Take charge of your leadership story—and write a new chapter
There are moments in just about every leadership journey when the path forward suddenly feels unclear. Struck by uncertainty and a lack of confidence, your sense of self—and your clarity of purpose—is out of balance. It’s as if you have ceased to be the hero in your own story. At times of periods of disruption and transition like these, you need a rewrite.
As a senior leader, what holds you back is often not a lack of skills or knowledge, but a fragmented and patchy leadership narrative that is frozen in time. A growing body of research suggests that many leaders are guided by a core narrative that defines not only how they see themselves, but that acts as a key source of personal motivation, drive and action. When your leadership stalls, it’s a sign that your story has taken you as far as it can—and it’s time to reauthor a new leadership narrative.
In this transformative guide to leadership development, executive coaches and leadership experts Rick Lash and Christine Miners illuminate how your internal narrator acts as the operating system of your mind—and how, like any OS, it can become outdated and overstretched (because it was mainly installed in your teens and early 20s). Through engaging stories, research-backed insights, and techniques, you’ll gain the tools to re-engage and update the story that you tell yourself, so you can operate at a higher, more effective level.
As you edit and upgrade your internal narrator, you’ll develop a personal story that is more grounded and anchored in your true self: one that is less fragile, more resilient, and able to withstand the relentless pressures of leadership—and life.
“The stories we tell ourselves about our self have power. In Once Upon a Leader, Rick Lash and Christine Miners detail how a leader can transform that inner narrative into a winning tale.”
Daniel Goleman, New York Times–bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence
“‘Do you like piña coladas and walking in the rain?’ Have you ever written a personal listing or recorded a video for a dating site? Your narrative is much deeper and more authentic than that. You are the star in your own YouTube video—your narrative. It is the story you tell yourself and others about who you are. It tells others about your personal and social identity and how you are different from others. It is your personal brand. As the authors brilliantly explain and then guide, your narrative should be authentic, deep, and updated as you grow and change. This is one of the best books about finding personal meaning and purpose that is available. Read it. Use it. And find purpose and happiness!”
Richard Boyatzis, PhD, Distinguished University Professor, Case Western Reserve University; coauthor of the international bestseller Primal Leadership and the new Helping People Change
“Today’s leaders must have clarity on who they are and what they stand for before they seek to lead others. Rick Lash and Christine Miners have decades of experience helping leaders do this, and their leadership narrative approach is an essential tool for those who want to inspire. This book will change how you see yourself as a leader.”
Bart Egnal, CEO, The Humphrey Group; chair, Niagara Institute
“There is wisdom in these pages. Drawing from real-life experiences and a lifetime of research, the authors provide practical advice on how to create a life of personal growth and authenticity. This is a fresh and unique perspective on leadership and it is well worth the read.”
Donald H. Morrison, retired COO, BlackBerry/Research in Motion; chair, the Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT
“I love what Rick Lash and Christine Miners have done to name what we all know but rarely think about—the personal story ‘tape’ that runs over and over in our mind. Their helpful steps guide us to rewrite our stories through a fresh set of eyes, for a fresh start. I found Once Upon a Leader both deeply reflective and immensely practical—a winning combination indeed!”
Laurie Bevier, chief talent officer, GE
“Although we routinely look to stories as powerful vehicles for inspiration and growth, we may not consider that the same holds true for our self narrative. Once Upon a Leader draws our attention to the power of our personal story. Most importantly, it equips us with the tools to drive greater awareness so we can have our desired impact, both as leaders and as human beings.”
Craig Dowden, PhD, bestselling author of Do Good to Lead Well: The Science and Practice of Positive Leadership
“I loved it. I really did. This deserves to be on my shelf with Liz Wiseman, Adam Grant, Warren Bennis, and Kim Scott. If you want to simply read through it, you will get value and reflect. If you want to really engage and lean in, it serves as a transformational workbook that takes you deep and brings out your best leader.”
Kevin O’Brien, President and GM at WW Canada
About the Authors:
Rick Lash has worked for over three decades as a trusted advisor and executive coach to Fortune 500 executives and their teams. Valued for his deep expertise and thoughtful, creative approach, he has contributed to the Harvard Business Review, the Ivey Business Journal, Chief Executive magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and the Globe and Mail’s Leadership Lab series. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Toronto. He lives in Toronto.
Christine Miners has over two decades of experience, holding senior leadership roles across multiple industries including technology, health care, consumer packaged goods, telecommunications, and professional services. Valued for her depth of expertise, practical approach, and authentic style, Christine is a sought-after advisor, facilitator, and speaker. She has delivered leadership programs in Canada, the US, and Latin America, and is a Niagara Institute faculty member. She lives in Toronto.