Leadership from the Inside Out

Becoming a Leader for Life

Kevin Cashman (Author)

Leadership from the Inside Out
Leadership from the Inside Out, Kevin Cashman's breakthrough business bestseller that clearly connected personal growth to leadership effectiveness, is now completely revised and updated with:
-an explosion of new validating independent research
-impressive new case studies
-new tools and practices
-an even more powerful virtual coaching experience 

Still framed in seven simple yet profound “mastery areas,” this book serves as an integrated coaching experience that helps leaders understand how to harness their authentic, value-creating influence and elevate their impact as individuals, in teams, and in organizations. Cashman demonstrates that his trademark “whole-person” approach—
we lead by virtue of who we are—is essential to sustained success in today's talent-starved marketplace and provides a measurable return on investment. For everyone from CEOs to emerging leaders, this long-awaited second edition advances the art and science of leadership and is even more relevant today than when it was first published.

Read more and meet author below

Read An Excerpt

Free shipping on all orders from the BK Publishers store.
Or find a local bookseller with Indiebound.

Featured Books

More About This Product


Leadership from the Inside Out, Kevin Cashman's breakthrough business bestseller that clearly connected personal growth to leadership effectiveness, is now completely revised and updated with:
-an explosion of new validating independent research
-impressive new case studies
-new tools and practices
-an even more powerful virtual coaching experience 

Still framed in seven simple yet profound “mastery areas,” this book serves as an integrated coaching experience that helps leaders understand how to harness their authentic, value-creating influence and elevate their impact as individuals, in teams, and in organizations. Cashman demonstrates that his trademark “whole-person” approach—
we lead by virtue of who we are—is essential to sustained success in today's talent-starved marketplace and provides a measurable return on investment. For everyone from CEOs to emerging leaders, this long-awaited second edition advances the art and science of leadership and is even more relevant today than when it was first published.

Back to Top ↑

Meet the Author

Visit Author Page - Kevin Cashman

Kevin is a best-selling author, top-ten thought leader, keynote speaker, global CEO coach and pioneer of the ‘grow the whole person to grow the whole leader’ approach to transformative leadership. He is the founder of LeaderSource Ltd and the Chief Executive Institute™, recognized as one of the top three leadership development programs globally. In 2006, LeaderSource joined Korn Ferry, where Kevin is now Senior Partner, CEO & Executive Development.

Kevin has advised thousands of senior executives and senior teams in more than 60 countries worldwide. He is an accomplished thought leader on topics of personal, team, and organizational transformation. He has written six books including Awakening the Leader Within and Leadership from the Inside Out, named the #1 best-selling business book of 2000 by CEO-READ and is now used at over 100 universities globally. His latest book, The Pause Principle: Step Back to Lead Forward, has been recognized as a Business Book of the Year finalist by both ForeWord Reviews and CEO-READ. The 20th Anniversary Edition of Leadership from the Inside Out will be published in 2017.

Kevin has written scores of articles on leadership and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Chief Executive, Human Resource Executive, Fast Company, Strategy & Leadership, Directors & Boards Magazine, and other national media. He is a leadership columnist for Forbes.com and has been named as one of the Top 10 Thought Leaders globally by Leadership Excellence and one of the Top Ten Executive Coaches by GlobalGurus.org. Kevin was recently given a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Executive Search Consultants for his contribution in transforming the recruiting industry through leadership development.

Mr. Cashman holds a degree in psychology from St. John’s University and is an adjunct professor for the University of Minnesota Executive Education program. He is a former Advisory Board Member for HR.com; a Senior Fellow in the Caux Round Table, a global consortium of CEOs dedicated to enhancing principle-based leadership internationally; and a Board Member for the University of St. Thomas’ Center for Ethical Business Cultures fostering ethical leadership worldwide. He is also the founder and thought leader for the highly popular Transformational Leadership Group on LinkedIn.

Back to Top ↑


By Berrett-Koehler Staff , December 9, 2014
Berrett-Koehler hasn't added any comment
Back to Top ↑

