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Saturday, September 17, 2016


5 stars out of 5

Okay, 'fess up time: I've been officially (and happily) retired for just over 13 years now. But while I no longer go to an office five days a week, nor work closely with and supervise other people, I've continued to work from home on a limited basis just to keep my skills alive. More to the point, I expect to never lose interest in self-development and the "people" part of leadership. So when I was given the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, I didn't hesitate to go for it.

The book puts heavy emphasis on the self-awareness and self-development side of the equation: "New Alphas strive for excellence in all areas of their lives and can bring big ideas to life," the author writes. Often, she adds, they are "...the best and most inspiring leaders."

Thus, her New Alpha program is designed to help people (in the case of the book, readers) make the most of human potential - their own and that of those with whom they interact as a leader ("At its best, leadership is about becoming the best version of yourself in order to maximize your positive impact in the world," she writes). 

At its heart, the book serves up a hands-on, step-by-step program for learning who you are, who you want to be, where you want to go and what it takes to get you there. It's filled with self-assessment tools, tracking systems, quizzes and worksheets for time-honored processes like goal-setting, decision-making, prioritizing and communicating as well as plenty of other concepts and principles that can help boost your confidence, feelings of self-worth and, of course, leadership potential. Major sections include Personal Excellence, Personal Leadership and Team and Organizational Leadership; many of the tools are in the book and still others are downloadable.

If you're the kind of person who wants to make the most of yourself and help others make the most of themselves - whether or not you get out of bed in the morning and head to a workplace - this book provides an excellent guide. That said, a word of advice from one who has conducted her fair share of employee development workshops on a number of topics included herein: In this book, as in life, there's a direct correlation to what you put in and what you get back out. If you follow through on what's presented in these pages, I'm pretty sure your experience will be enlightening and yes, empowering.

The New Alpha: Join the Rising Movement of Influencers and Changemakers Who are Redefining Leadership by Danielle Harlan (McGraw-Hill Education, September 2016); 288 pp.

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