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The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward Paperback – September 24, 2012

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (September 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609945328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609945329
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“To thrive and to innovate in today’s complex, globally connected world, leaders need sophisticated ways to step back to understand what they are facing within and outside themselves. The Pause Principle provides pragmatic resources for making the critical move from management efficiency to leadership excellence.”
—Daniel Vasella, MD, Chairman, Novartis

“Kevin Cashman’s latest must-read book focuses on the essence of leadership: being consciously reflective before we act. Incorporating Cashman’s ideas into your daily practices will transform you as a leader.”
—Bill George, author of True North; Professor, Harvard Business School; and former Chairman and CEO, Medtronic

“Here a veteran coach shares his long experience to help busy executives deal with the question, In my rush for success, how do I help my soul to breathe and my mind to renew? His answer echoes an ancient tradition: withdraw and return; reflect and act. I recommend this book wholeheartedly to everyone who is trying to lead a better life.”
—Dick Bolles, author of the bestselling career management book of all time, What Color Is Your Parachute?

“Leadership is a continual process of stepping back to get new perspectives in order to step forward with greater innovation and impact. Cashman captures the essence of leading in our dynamic, global marketplace.”
—Paul Walsh, CEO, Diageo plc, and former Chairman and CEO, The Pillsbury Company

About the Author

Kevin Cashman is a Senior Partner in Korn/Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting and a member of the Firm's Board & CEO Services Practice, based in the Firm's Minneapolis office. He oversees Korn/Ferry's executive development and coaching solutions. Mr. Cashman is also the founder of the Executive to Leader Institute, acknowledged by Fast Company as the "Mayo Clinic" of leadership development for its interdisciplinary approach to leadership development and executive coaching. A frequent keynote speaker at conferences and corporate events, Mr. Cashman is a senior fellow of the Caux Roundtable, a global consortium of CEOs dedicated to enhancing principle-based leadership internationally. He is also a board member for the Center for Ethical Business Cultures fostering ethical leadership in corporations.

More About the Author

Kevin Cashman is Senior Partner at Korn Ferry, specializing in CEO & Executive Development and Keynote Speaking. Named a Top 10 Thought Leader by Leadership Excellence, Kevin is one of the world's premier CEO coaches and a world-class keynote speaker.

Kevin is the bestselling author of six leadership books, all centered around his "grow the whole person to grow the whole leader" approach to integrated leadership development. Leadership from the Inside Out, first published in 1998, is considered a business classic, was listed as one of the top-selling business books of the decade by 800-CEO-READ, and the #1 Bestselling Business Book of 2000. The second edition, published in 2008, is currently used at more than 100 universities and leadership programs worldwide.

Kevin is the founder of the Executive to Leader Institute® and Chief Executive Institute®, referred to as the "Mayo Clinic" of executive development by Fast Company. He also founded LeaderSource, recognized as one of the top three leadership development programs globally. In 2006, LeaderSource joined Korn Ferry.

Customer Reviews

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In his latest book, Cashman introduces what he characterizes as the "Pause Principle."
Robert Morris
So many of us are spinning our wheels faster and faster without realizing there's a quicker route right next to us...if we could only slow down to see it.
Jamen Graves
The book is so good that I read all of those pages too and have another 10 books to read.
Deirdre Honner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In his previous book, Kevin Cashman advocates what he characterizes as "leadership from the inside out" and I certainly agree that the most effective leaders are authentic in terms of their character and values as well as their talents and expertise. Unless they are respected and trusted, no one will follow them.

All that said, there must also be "leadership from the oytside in" in terms of recognizing, understanding, and appreciating their hopes, needs, dreams, and concerns of those whose allegiance and support one aspires to attract and sustain. In his latest book, Cashman introduces what he characterizes as the "Pause Principle." That is, those occasions, when appropriate, leaders need to "pause to discover new ways of being and achieving" by becoming much more alert, more attentive, and more conscious in the given circumstances, especially in relations with those with whom the situation is shared. The purpose of the pause, then, is to reflect and hopefully see more clearly and understand more fully whatever is of greatest importance.

