- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Jossey-Bass; 1 edition (April 14, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1118838289
- ISBN-13: 978-1118838280
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #850,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Step Up: Lead in Six Moments that Matter Hardcover – April 14, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Q&A with Henry Evans and Colm Foster, authors of Step Up
What is a “leadership moment”?
These are moments when leadership is required in order to see a problem solved, opportunity seized, momentum changed, relationship(s) built, or when the intelligent expression of emotion is required to drive a desired result. Leadership moments are when there will be an “easy thing” to do or a “right thing” to do, and you choose the “right thing”, even though it may be hard to do so. Some of the moments are counter-intuitive and will contradict some of the prevailing wisdom about leadership.
What are common misconceptions about leadership?
That people who have the formal position of “leader” are good leaders and/or are always ready to lead. Another misconception, in our experience, is that people at all levels of organizations sometimes feel helpless and think that without a formal title they cannot lead.
Many books outline how to harness positive energy. Are negative outlooks—pessimism, skepticism, criticism—ever useful?
In short, yes. The emotional intelligence community, ourselves included, have taught that emotions such as anger and frustration should be banned from the workplace. We have now changed our view. In our research and work with clients, we observe that the intelligent use of emotions like anger can lead to better business outcomes and stronger relationships. Stupidity is a problem, but not always anger, if channeled productively. Pessimists are often misunderstood and underappreciated. In Step Up, we show how sometimes your pessimists are providing a counterbalance for unbridled optimism.
Are the six leadership moments important for both managers and non-managers? Can mastering how to act in the six moments help people advance in their careers?
Yes. Leaders must demonstrate these qualities, and we promote the use of the six moments as criteria for reward and promotion across teams. We also believe that if you are working for someone who does not possess these qualities, you should train up, or trade up (get a new boss). Lastly, when you find yourself in a moment when you and your team are experiencing a leadership void, our book is a road map for understanding how and when to demonstrate leadership in those same moments. You don’t need the title. You simply need to know how to recognize the moments when leadership is required, and of course, what to do when you are in one of those moments. If you demonstrate these qualities consistently, people are likely to view you in a new light, that of a leader.
What can readers of your first book, Winning with Accountability, expect with Step Up?
Winning with Accountability is a language-based system for driving better business results, and building better relationships through the language you use when making and requesting commitments. Step Up focuses on the six critical leadership behaviors required for leadership, regardless of your title or formal position. As with Winning with Accountability, you can expect more ideas that are easy to access, immediately applicable, and which naturally connect to your current business reality. In both books, we are action-focused, not theory-focused.
“Henry Evans and Colm Foster help bridge the gap between the needs of an organization and the needs of the human beings who sit within the organization... challenging us to be catalysts for positive change.”
— From the foreword by Marshall Goldsmith
“A useful, easy-to-digest road map for leading with clarity, compassion, and transparent communication. Step Up gives both tenured and new leaders fresh ideas and creative reminders that will propel them to new heights as they motivate and inspire those around them to meet and exceed their goals.”
—Melissa Reiff, president and chief operating officer, The Container Store
“As Evans and Foster so wisely point out in Step Up, most often leadership is in the moment. Drawing on their considerable experience, Evans and Foster identify six critical opportunities to lead, and they offer practical and tangible ideas about how anyone can ‘step up’ and take ownership of these moments. This book artfully unravels many of the complexities and demystifies the actions needed to make something positive happen. Step Up is a valuable addition to the library of all leaders who want to make their teams and organizations more effective.”
—Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner, authors, The Leadership Challenge
“Evans and Foster provide a catalyst for reflection as well as resources and tools for practice. I look forward to sharing Step Up with the leaders I work with as an internal executive coach. I know this will make a difference for them and the teams they lead.”
—Bob Andrews, director, executive coaching, Gap Inc.
“Evans and Foster are strategy and leadership team experts. In Step Up, they share a secret weapon for developing and retaining top talent: six moments that develop leadership at all levels of an organization. I don’t do theory. Step Up is easy to understand and apply for generating better business results.”
—Nic Vu, senior vice president, retail, adidas® Group
“Evans and Foster’s six moments offer a fresh perspective and caused me to think differently about the leadership challenges I face. I will use and recommend Step Up.”
—Matthew E. Winter, president, Allstate Personal Lines
“At the FBI, we realized that the most successful agents consistently demonstrated specific behaviors for building trust and credibility in the field. Evans and Foster do a great job of explaining the skills and competencies required for successful leadership. This is an easy-to-follow guide for generating leadership in both public and private sector organizations.”
—Supervisory Special Agent Tim Turner (retired), FBI Academy, Ed.D, associate professor, Anderson University and Columbia Southern University
“Evans and Foster point out that leadership is something we all do, even if we didn’t understand our role as leaders before. With examples from widely-known leaders and case studies from their consulting practice, Step Up shows how to manage and listen to our anger and anxiety, improving our mental models and creating emotional safety around us. This lively, accurate, and practical book will inspire readers.”
—John D. Mayer, professor of psychology, University of New Hampshire, and author, Personal Intelligence
“If you think that emotional intelligence is about being nice or avoiding conflict and you see yourself as a leader, you’d better get this book. Step Up introduces you to the nitty-gritty of emotionally intelligent leadership. You’ll find examples and suggestions on how to handle negative emotions and arm yourself for those make-or-break leadership moments.”
—Steven J. Stein, Ph.D., author, Emotional Intelligence for Dummies
“Innovation requires decisiveness and tough discussions where assumptions and ideas are explored and challenged. In Step Up, Evans and Foster give a roadmap to help any organization gain a competitive edge by igniting leadership at every level of the organization.”
—Soren Kaplan, Ph.D., author, Wall Street Journal bestseller Leapfrogging
Top customer reviews
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The six areas this book covers are: Anger, Conflict, Decision-making, Self-Assesssment, Pessimism and Momentum. While these may sound generic and cover the regular fare of Leadership book fodder, Evans and Foster take these topics to places most fear to tread. For instance, they recommend you embrace anger and see where it might take you. Referring to anger as a tool that can inspire us to greatness, they have a refreshing way of looking at how our emotions can provide fuel to success when properly harnessed. This idea immediately got my attention.
In today's politically correct environment, conflict is also an area of weakness for many. It seems everyone wants a bean-bag chair work environment and those who dare shatter the facade are labeled abrasive or combative. But there are also plenty examples of how some cultures are founded on pointless bickering. In this chapter, the authors take you through a process of embracing conflict while not allowing it to stifle legitimate communication.
While it was painful for another leadership book to use "Gladiator" as a teaching example, I felt emboldened by the idea that you must make clear decisions on a daily basis. They gave the common example of Execute, Delegate or Eliminate as a rule of thumb. But one tidbit I latched on to was the idea that anxiety and accuracy are not necessarily related. In other words, if a decision has a lot riding on it and I am feeling the heat, this has nothing to do with whether or not my decision is sound. I must concentrate on the facts and projected outcomes and DECIDE. Then commit fully to making the outcome reality.
I'm not claiming that this is the most original leadership book out there. But I simply found myself going back to it several times in the process of reading it. It has somehow resonated with me as being extremely relevant in how I lead others.
One final note. I'm a Manager at a major airline and the Senior Pastor of a small church. This book was relevant in both arenas. It is not confined to a specific leadership environment and has principles and guidelines that are applicable to all facets of human interaction. I highly recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
At a glance these are Henry and Colm's idea of leadership moments such as:
1) Get angry not stupid