My Leadership Toolbox


I have studied people, books, TED talks, etc. I realized many leaders repeat what others have done, which works for a while. There are interesting takes on how leaders lead in a new digitally connected world. We are increasingly becoming disconnected by technology from our people and our teams. We miss out on the human touch and interaction.

I also realize I am a divergent thinker. I tend to have ideas and solutions in the middle of the night that fit just like a puzzle piece I have been looking for. There is also more than one solution to many challenges. Why do I need to adopt “one way” of thinking about a problem? Can we chase our curiosity for a while, then take creative risk-taking? Sometimes I need more data and information to determine the best path. I need time to absorb and think about the many different potential answers.

I am also an empath. I see enormous potential in our workforce if we give them the power to build skills. I have taken a stand for employees I knew were loyal and did splendid work, even when they were on the chopping block by a pencil pusher. Some of these people outlasted the pencil pusher and the big boss. Why? Because they were worthy, and they were the right kind of person for the job. I did not always last. I was pushed out of a company in one case and that hurt. I stood for integrity in the process and was rewarded with a severance check. Did it matter that I stood up for these people? Yes! Would I do it again even though it was painful to go through and, in the end, lose my job? Yes!

So below are the tools that are meaningful to me. I look at some of these daily or return them when needed. These tools, resources, and experiences helped form who I am and how I lead. There are multiple “leadership models” and many ways to look at challenges, but there is only one way to be a human. That is have empathy and respect for each other.

My leadership toolbox consists of people I follow, books I read, and destinations or experiences that have moved me. No blogs or websites right now… I still must organize the 100’s of links I have… :-)… maybe someday…

People who move me and inspire me to be a better leader. I have found their messages on leadership to be immensely powerful:

  • Richard Branson
  • Adam Grant
  • Seth Godin
  • Leonardo da Vinci
  • Tenzin Gyatso
  • Nick Vujicic
  • Malcolm Gladwell
  • Jim Carrey
  • Robin Williams

These books I reference for ideas and research and that I lean on for good foundations

  • Think like da Vinci
  • Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
  • Jupiter’s Travels: Four Years Around the World on a Triumph
  • Learn Like a Polymath
  • Brave New Work
  • Screw Business As Usual
  • Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World
  • 12 Major World Religions: The Beliefs Rituals, and Traditions of Humanity’s Most Influential Faiths
  • Own Your Weird: An Oddly Effective Way for Finding Happiness in Work, Life, and Love
  • Ikigai: The Japanese Art of a Meaningful Life

Business Books that provide useful information

  • Crushing It!
  • Exponential Organizations
  • Digital Destiny
  • Think Again
  • Servant Leadership Roadmap
  • GRIT, the power of passion and perseverance
  • Nine Lies About Work
  • The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership

Destinations that have humbled me and inspired me to think differently about people. You cannot underestimate the power of travel.

  • Oradea, Romania
  • Kyoto, Japan
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Prague, Czech Republic
  • Ireland
  • New York, USA
  • New Delhi and Agra, India
  • Beijing, China
  • Manilla, Philippines