Categorized | Business Authors

How do you turn leadership ability into your strategic advantage? Build Innovative Leadership

Innovative Leadership Fieldbook, Field-Tested Integral Approaches to Developing Leaders, Transforming Organizations and Creating Sustainability

Maureen Metcalf

A short authors bio:

Maureen is the Founder and CEO of Metcalf & Associates a management consulting and coaching firm dedicated to helping leaders, their management teams and organizations implement the innovative leadership practices necessary to thrive in a rapidly changing environment. She is the lead author. Mark Palmer is the co-author.

Maureen is an acclaimed thought leader who developed, tested, and implemented emerging models that dramatically improve leaders and organizations success in changing times. She works with leaders to develop innovative leadership capacity and with organizations to further develop innovative leadership qualities.

As a Senior Manager with two “Big Four” Management consulting firms for 12 years, Maureen managed and contributed to successful completion of a wide array of projects from strategy development and organizational design for start-up companies to large system change for well-established organizations. She has worked with a number of Fortune 100 clients delivering a wide range of significant business results such as: increased profitability, cycle time reduction, increased employee engagement and effectiveness, and improved quality.

Maureen combines intellectual rigor and discipline with an ability to translate theory into practice. She designs and teaches MBA classes in Leadership and Organizational Transformation at Capital University. She was a finalist for the Tech Columbus Innovation Award – Women of the Year in Technology 2011.

A book synopsis / Key Ideas

The Innovative Leadership Fieldbook defines Innovative Leadership and povides a detailed process for how to develop it. The first five chapters explore the five domains of innovative leadership in depth. The next six chapters offer a six-step process in a fieldbook/workbook format. It includes tools and practices for each step in the process designed to support you in enhancing your practical effectiveness as an Innovative Leader. It skillfully weaves the journeys of two executive leaders and one middle manager on their paths of developing innovative leadership qualities and implementing change in their organizations. This is the only fieldbook of its kind that includes this type of comprehensive model and developmental tools. Read the review by Harvard Professor, Jim Ritchie-Dunham

Why did you write this book?

I was teaching a leadership development class for mid-career MBA students and at the same time, coaching to mid-level and senior executive leaders. I wanted to offer resources that would help my clients better understand what leadership of the future would look like as well as tools to develop. I learned that there was no single text that combined the key domains of leadership with case studies and development tools. Over the past seven years of teaching leadership, I was able to write the book and test it with graduate students and clients. This allowed me to continually refine how I presented these concepts and test how each tool and template worked withdifferent audiences. Through the work with students and organizational clients, I refined my tools and approaches to the point that they are highly tested and proven effective.

Additionally, during this time, I studied with leading researchers and practitioners including Pacific Integral, Deep Change, Inc., Deep Coaching Institute, Belinda Gore and Susann Cook Greuter. Through intense studies and research we are all contributing to expanding how the most effective leadership is defined and developed. I wanted to capture what we were learning and share it with a organizational leadership audience so the materials reflect leading research from several different organizations. Other researchers are publishing materials for different target audiences.

Leadership is critical to a smoothly functioning society and as our world changes, leadership must also change. The percentage of the population that has access to an MBA, leadership coaching, and leadership training is relatively small. We wanted to make these tools available to a broader audience than we could reach in our daily coaching and teaching activities.

write a paragraph stating why readers should buy your book and what they will get out of it after reading it.

The concept of what effective leadership looks like is continually changing. It is imperative for leaders to recognize this and have a proven way to assess their skills. Through the stories of three actual leaders in addition to tools, templates and reflective questions, this will help you develop your leadership skills and be a more effective leader.

Do you have a blog, what is the link, what do you talk about in your blog?

Our blog discusses leadership and resilience related issues among others. I had the opportunity to blog for the World Business Forum and also guest blog for a local leadership series sponsored by TechColumbus. We also write about the leadership slant on current events.

Do you do speaking events? What are some common ones that you do on a regular basis? What do you talk about?

Speaking at leadership and management events as well as conferences has been an effective way to share knowledge and to connect with other business leaders. My main speaking topics are resilience and innovative leadership. Over the past years, I have also spoken extensively about Level 5 Leadership as identified by Jim Collins in Good to Great. I speak regularly at conferences as a Keynote speaker. When possible, I like to conduct 90 minute interactive sessions designed to give participants tangible with take-a-ways that will improve their actual performance in addition to their knowledge.