Table of Contents

Why a New Edition?
Preface: How to Use This Book…from the Inside Out
Introduction: The Beginning of the Journey
Chapter One: Personal Mastery: Leading with Awareness and Authenticity
Breaking Free of Self-Limiting Patterns
Integrating All of Life's Experiences into a Meaningful Context
Deepening Authenticity for Sustainable Leadership
Exploring Beliefs
Reflection: Conscious Beliefs
Seven Clues That Bring Shadow Beliefs to Light
Leading with Character…Leading by Coping
Qualities of Character and Coping
Reflection: Character and Coping
Understanding Our Owner's Manual
Reflection: Clarifying Our Strengths and Growth Areas
Eight Points for Personal Mastery
Leadership Growth Plan
Leadership Growth Plan: Example
Chapter Two: Purpose Mastery: Leading On-Purpose
Discovering the Sweet Spot
Identifying Core Talents
Reflection: Core Talents
Recognizing Core Values
Reflection: Core Values
Revealing Core Purpose
“Moving Upstairs” to Our Purpose
Diving Beneath the Surface to Our Purpose
Purpose Is Bigger and Deeper Than Our Goals
Connecting the Inner with the Outer: Purpose, Authenticity, and Congruence
Unfolding the Defining Thread of Purpose
Six Thousand Days
Reflection: Core Purpose
Eight Points for Purpose Mastery
Leadership Growth Plan
Chapter Three: Interpersonal Mastery: Leading through Synergy and Service
Two Principle Streams of Leadership Development
Building Relationship Bridges
Balancing Personal Power with Synergy Power and Contribution Power
Reducing the Intention-Perception Gap
Beyond 360° Feedback to 720° Feedback
Intimate Connection of Personal Mastery and Interpersonal Mastery
Opening Up Possibilities
The Potentially Transforming Power of Presence
Moving from Leader to Opener
Trusting and Engaging in Constructive Conflict
Reflection: Building Relationships
Six Points for Authentic Interpersonal Mastery
Leadership Growth Plan
Chapter Four: Change Mastery: Leading with Agility
Uncovering the Learning and Growth Contained in Change
Breaking Old Patterns and Opening Up to Change
Developing Present-Moment Awareness to Deal with Change Effectively
Bridging the Paradox of Immediate Focus and Broad Awareness for Leading during Turbulent Times
Learning to Trust Ourselves Amid Dynamic Change
Leadership Development as Measured by Our Ability to Adapt
Developing the Resilience to Thrive in Change
Change Initiatives Rarely Succeed
Seven Change Mastery Shifts
Reflection: Dealing with Change
Measuring Our Ability to Deal with Change
Eight Points of Awareness for Leading with Agility
Leadership Growth Plan
Chapter Five: Resilience Mastery: Leading with Energy
What Happened to the Life of Leisure
Challenges of Resilience for Executives
Moving from Time and Efficiency to Energy and Resilience
What Healthy, Productive 100-Year Olds Can Teach Leaders
Resilience Is a Dynamic Process
Ten Signs of Resilience
Ten Signs of Lack of Resilience
Nature's Resilience: Rest and Activity
The Eleven Points of Resilience Mastery
Reflection: Building Energy and Resilience
Leadership Growth Plan
Chapter Six: Being Mastery: Leading with Presence
Personal Journey into Being
Going to Another Level to Resolve Leadership Challenges
Getting Things Done by Non-Doing
The Search for Something More
Don't Place “Descartes” before “the Source”
Techniques to Unfold Being
Reflection: Exploring the Leader Within
Connecting with Our Inner Self
Being and Executive Presence
Leadership Benefits of Being
Four Points of Awareness for Leading with Presence
Leadership Growth Plan
Chapter Seven: Action Mastery: Leading through Coaching
Merging Three Interrelated Action Mastery Steps
Action Mastery Step One: Building Awareness
Reflection: Building Awareness
Action Mastery Step Two: Building Commitment
Reflection: Building Commitment
Action Mastery Step Three: Building Practice
Reflection: Building Practice
The Art of Coaching Others
Coaching Others to Build Awareness
Building Awareness in Others
Coaching Others to Build Commitment
Coaching Others to Build Practice
Leadership Growth Plan
Parting Thoughts for Your Journey Ahead
Conclusion: The Journey Continues
About the Author
About LeaderSource
About Korn/Ferry International

Back to Top ↑


Leadership From the Inside Out

Leading with Awareness and Authenticity

I once heard a poignant story about a priest who was confronted by a soldier while he was walking down a road in pre-revolutionary Russia. The soldier, aiming his rifle at the priest, commanded, “Who are you? Where are you going? Why are you going there?” Unfazed, the priest calmly replied, “How much do they pay you?” Somewhat surprised, the soldier responded, “Twenty-five kopecks a month.” The priest paused, and in a deeply thoughtful manner said, “I have a proposal for you. I’ll pay you fifty kopecks each month if you stop me here every day and challenge me to respond to those same three questions.”

How many of us have a “soldier” confronting us with life’s tough questions, pushing us to pause, to examine, and to develop ourselves more thoroughly? If “character is our fate,” as Heraclitus wrote, do we step back often enough both to question and to affirm ourselves in order to reveal our character? As we lead others and ourselves through tough times, do we draw on the inner resources of our character, or do we lose ourselves in the pressures of the situation?


