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Greenleaf Book Group
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Leading Lightly: Lower Your Stress, Think with Clarity, and Lead with Ease
Jody Michael, author
A Conscious Approach to Leadership and Life Leading lightly is about looking at what you do through a radical new lens. It’s a way to powerfully transform your performance, make better decisions, gain greater self-awareness, and develop the capacity to manage your work and life with enduring ease and clarity. An alternative to the everyday stress, pace, challenges, and burdens that weigh you down, Leading Lightly shows you how to shift your mindset, live lighter, and optimize your effectiveness. Part leadership, part mental fitness, part health and wellness guide, this book empowers you to work at your best and operate at your fullest potential. Stress and difficulty don’t have to be a given. Learning to lead lightly and live mindfully can profoundly change the trajectory of your day. This book is for anyone who finds themselves overloaded, frustrated, anxious, or exhausted by their life circumstances. It offers more than just tactical strategies for sustained optimal performance at work, but transcends that, helping you develop a conscious approach to all the facets of your life, so you’re able to leverage the choices you have each day and take action that puts you in control of your experience. You’ll not only be able to create better outcomes, but also do this in a way that energizes and enlivens you. In Leading Lightly, author Jody Michael brings together 20+ years of her research and work as a psychotherapist, Master Certified Coach, and leadership expert to provide you with a practical, measurable, and proven process for developing your mental fitness. You’ll increase your emotional intelligence, discover how to respond to situations with more agility, build stronger interpersonal relationships, and find that the ability to thrive in leadership and life is within your grasp. This book will show you how to think differently, feel lighter, and achieve personal and professional well-being. You’ll notice the results immediately, and those around you will, too.
Michael debuts with an exhortation for readers to learn how to lead lightly, a “conscious” approach that she characterizes as “a state of being that naturally arises when you have learned to let go of your internal noise and emotional clutter.” Michael offers straightforward steps to shift ineffective mindsets and implement daily practices, demonstrating techniques to break free from routine thought patterns and default choices by emphasizing the importance of “mental fitness” in order to “create high performance no matter what may be going on.” She delivers this guidance within an easy-to-understand framework built on recognizing emotional triggers and preventing their interference in leadership performance.

In a direct, empathetic tone, Michael pushes readers to make purposeful decisions on a daily basis. Her overarching theme is the need for savvy business leaders to “consciously and intentionally” create a new path. To facilitate this, she urges readers to understand their “underlying operating system”s and its habitual responses. She lays out five “muscles” of mental fitness to develop, including “Choose Personal Accountability,” “Choose Helpful Beliefs over Impeding Beliefs,” and “Accurately Self-Assess Your Internal State.” Michael advocates for setting and meeting leadership goals without the stress and anxiety that typically accompanies them.

Though the target audience is leaders and career-minded individuals, Leading Lightly’s clear-eyed and practical advice will be useful for anyone looking to change their mindset and live a more stress free, positive life. Michael shares noteworthy characteristics of “mentally fit” leaders, such as empathy and commitment to growth, to inspire readers–and she encourages them to bear in mind the truth that they are responsible for their own thoughts, moods, behaviors, and outcomes. Particularly helpful is her acronym of SOS—“Stop. Oxygenate. Seek new information”—for leaders who struggle with reactions to stress triggers. This succinct guide delivers a wealth of leadership wisdom.

Takeaway: An empowering, motivating guide that lays out a path for leaders looking for a lighter, less stressful life.

Great for fans of: Charles Duhigg’s The Power of Habit, James Clear’s Atomic Habits.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A