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The conscious leader

Book review by John D Leighton - The Conscious Leader: 9 Principles and Practices to Create a Wide-awake and Productive Workplace by Shelley Reciniello

This book is an absolute gem; well written, jargon free and easy to read, Dr Recinello has produced a masterpiece that is a must read for all levels of management and team members alike. Leadership is, first and foremost, about people and so The Conscious Leader explains that we all need to be alive to the reasons why people react to given situations in a variety of ways.  In her introduction, Dr Recinello explains that “People don’t leave their psychological selves, conscious or unconscious, at home when they come to the office, and there are many permutations of how work and self, and self and others, collide”. In other words, leaders and team members need to be aware of what effect their decisions might have on others and how people may react.

Importantly, the book explains why people act and react as they do but rather than try to preach methods of avoiding such situations the book points out that no leader can please all the workforce all the time. It encourages leaders to prepare themselves for awkward situations by taking the time to understand people and be able to work with them to solve everyday conflicts in the workplace, preferably before they become an issue, thereby creating a more productive workplace.
The Conscious Leader offers 9 principles and practices and in each the psychological background to the principle is explored and explained but in language that the non-clinician can understand.  There are plenty of examples and scenarios to help the reader make sense of the principles and each chapter is stand-alone which gives the book a user-friendly structure in which all the information is easy to find. Awareness is all too often ignored as a basic tenet of leadership but this book puts it firmly in the spotlight.

I give this book an unequivocal 5* rating.

5 stars: Exceptional, a “must read” for any manager or leader

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