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The Courage Way: Leading and Living with Integrity Hardcover – February 6, 2018
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—Raj Sisodia, F. W. Olin Distinguished Professor of Global Business, Babson College, and cofounder and Chairman Emeritus, Conscious Capitalism Inc.
“Our culture and our planet are in crisis. Not shying away from this truth requires courage. Stopping the rat race we are all caught in to discern how we are called to respond requires courage. Acting on that knowing requires courage. How come the word ‘courage’ is almost completely absent from leadership literature, then? Perhaps because we too often reduce leadership to becoming successful and making it to the top. I’m relieved to find a book that holds us to a higher standard and offers guidance as we wonder: in these peculiar times, how can we find the courage to live the life that wants to be lived through us?”
—Frederic Laloux, author of Reinventing Organizations
“For many years, the Center for Courage & Renewal has been preparing us for this ‘post-truth’ era when courageous action is demanded from leaders who care about people and planet. We need leaders who put service over self, who know what they stand for and stand there. We need leaders who are committed to serving people, who recognize what is being lost in the haste to dominate, ignore, and abuse the human spirit. I am deeply grateful for this book as a guide and support for moral leadership as we face the darkening future.”
—Margaret Wheatley, author of nine books including, most recently, Who Do We Choose to Be?
“This is the book that won’t claim to change your life, which is exactly why you can trust that it probably will. What you will find in these pages is no less than the technology to tune into your true self—your real intuitions and outrage and intelligence—and a sense of how to show up in community with that revitalized understanding of your own power. In a cacophonous world like the one we’re living in, I can think of no more critical or renewing opportunity.”
—Courtney E. Martin, author of The New Better Off
“The Courage Way gives us a much-needed social technology for self-expression and authentic relationships. With intimate leadership stories, it shows how integrating purpose and cultivating community can be a powerful catalyst for change.”
—Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy and Fast Company’s Purposeful CEO Series; cofounder and CEO, Imperative; and founder of the Taproot Foundation
"Leading with integrity and empathy requires vision and a connection to your deepest self. Yet leading people and businesses also requires immense effort and dedication that can isolate you, exhaust you, and even pull you away from your vision and deep connection. Enter The Courage Way, which offers tools, stories, and ideas to help you cultivate your vision and your ability to lead with courage, kindness, humor, and dignity. Shelly Francis illuminates the work of Parker J. Palmer with wit and grace.”
—Karla McLaren, M.Ed, author of The Language of Emotions and The Art of Empathy
“In this troubled world today, we need to check our moral preferences as leaders and commit to what we value and will defend. In healthcare, I have learned that the secret to quality is love. It is also justice, which is the manifestation of love in our public policies and conduct. The Courage Way offers stories and practices of how the hearts of leaders can stay connected with their moral compass and courage. It shows that what we create collectively arises from the wholeness and compassion we locate within.”
—Donald M. Berwick, MD, President Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Institute for Healthcare Improvement; former Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
“At a time when civil discourse reflects a lack of trust in leadership and when the integrity of our leaders seems in doubt, Shelly Francis offers us a path to renewal. Her insights into cultivating courage through daily practice provide a much-needed guide to authentic leadership aimed at prosperity and flourishing. Essential reading in today’s world!”
—Chris Laszlo, PhD, Chair and Chuck Fowler Professor of Business as an Agent of World Benefit, Department of Organizational Behavior, Weatherhead School of Management; Faculty Executive Director, The Fowler Center, Case Western Reserve University; and coauthor (with Judy Sorum Brown) of Flourishing Enterprise
“The Courage Way will nourish that part of you that cares deeply about the world. A soulful approach for helping you harness your inner strength to become the kind of leader the world needs now—in every dimension of your life.”
—Jono Fisher, founder of WakeUpProject.com
“Everyone should read this book. The Courage Way is a powerful tonic for our challenging times. Keep it close at hand so you can savor its life-giving music again and again.”
—Dr. Gloria J. Burgess, distinguished scholar, professor of transformational leadership, and author of Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside, Pass It On!, and Flawless Leadership
“The Courage Way forever expands the way we think about courage, bringing its many manifestations to life and proving that acts of courage, whether physical, moral, creative, or otherwise, have their seeds within each and every one of us. The poignant stories that Shelly Francis shares make the heroic qualities of courage more understandable and accessible than ever before. This would be an important book at any time, but at this moment, when America is divided and hurting, it illuminates the courage within that promises a way through. Read and re-energize!”
—Billy Shore, founder and CEO, Share Our Strength, and author of The Cathedral Within and The Imaginations of Unreasonable Men
“This is an important read for leaders at all levels. I am inspired by the promise and potential of leaders and organizations as forces for good, and this has never been more important in the world. The Courage Way shares time-tested tools, reflections, and guiding principles that every leader can learn and practice. This can move leaders and their organizations toward flourishing through creating human-centered cultures guided by strong ethics and integrity.”
—Richard J. Davidson, founder of the Center for Healthy Minds, University of Wisconsin–Madison, and coauthor (with Daniel Goleman) of Altered Traits
“The Courage Way by Shelly Francis is a wonderfully written book for all those who wish to lead their personal and professional lives in alignment with what truly matters. Happiness is unthinkable without courage, yet until now, little has been written about how to muster this great virtue. The book is a must-have resource —inspiring!