I also teach a workshop series that is more in-depth and designed to help leaders develop their skills. The workshops take the content of the book to the next level, helpingparticipants change how they see specific dimensions of leadership and practice new tactics and behaviors. We try to make every speaking engagement and workshop practical for the participants. My goal is that the time they invest in attending a session is more then off-set by an improvement in their performance.

I also continue to teach the leadership development class in the MBA program. Teaching helps me stay current and continue to refine my approach and test new tools.

Do you do your own marketing or PR? What is a good marketing / PR strategy for a budding author?

I worked with a talented PR and marketing person and also got advice from a colleague who was publishing a book at the same time. The marketing person worked with me to create the strategic plan and continues to help me monitor progress. On a daily basis, I implement the tactics in the plan. This includes writing blog posts, posting on Facebook and LinkedIn and responding to requests for Help a Reporter Out (HARO). I also tweet occasionally. The key is to use each social medium appropriately, communicating with target audiences.

I hire experts I can trust when the need arises. For example, I worked with a design firm and a web development firm to create the book website. The web development firm, Brightstar Interactive also created the on-line survey tools for a Resilience and Innovative Leadership Assessment on my website. (see links to the assessments)

Making tools available tools available at no charge for everyone allows people to evaluate themselves at their own convenience with no obligation. I do collect the email addresses and add them to the email list (Constant Contact) for quarterly newsletters. Since we are committed to improving the quality of leadership, helping leaders and aspiring leaders test their skills at no charge is aligned with our mission.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

I use Google tools extensively, such as Google Alerts to track the words Leadership and Innovation. This has provided me information about what others are doing in the space of leadership and innovation across a broad range of industries and countries. One example is decided to concentrate on university programs with an Innovative MBA to explore how they might use the book. This approach really worked out for me. Right now we are being used in 2 graduate programs and in discussion with another 5. This is great given a release date only 2 months ago. These discussions have also led us to interesting opportunities to use the book in different ways and also to explore ways to partner with the universities to support their leadership development programs.

Google Analytics has been a great tool for monitoring my web traffic and to analyze which marketing activities are driving the most traffic and providing the best results.I track my web traffic, referring sites, time on page, and bounce rate by page. This all helps me understand where to focus my marketing time and money.

What is the one thing that you did right?

Asking for input and help from many other experts was critical in completing a really high quality book.

I was very fortunate to work with a co-author, Mark Palmer and two contributing authors, Belinda Gore and Dena Paluck. They gave great input and content and their involvement made the book significantly better. Having good thought partners was an absolute must for me to write this book.

I worked with a graphic and visual design firm, Creative Spot. They did a wonderful job on all things visual. I place a high value on this part of the book and they took care of every detail to make the book look like something I would be proud of. They also did the visual layout for my website. Working with someone who has known me for years really made the process easier, they could suggest images, layouts, designs that worked for me but that I did not consider when explaining what I was looking for. They had done several book layouts and were able to guide me through the process and in some cases told me what I needed to do. I was completely grateful to work with people who knew what a visually attractive book looked like and weren’t afraid to speak up.

When I thought it was done, I asked a dear friend and former colleague to review it to ensure it was appropriately targeted to the business audience we wanted to reach. He suggested a MAJOR re-write. While painful, this is the best thing that could have happened to create a high quality book. I tend to be more academic in my tone and he helped me refine the content for an executive business reader.

Integral Publishers, Russ Volkman was also wonderful to work with. He guided me through the process and I learned a great deal from him. As a first time author, I was not familiar with the nuances of moving from I thought was done to actually being published.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

My biggest change is increased focus and the clarity of my ideas. I found the exercise of putting my ideas on paper and editing them until they are brief and concise has helped me communicate in all areas (speaking, teaching and writing).

Additionally, the book helped me consider the impact I want to make on the world. I had to ask myself why I was really writing this book? Who was my audience? How much work did I want to put into it? How much is enough? The how much is enough was often the toughest questions. I balanced wanting to be done with creating a book that would be of great value to the reader.

What book(s) have you read that you would recommend to others

A recent favorite is The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community by David C. Korten. Additionally, a book by a great friend and supporter during my writing process is One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership by Mike Figliuolo

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