Joe Cavanaugh, Founder and CEO of Youth Frontiers, in one of his powerful retreats on character development, tells a moving story about Peter, an elementary school student who suffered burns on 90 percent of his body. Peter’s burns were so severe that his mouth had to be propped open so it wouldn’t seal shut in the healing process. Splints separated his fingers so his hands wouldn’t become webbed. His eyes were kept open so his eyelids wouldn’t cut him off from the world permanently. Even after Peter endured one year of rehabilitation and excruciating pain, his spirit was intact. What was the first thing he did when he could walk? He helped console all the other patients by telling them that they would be all right, that they would get through it. His body may have been horribly burned, but his strength of character was whole.

Eventually, Peter had to begin junior high at a school where no one knew him. Imagine going to a new school at that age and being horribly disfigured. Imagine what the other kids would say and how they would react. On his first day in the cafeteria everyone avoided him. They looked at him with horror and whispered to one another. Kids got up and moved from tables that were close to him. One student, Laura, had the courage to approach him and to introduce herself. As they talked and ate, she looked into Peter’s eyes and sensed the person beneath the scarred surface. Reading her thoughts, Peter, in his deep, raspy, smoke-damaged voice, said, “Everyone is avoiding me because they don’t know me yet. When they come to know me, they’ll hang out with me. When they get to know the real me inside, they’ll be my friends.” Peter was right. His character was so strong that people eventually looked beyond the surface. People loved his spirit and wanted to be his friend.

Courage is the ladder on which all other virtues mount.

—Claire Booth Luce

When I consider Peter’s situation, I’m not so sure that I would be able to come through his experiences with the same courage. But that’s the beauty of Personal Mastery. Peter was challenged to awaken his extraordinary strength and to walk down his particular path. It was his path to master, not yours, not mine. Somehow his life had prepared him to walk that path with dignity. Although usually under less dramatic conditions than Peter’s, each of us is challenged to master our own unique circumstances. Each of us is being called to lead by authentically connecting our own life experiences, values, and talents to the special circumstances we face. Our ability to rise to the challenge depends on our understanding of our gifts, as well as how prepared we are to take the journey with grace and contribution.


Personal Mastery is not a simplistic process of merely affirming our strengths while ignoring our weaknesses. It is, as Carl Jung would explain it, “growth toward wholeness.” It is about acknowledging our talents and strengths while facing our underdeveloped, hidden, or shadow sides of ourselves. It is about honestly facing and reconciling all facets of self. Personal Mastery involves appreciating the rich mixture of our life experiences and how they dynamically form our unique existence. Peter Senge, in The Fifth Discipline, wrote, “People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence, their growth areas, and they are deeply self-confident. Paradoxical? Only for those who do not see the journey is the reward.”

There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men, true nobility is being superior to your former self.

—Lao Tzu

Research by Lominger International, a Korn/Ferry Company, indicates that defensiveness, arrogance, overdependence on a single skill, key skill deficiencies, lack of composure, and unwillingness to adapt to differences are among the “top ten career stallers and stoppers.” A research study by Kenneth Brousseau, CEO of Decision Dynamics, Gary Hourihan, Chairman of Korn/Ferry’s consulting division, and others, published in the February 2006 edition of the Harvard Business Review, connects the significance of personal growth—an evolving decision-making and leadership style—to leadership and career advancement. This global research, with its extraordinarily high degree of statistical credibility, which used the Styleviewtsm Decision Styles assessment tool on 180,000 individuals in five levels of management from entry level to the top, shows that if people don’t develop, they do not advance.


Of all the principles supporting sustainable leadership, authenticity may be the most important. It also can be the most challenging. Most people never realize that it’s an area of their lives that needs attention. In almost three decades of interacting with thousands of leaders, I’ve yet to meet an executive for coaching who comes to me lamenting, “I’m having real trouble being authentic.” If authenticity is so important, why don’t we recognize it as an issue? The answer is both simple and profound: We are always authentic to our present state of development. We all behave in perfect alignment with our current level of emotional, psychological, and spiritual evolution. All our actions and relationships, as well as the quality and power of our leadership, accurately express the person we have become. Therefore, we conclude that we are “authentic,” because we are doing the best we can with the information and experience that we have at this time.

