Listen more actively. When people turn to you for guidance or assistance, there are many times when you have no idea how to help. But offering expertise is not the only way to give support. Humans have an innate need to be heard and acknowledged. And by listening deeply to another person, you can let them know they do matter and at the same time provide a way for them to come to terms with some of their issues.

3. Try peer coaching. Consider finding a partner or small group with whom you can trade coaching time. Create a structure in which each person has a designated to time to talk about current activities and challenges. When you play the role of the “coach” it’s your job to ask questions and listen compassionately to the answers. Then when you are the “client” you can talk about what’s been happening lately and how you feel about it.

4. Try some training. An enjoyable and effective way to become more adept at conversations with your colleagues can be to take an introductory coaching course. You’ll build your “listening muscle” and have opportunities to practice asking questions that lead others to new insights. For a training option that would work for you, visit the International Coach Federation website.

Coaching comes in many forms, but the broad theme is always to help you be the best version of yourself as a professional, a leader and a whole person. By learning a bit about how coaching works, you can build your self-knowledge and at the same time become better at assisting others to fully engage in their work.

Read about what coaching can do

If you want an insider’s view of what coaching actually looks like, I can recommend a new book: “Being Coached – Group And Team Coaching From The Inside.”

“Being Coached” is written by two accomplished coaches – Holly Williams, my pal from the Georgetown Leadership Coaching community, and her colleague, Ann Deaton. The authors don’t offer a how-to guide or academic discussion, but instead tell us a tale from the perspective of individual managers who are going through a group coaching exercise just as their company is faced with the need for a drastic change in strategy.

While the plot involves group coaching, the real story is about what coaching is like for each of the participants. For example, there is Ellen, the Chief People Officer, who faces the fact that she can’t manage all the company’s human resources by herself. During coaching she learns how to ask for help, and challenges her colleagues to either “work together or fall apart.”

Another new book touching upon the impact of coaching is “A Whole New Engineer,” by David E. Goldberg and Mark Somerville. If you are interested in the cutting edge of higher education, you’ll find this book particularly interesting.

The authors — two highly accomplished academic leaders whose field happens to be engineering — describe how each grew beyond the traditional university path to lead in the creation of science/engineering programs that also foster self-awareness and empathy. The book is an intriguing and readable mixture of anecdotes and current thought about how growth and learning happen. As a leadership coach, I am particularly interested in the suggestion that a more conscious element of coaching can enrich the classroom experience.