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Book Review EXTRA

In this era of massive information, the latest technologies are transforming the way people work and live. Emotional fitness coaching, as set down in Warren Redman’s book, is a piece of new technology that enables leaders to do exactly what the title says.

This book is a good, easy to use, interactive guide to emotional fitness coaching. It is very timely in answering the needs of modern professional life. Warren Redman is an award-winning author, counsellor and emotional fitness coach with a wealth of experience in manufacturing and commerce management. He is a leading developer in the science of emotional fitness and founder of the Emotional Fitness Institute.

Redman defines emotional fitness as, first, the ability to bounce back from the latest setback or challenge. It is a series of mind habits you can learn which make you stronger and more resilient. Like any kind of fitness, the more you practice, the better you get.

The book lets you create a workout plan for your emotional health. The exercises outlined in it are about developing so-called “soft skills” for leadership and management.

The book is framed as a narrative, with a newly-appointed manager receiving emotional fitness coaching. Readers follow the manager’s experience with the coach while completing exercises themselves. They are taken through various situations and the process of identifying a problem, developing a reaction to the problem and creating a solution. There is space included for readers to record their own reactions to the problems outlined in the narrative. This interactive way of presenting things is one of Redman’s real strengths as an author and coach.


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From page one of this book, it’s clear that Douglas Williamson is very mad. Like a passionately caring parent who sees the things he worked hard to establish not being leveraged by the next generation, he feels the same about leadership or lack thereof in Canada.

The long and short of his argument is this: Canada will be left behind on the world stage unless our leadership makes a radical shift in how they do business.

The 352-page hardcover tome seems daunting at first glance. However, Williamson has broken down his ideas into short, easily digested chapters, sections and summaries. Using bad and good case scenarios, practical wisdom and information culled from a plethora of thought leaders, Williamson makes a strong, sometimes strident case that Canada’s complacency, “niceness” and risk-averseness will lead to our country being left behind. And he does not mince his words, ergo the title, Straight Talk on Leadership.

Williamson insists that transformational leadership – script-less, making it up as we go, flying by the seat of our pants, but informed by a rich experience repertoire is what is needed to turn things around for Canada and Canadian businesses. After setting the stage for his treatise in Part I of the book, he lays out in Part II, “Meeting the future today,” the different kinds of intelligence a transformational leader must possess in order to lead effectively, and he illustrates how they work throughout the rest of the book. These are contextual intelligence, strategic intelligence, emotional intelligence, innovative intelligence, ambiguity intelligence, talent intelligence and collaborative intelligence.

The transformational leader must discard the map-book style of leadership – basing decisions on how things were done in the past – and instead grab hold of a compass, ignoring short-term thinking mentalities and knee-jerk reactions, to steer “a confident and steady course to the future…” (more…)

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Uplifting Leadership - How Organizations, Teams, and Communities Raise Performance by Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle & Alma Harris.

From Schools To Beer and Much More: Emotional and spiritual uplift, write authors Andy Hargreaves, Alan Boyle and Alma Harris in Uplifting Leadership, is at the heart of effective leadership. “It raises people’s hopes, stirs up their passions, and stimulates their intellect and imagination,” they write. But there’s also a social and community component to uplifting people - helping people to rise above difficult circumstances, to raise their prospects, the authors write. And combining all this emotional, spiritual and social power, uplifting leaders can help people improve their performance and results, inspiring them to do better than ever before and outperform their opponents.

Both Soft and Hard: According to the authors, the process of uplifting leadership involves six interrelated factors. “Each of these factors,” the authors explain, “also exhibits some inner tensions between what people conventionally consider to be “soft” and “hard” parts of leadership and management.”

Dreaming with Determination. The uplifting journey begins by defining a dream, but that depends on determination to overcome the inevitable setbacks.

Creativity and Counterflow. Uplifting leadership inspires creativity that often goes against the mainstream.

Collaboration with Competition. Part of the counterintuitive approach of uplifting leadership is the willingness to collaborate with actual and potential competitors. (more…)

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“Customers don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit, they want a quarter-inch hole.” This simple but important insight expressed nearly half a century ago by the legendary marketing guru Theodore Leavitt is too often forgotten by corporate strategists and product developers alike.

Successful innovation doesn’t begin with a brainstorming session―it starts with the customer. So in an age of unlimited data, why do more than 50% of new products fail to meet expectations? The truth is that we need to stop asking customers what they want . . . and start examining what they need.

First popularized by Clayton Christensen, the Jobs to be Done theory argues that people purchase products and services to solve a specific problem. They’re not buying ice cream, for example, but celebration, bonding, and indulgence.

The concept is so simple (and can remake how companies approach their markets)―and yet many have lacked a way to put it into practice.

This book answers that need. Its groundbreaking Jobs Roadmap guides you through the innovation process, revealing how to:

• Gather valuable customer insights

• Turn those insights into new product ideas

• Test and iterate until you find success

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Leading with Character, Building Connections, and Engaging in Extraordinary Conversations by Gregg Thompson

Great leaders are great coaches. They understand that developing the skills, talents and mindsets of their people is a vital part of their jobs as leaders. However, the concept of coaching can also be confusing. Early in his excellent how-to book, The Master Coach: Leading with Character, Building with Connections, and Engaging in Extraordinary Conversations, executive coach and trainer Gregg Thompson explains what coaching is not.

They Don’t Need a Friend - A coach is not a friend, he writes. Although coaches can be friendly, the purpose of coaching is to challenge those they are coaching — the Talent, in Thompson’s terms — and hold them accountable. A coach is also not a therapist. As Thompson explains, “Coaching is not the antidote for deeply troubled and significantly distressed individuals.”

Thompson also differentiates between coaching and teaching. Teaching is a unilateral exercise, with the teacher imparting knowledge to the learner. In coaching relationships, both the coach and the Talent are learning together.


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If you are a leader, one of the most important things you can do is read, and read constantly.

You have your leadership methods that stem from your own experiences, but reading business books offers new perspectives and ideas that will ultimately make you better at what you do.

Below are six books that may help you consider your approach to leadership and the running of your organisation.


This is a very practical guide to scaling your business. It focuses on the four major decisions that every company must tackle: peoplestrategyexecution, and cash. The book is intended to be hands-on, so for maximum impact, be prepared to fill out the worksheets and complete the exercises that are provided.


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Tony Robbins is a pioneer in the personal development space, but his book on finances is like a graduate course in college.

A novice in finance could read this book and walk away an expert.

Tony takes complicated financial strategies and distils them down to the average reader’s level.

Money is not everything in life, but it is important, especially in the business. There are many entrepreneurs who are great at making income but are clueless as to how to make their money work for them through investing.

You started your business to create freedom, Tony’s book can help you take that freedom to a level you didn’t think was possible through the right investment strategies.

Money - Master the Game

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