By nature and temperament, some people are more adept with regard to the Pause Principle than others are. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, Susan Cain observes, "Introverts thrive in environments that are not overstimulating--surroundings in which they can think (deeply) before they speak. This has many implications. Here are two to consider: (1) Introverts perform best in quiet, private workspaces--but unfortunately we're trending in precisely the opposite direction, toward open-plan offices. (2) If you want to get the best of all your employees' brains, don't simply throw them into a meeting and assume you're hearing everyone's ideas. You're not; you're hearing from the most vocally assertive people.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Ives on February 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forwardby Kevin Cashman reveals to readers the secret to dealing with their insatiable compulsion to do more and more within any given day. Kevin shows that instead of simply doing more, professionals must learn to stop, reflect, and move forward in a deliberately different manner in order to achieve more. He goes on to provide the insights and tools for pausing to accomplish more in several key areas including:

- Personal leadership
- Employee development
- Innovative culture

Each section is concluded with a summary of the ‘Pause Practices’ needed to excel in that area as well as a ‘Pause Point’ containing provocative questions for visioning the future you are seeking to achieve.

I agree that today’s fast paced world compels professionals to act with a speed that limits deliberate consideration. Such restrictions heighten the risk of error, poor decisions, and deteriorating health. With the never ending push to do more with less, this condition is not likely to change soon.

The Pause Principle fills a gap within today’s leadership training. Seldom are leaders taught the value of and methods to slow down. Kevin provides actionable methods for professionals to constructively pause; using this time for valuable contemplation, innovation, and planning so to truly achieve more with less rather than at the expense of ones personal life and health.

To some extent, all professionals are decision-makers and quality decisions require deliberate contemplation. The Pause Principle reminds us of the importance of pausing so to apply the knowledge and experiences necessary for good decision-making – decision-making that leads to innovation and growth.

For its sound, immediately implementable actions promoting excellence by slowing down, The Pause Principle is a StrategyDriven recommended read.

All the Best,
Nathan Ives
StrategyDriven Principal
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Deirdre Honner on December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Pause Principle | Step Back to Lead Forward by Kevin Cashman

Simply outstanding. The premise of the book is that great leaders need to pause. We are introduced to the Pause Principle, then spend time in personal leadership, then helping to grow others, and finally, we grow cultures of innovation. All by pausing.

What makes it a difficult book to review is that I have completely highlighted the book with so much highlighting that I had to move to multiple colors, then switch to stickies. Then to folding pages.

Good thing for real paper pages. My Kindle would look rather silly.

Cashman is a clear, direct, distinctive writer. No big words. No lingo. No self importance. Just clear concepts with excellent stories and pointed questions, questions we need to take time to absorb.

The questions make me pause.

As I read the book, I felt torn between staying in the questions of Pause Points, wanting to spend days and weeks in these questions to the excitement of the next page. Yeah, it's pretty geeky to get this excited about a leadership book.

Closing out the book, he includes his notes for each chapter, as well as the bibliography. The book is so good that I read all of those pages too and have another 10 books to read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not paid for this review. This is a fabulous book and I will read it again. And again. I highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jim Estill on October 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love the principle and have for a long time. Basically - step back and pause to gain efficiency and for true clarity.

As a time management guy, I have spent much time studying and honing my efficiency systems. Much of this efficiency is based on "never waste a minute". So I deliberately think of how I can reduce the gaps and fill them with productive tasks.

The Pause Principle challenges that constant motion and activity. Some of our greatest creativity and problem solving (which is often our highest value) can happen by Pausing. Stop and relax, deliberate and solutions will flow.

I think subconsciously I knew I needed this pause for productivity so I built in a few activities that involve pause. For me, exercise and gardening are two pause activities. True pause would be to break without having to do anything.

The book is simply a reminder with the research to back it up and the ideas on how to implement the Pause.

I now need to think of the pause as a productivity tool. I do not think of myself as old but do notice my energy is less than when I was younger. My sense is over time, I will need to evolve a different pace and work style.

Good book - good reminder to me.
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