There is a big hitch, however. While we are true and authentic to our current state of development, we are inauthentic to our potential state of development. As Shakespeare wrote so eloquently in Hamlet, “We know what we are, but not what we may be.” As humans and as leaders, we have an infinite ability to grow, to be and to become more. Our horizons are unlimited. If there is an end-point to growing in authenticity, I certainly have not seen it. In The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are, Daniel J. Siegel explains that the mind is shaped continually throughout life by the connection between the neurophysiological processes of the brain and interpersonal relationships. “When we examine what is known about how the mind develops, we can gain important insights into the ways in which people can continue to grow throughout life.” He goes on to say, “We can use an understanding of the impact of experience on the mind to deepen our grasp of how the past continues to shape present experience and influence future actions.”

Dig inside. Inside is the fountain of good and it will forever flow if you will forever dig.

—Marcus Aurelius

To deepen authenticity, to nourish leadership from the inside-out, takes time and attention. In today’s world, the amount of distraction and busyness we all experience keeps us from undertaking the inward journey and engaging in the quiet reflection required to become more authentic human beings. By middle life, most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves. John Gardener writes:

Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for running away from themselves. We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world within.

To penetrate the commotion and distraction of our lives, to explore the depths of ourselves is the prerequisite for self-awareness and authenticity. So what is authenticity? Based on our experience coaching leaders over the years, we define authenticity as the continual process of building self-awareness of our whole person—strengths and limitations. As a result of this awareness, more often than not, the authentic person’s beliefs, values, principles, and behavior tend to line up. Commonly referred to as “walking the talk,” authenticity also means being your talk at a very deep level.

Another prominent feature of highly authentic individuals is openness. Whether they come to authenticity naturally or work hard to attain it, the most real, genuine, sincere people tend to be open to both their capabilities and their vulnerabilities. They have an inner openness with themselves about their strengths as well as their limitations. They know who they are and don’t apologize for their capabilities. They also have an outer openness with others about their whole selves. They try neither to cover up their weaknesses nor to “hide their light under a bushel.” They have managed to avoid the pitfall that Malcolm Forbes elucidates, “Too many people over-value what they are not and under-value what they are.” Self-compassion, being open and receptive to our vulnerabilities, is an important aspect of authenticity. By acknowledging our own vulnerabilities and appreciating our whole selves, we can truly be compassionate to others. As David Whyte, poet and author of The Heart Aroused, has written, “We need to learn to love that part of ourselves that limps.”

In Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t, Jim Collins’ research points out the interesting duality in “Level 5 Leaders,” who were both modest and willful, humble and fearless, vulnerable and strong, interpersonally connected and focused—in short, leaders we would say “had grown toward wholeness” and authenticity. Their “compelling modesty,” as Collins puts it, their authenticity as we would term it, draws people to come together to achieve.

Authentic people—people on the path to personal mastery—value all of who they are. A dual awareness of their own strengths and vulnerabilities allows authentic leaders to focus on the team, organization, and marketplaces, not on themselves. Personal Mastery allows us to transcend our egos and move into authentic service and authentic contribution. As Collins elaborates, “Level 5 leaders channel their ego away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great company. It’s not that Level 5 Leaders have no ego or self-interest. Indeed they are incredibly ambitious, but their ambition is first and foremost for the contribution, not for themselves.” Level 5 Leaders—authentic leaders—see their purpose beyond their limited selves as passionate instruments of service and contribution. Authentic leaders understand that if our lives do not stand for something bigger than ourselves, our leadership lacks purpose. Deepak Chopra wrote:

To be authentic, you have to be everything that you are, omitting nothing. Within everyone there is light and shadow, good and evil, love and hate. The play of these opposites is what constantly moves life forward; the river of life expresses itself in all its changes from one opposite to another. As we discover and accept these opposites within ourselves, we are being more authentic.

In Daniel Goleman’s extensive research on emotional intelligence in the workplace, Goleman cites self-awareness, “attention to one’s own experience or mindfulness,” as the primary competence in his framework for managing ourselves, a prerequisite for managing others. In Primal Leadership: Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence, he and his co-authors, Richard Boyatzis and Annie McKee, assert, “A leader’s self-awareness and ability to accurately perceive his performance is as important as the feedback he receives from others.” The flow of crucial information comes from the inside-out and from the outside-in.

Although the world may be headed toward a time when top-down, authoritarian leadership will be outmoded, I have seen authoritarian leaders with substantial authenticity outperform leaders who strove to be collaborative, yet lacked authenticity. I’ve seen leaders low in charisma and polish get in front of a group and stumble around a bit, but their personal authenticity and substance were so tangibly established that they inspired the group members and moved them to a new level of excellence. Could such leaders benefit from working on their style of presentation? Certainly. But how much would it really matter, compared with their trust-inspiring authenticity? “The individual who does not embody her messages will eventually be found out,” warns Howard Gardner in Leading Minds. “Even the inarticulate individual who leads the exemplary life may eventually come to be appreciated.”

