This week we are reading The Zen Leader: 10 Ways to Go From Barely Managing to Leading Fearlessly, by Dr. Ginny Whitelaw. She is both a leadership expert and a roshi (Zen master) in the Chozen-ji line of Rinzai Zen. Cofounder of Focus Leadership, she has taught and coached in countless programs to Global 1000 leaders. Formerly Deputy Manager for integrating NASA’s Space Station Program, she has a PhD in biophysics as well as a 5th degree black belt in Aikido.
In Zen Leader Whitelaw offers an exceptionally simple guide to help maximize your health, happiness, and productivity. The title immediately caught our eye because so many people ask us how they can be better, more efficient leaders. Whitelaw’s take on leading is that “the leader is the one who goes first.” This book presents useful concepts to help you think about leadership in a new way, offers practical ways to continuously check in with yourself, and follows with simple practices to help you sustain growth.
What is holding you back from being a fearless leader?
The Zen Leader is a how-to book with the spirit of Zen and guides you through 10 flips that take you from barely managing to leading fearlessly. By simply “flipping” your sense of who you are and how you lead in the world you can become a beter leader. You’ll learn to:
- flip from coping with situations to transforming them
- flip from stuck tension to extension of your energy
- flip from being too controlling to connecting with others
- flip from playing to your strengths to strengthening your play
- flip from frustrated controlling to productive connecting
- flip from ego-based managing to leading as your boundless, whole self
Here is a great animated video on the book:
Sometimes being in a rut means you just need a little nudge in the right direction. Often the flips we need to make will happen naturally once we take that first step.