Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life

Life is a zero-sum game, right? The more we strive to win in one dimension (such as our work), the more we have to sacrifice performance and satisfaction in the other three dimensions (family, community, and private self). Total Leadership: Be a Better Leader, Have a Richer Life, the culmination of decades of research and practice, details how we don’t have to make trade-offs between life’s most important domains, and certainly not as often as we think.   Nor should we.   A trade-off mindset makes people feel all manner of painful emotions—including inauthentic, unfocused, rootless, resentful, and overwhelmed. It hurts those we care about most and it prevents us from leading and performing effectively in every part of life.

Total Leadership provides a blueprint for how to become a more successful and satisfied leader in all dimensions of life: work, home, community, and self (mind, body, and spirit). This proven, step-by-step “four-way wins” approach shows how to produce sustainable, meaningful change that benefits all life domains by:

  • Being real—acting with authenticity by clarifying what’s important: Understanding how crucial events in the past have shaped one’s values and aspirations; assessing the relative importance of work, home, community, and self; taking stock of how much time and energy is invested in each of these four domains; and diagnosing one’s level of satisfaction in each.
  • Being whole—acting with integrity by respecting the whole person:  Identifying the most important people in one’s life and their performance expectations, determining how different expectations affect one another, assessing how one uses different media for connecting with these “key stakeholders,” and preparing and conducting dialogues with each one to verify assumptions and see things through their eyes.
  • Being innovative—acting with creativity by experimenting with new solutions:  After seeing both what and who are important in a fresh light, designing and implementing small, smart, potent experiments that swiftly produce better results in all four parts of one’s life and that transform alienation, exhaustion, and resentment into feelings of purpose, authenticity, connection, and optimism.

Based on research and real-world application in a variety of settings, this approach is rooted in sound principles and has been proven effective with thousands of people.  Participants report increases in satisfaction across the board: an average of 20 percent in their work lives, 28 percent in their home lives, 31 percent in their community lives, and 39 percent with their physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual well-being.  Similarly, participants report that their performance at work, at home, in their communities, and within themselves has improved by 9, 15, 12, and 25 percent, respectively.

These powerful results occur even as they spend less time on work and more on the other parts of life—they’re working smarter and enjoying the benefits of more intelligent choices for bringing the different elements into a coherent whole, creating mutual value among them.  Total Leadership is not an abstract theory:  Practicing this method results in demonstrable improvements in performance and satisfaction.

Total Leadership has sold over 65K copies in English and:

  • Reached #3 on USA Today Business Bestseller list.
  • Won 800-CEO-READ Best Business Book Award, Personal Development category.
  • In paperback and Chinese, Japanese, Korean, PolishPortuguese,  Russian and Spanish.
  • Is in use as text for courses in undergraduate and graduate programs worldwide.
  • Was profiled in this New York Times article and in other media coverage.