Awake Leadership is a guidebook for driven, curious leaders. Through individual and team exercises, you will build a team foundation, develop personally and professionally with your team, and progress toward team objectives with more ease and enthusiasm. Why read it? Why try it? I have had a wide variety of jobs ranging from the service industry, to education, to the corporate world of retail. The majority of my professional, full-time work life has been spent in the retail industry at the headquarters of Anthropologie, Free People, Urban Outfitters (URBN), as well as Restoration Hardware. I have been fortunate to have some amazing experiences at companies with cool products and people. My work has been focused in global transportation, supply chain, customer analytics, strategy, and freight payment. From all of these experiences, I realized that, in companies and organizations, leadership ultimately impacts the success of the company — the experience for the customers as well as the lives of the employees bringing the company vision to life. It’s all connected. Awake Leadership provides tools for taking your leadership journey and your team’s performance to the next level. Here are two secrets the book addresses for doing just that…
Secret 1: How to Remove Leadership Blind Spots
As a team member and leader, I witnessed amazing, successful examples of leadership where the team was enthusiastic and objectives were met. However, I also experienced many examples where the leader had a few blind spots and this caused constant volatility, the work to feel heavy and not inspiring, and team members to leave the team or even the company. In some cases, the team felt driven and productive but no one was developing or inspired. In other cases, the team felt fun and inspiring but we weren’t very productive or clear about our objectives. When I became a leader, I wanted the team to feel as productive, successful, and inspiring as possible. I wanted the team to feel grounded and successful but also inspired and creative. So, I worked to put a method to the… organized chaos. Through observation and practice, I developed seven leadership vitals. This is how much of the organization of the book came about, which you’ll recognize when you read it. Each section of the book focuses on a leadership vital, starting with the basics — your team’s foundation and contribution — and moving toward development and creativity for personal and collective growth. When you have these seven vitals as a point of reference, you can constantly check in on blind spots you may be missing as a leader.
Secret 2: How to Exercise Constant Collaboration
Throughout my professional life so far, the aspect I have enjoyed most is getting the team in the practice of constant collaboration and seeing that directly impact the quality of the work. The seven sections of the book provide a logical, proven method for building a team and progressing toward objectives but the exercises add the mechanism for the team to cohesively work toward those objectives more efficiently. Many leaders don’t realize the importance of constant collaboration – not just collaboration during work-related projects but collaboration practice through learning and development exercises. It might seem obvious that if you are always practicing collaboration with your team, you’re naturally ready and more equipped to collaborate when it comes time for an important project or meeting. Or, you might be saying, “we’d never have time for collaboration practice, learning, or development aside from our regular work!” Well, I would respond that you are exactly the kind of team that would benefit from this book. The exercises will help you work smarter, not harder, and work toward those big objectives more cohesively and efficiently as a team.
Collaboration exercises also build enthusiasm about the work and about the team dynamic. I believe the best feelings you experience as a leader are when you truly feel your team enjoys coming to work everyday (or most days), you start moving toward objectives together enthusiastically. The tension, communication blocks, and drama subside. This is something you can’t implement once, all of a sudden. It has to be an ongoing practice. When you start to feel that the collective energy of the team is enthusiastic and clear, the progress naturally starts to happen. It’s never too early to collaborate with your team. Awake Leadership provides 28 applied exercises for developing your leadership and collaborating with your team.
Synthesizing the Secrets: Practicing Awake Leadership
As you practice collaboration as a team through the seven-step method and exercises, you’ll see that the method is iterative; you keep refining your vision and developing as individuals and as a team. Going through the book once will add a lot of value, but the exercises are practices you can go back to again and again with your team to continue to develop and improve.
Curious about the method? Want to get started on the exercises and see what it’s all about? Order the book here: Awake Leadership on Amazon
This book has been a long time in the making. All the ideas and insights, collected and developed over time, are finally organized in book form. I have synthesized the best of my best leadership observation, experiences, and creations in this book. Thank you for reading!
Of course, as a systems thinker, I love feedback 😉 Please send feedback about the book to my e-mail or leave a review on Amazon!