—Andrea F. Polard, PsyD, founder of Zen Psychology Therapy and author of A Unified Theory of Happiness
“What would you do with more courage? From that first provocative question to the last story of people learning to lead and live in deeper alignment with themselves, The Courage Way is a surprising and counterintuitive remedy for the heart-sore. My calling is to sit with those whose hearts have been broken open by their calling, by their deep desire to live life in synchronicity with their truest values, beliefs, wishes, and dreams. The Courage Way offers a way to do that gently, yet it fiercely offers ways forward. Shelly Francis and the Center for Courage & Renewal have again demonstrated their ability to lead each of us into a new way of being.”
—Jerry Colonna, Co-founder and CEO of Reboot.io
About the Author
The Center for Courage & Renewal, a nonprofit founded in 1997 by Parker J. Palmer, aims to create a more just, compassionate, and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it. It has a network of nearly 300 facilitators worldwide. More than 5,000 people participate in Courage & Renewal programs and retreats each year.
- Publisher : Berrett-Koehler Publishers (February 6, 2018)
- Language: : English
- Hardcover : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1626567751
- ISBN-13 : 978-1626567757
- Item Weight : 1 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 0.87 x 9.38 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #795,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This phrase, in the preface of Shelly Francis’s book, captured me. It immediately brought to mind what I would do. I find Francis’s driving question to be important and timely. These days, leading has never been scarier. The landscape “out there” is changing more quickly than ever, the future can’t be predicted by studying the past, and people are less and less trusting of institutions and their leaders. As a result, the landscape “in here” – our inner state — is taking a beating. The leaders with whom I work report feeling exhausted, fearful, isolated, and discouraged. And these emotions can get expressed in less-than-productive ways like aggression (fight), withdrawal and avoidance of hard conversations (flight), indecision (freeze), and “us versus them” rhetoric (flock).
Courageous Leadership suggests specific, self-directed practices that help leaders find the courage to act with integrity, inquire with genuine curiosity, and discern truths in the face of paradox and ambiguity. One of the most useful categories of practice describes Courageous Leadership is reflective practices that help us navigate risk and make wise choices. The book suggests that in addition to analytical tools, we can examine decisions through multiple lenses by asking questions like:
* What is the unnamed fear or the elephant in the room I am not acknowledging?
* If I was being more vulnerable and asking for help, who would I seek out?
* Can the ideas I’ve been treating as incompatible live together in the same solution?
* Am I in fight, flight, freeze or flock mode? If so, how can I be fully present with this decision?
Sometimes probing and sitting with the really difficult questions is the greatest act of courage. Sometimes inquiring not only into the facts of the matter but also into the heart of it is a truly courageous act of leadership. As Vaclav Havel wrote: “The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human modesty, and in human responsibility.”
This very cerebral book was balanced by copious examples of courage in real-life leadership and work situations. If you're looking for a book that will challenge you to think outside of the norm about leading, this is the book for you.
Leadership leaves many of us feeling inadequate and looking over our shoulder wondering if we are “doing it the right way”. I’ve worked with servant leaders who lead from within with grace and humbleness and “leaders” who think yelling and threatening is leadership because people quickly respond and fall in line.
Ultimately what drives authentic leadership is courage. Courage will compel you to look deep inside yourself to bring out your best with integrity and it will drive you to impact those around you. Courage is more than just stepping up. It means living your life becoming “your best self and inviting others to do the same”. Need some courage? Shelly L. Francis’s new book The Courage Way – Leading and Living with Integrity will take you on an incredible journey.
Shelly Francis works at the non-profit Center for Courage & Renewal. The center has over 300 facilitators worldwide who aim to create “a more just, compassionate, and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it”. Shelly walks us down the path of showing us the courage way and forcing us to look deep inside to understand the work of being a leader and bringing out the courage to live the leadership ways. We need to ask ourselves “what would you do with more courage?” and act on it.
There are five key ingredients of the Courage Way:
These elements enable us to become what we can be. Courage isn’t a singular “thing”. It can take many forms such as courage to answer your calling, the courage to choose wisely, the courage to stay or leave, or the courage to care for true self. Some courage is more natural for us to summon while others may be daunting. There is more to courage than just the discovery process. In order to flourish, we need to live in a Circle of Trust. What’s that? It’s a process to create and grow a safe space for both individuals and groups so that they can trust one another to develop growth, restoration, team building, and reconnect. Within this circle there are 11 touchstones.
Ultimately, Shelly emphasizes the need to take care of ourselves and regularly reflect. To be an active leader you need to trust in yourself and others. You need various forms of courage to develop people, build trust, and form a healthy community. With courage comes authentic and natural leadership that grows over time and only brings out more courage to step out of your comfort zone.
The Courage Way shares real-life stories of professionals who have made changes in their leadership because they have found inner courage and it has impacted both their lives and those around them. The Courage Way is a unique leadership book that will remove you from your comfort zone and force you to look at yourself with a fresh perspective that may bring out courage that you never realized you possessed. The question is, do you have the courage to look at leadership from a different angle and start living a life of integrity and authenticity?
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