What you bring forth out of yourself from the inside will save you. What you do not bring forth out of yourself from the inside will destroy you.

—St. Thomas


One of the most effective ways to take this journey to a more integrated, complete understanding of ourselves is to explore deeply our personal belief system. Few psychological dynamics are as fundamental as our beliefs. Beliefs literally create our reality; they are the lenses or filters through which we interpret the world. Some of these “lenses” focus and open up new horizons; others dim our view and limit possibilities. Beliefs are transformational. Every belief we have transforms our life in either a life-enriching or life-limiting way.

One of the most dramatic examples of the transformational power of beliefs comes from heavyweight fighter George Foreman. In the 1970s, Foreman was renowned for being one of the toughest, nastiest human beings on the planet. Angry and antisocial, he often came across as a tough, mean, uncommunicative person, not at all the person you see today. He was not known for social graces, self-awareness, or his big smile. Immediately following his surprising loss to Jimmy Young in Puerto Rico, George went to his dressing room, lay down on the training table, and reportedly had an overwhelming spiritual experience. After that experience, George changed. He changed his entire life, everything: his personality, his relationships, his life purpose. He transformed them all into a more life-affirming direction.

George peeled the onion of his personality and the delightful, humorous, self-effacing “George” came forward. The important thing to note here is not whether George Foreman actually had a spiritual revelation. Many medical professionals said he suffered from severe heat exhaustion, and that’s what caused his “experience.” That’s not the issue. The key principle is that George Foreman believed he had a spiritual transformation and the belief changed his life. What we believe, we become.

Through my years of coaching people, I have observed consistently two distinct types of belief systems operating in people: Conscious Beliefs and Shadow Beliefs. Conscious Beliefs are the explicit, known beliefs we have. When asked about these beliefs about ourselves, about other people, or about life in general, we can articulate many of them. Even though it may take some effort to access and to clarify some of these beliefs, they are accessible to us on an everyday level. Examples of Conscious Beliefs someone might have are: “I believe in treating people with respect; I fear trying new things; I am creative and resilient; many people are untrustworthy; hard work brings results.” Although we can access these beliefs on a conscious level, this does not mean we are always aware of them. We can, however, become more aware of Conscious Beliefs and whether or not we are living in accordance with these beliefs.

Recently, we guided the chairman of the board of a fast-growing public company through the process of bringing his beliefs into conscious awareness. As a result, the 60-year-old chairman remarked, “Most people probably think I had this all figured out. What I discovered is that my beliefs were operating, but not consciously enough. After more than 30 years in leadership roles, I realize that unknowingly I’ve been holding back crucial aspects of myself, critical to continued leadership success. Once I saw it in my work, it was easy to see that I was doing the same thing at home with my family.”

Elena was an executive in a global service firm in the United Kingdom. Her intelligence, energetic work ethic, results orientation, and excellent relationship skills had supported her pattern of success. She prided herself on how connected the people on her team were with her and each other. In meetings, team members conducted themselves respectfully, and they rarely engaged in conflict. One day during a one-on-one with her boss, Elena was taken aback when her boss said, “Elena, you’ve been on the team for a while now, and you never disagree with me. I don’t really know if you are really invested in all these new changes we’re making, or if you are just going along with them. You’re too nice! I need you to step forward more powerfully and challenge me.” Ingrained in Elena from a young age was the fear of rejection, which operated with the belief that being liked and accepted was the only way to really connect with people. Elena’s boss encouraged her to see that speaking up, being more open, is not only more respectful but also more authentic. After working with Elena for a while, we were able to help her break free of Shadow Beliefs around rejection and see that fostering more open discussions, even constructive conflict, surfaces not only unspoken issues but also innovation. As we believe, so shall we lead.

To leave our self-defeating behaviors behind, we must use our conscious minds to undermine the destructive but unconscious beliefs that cause us to defeat ourselves.

—Milton Cudney and
Robert Hardy

Although we access Conscious Beliefs somewhat easily, Shadow Beliefs are subtler and much more challenging to uncover. Doing so, however, is crucial to high performance. Taken from the Jungian concept of shadow, Shadow Beliefs are those beliefs that are manifestations of hidden, unexplored, or unresolved psychological dynamics. A Shadow Belief is cast when we don’t want to deal with something. When we hold onto a type of “secret,” a lack of awareness, we hold onto a Shadow Belief within us.

We all have Shadow Beliefs. If we don’t think we do, then the shadow is probably operating at precisely that moment by obscuring a view of a portion of ourselves. Jeffrey Patnaude, in his work Leading from the Maze, writes, “The leader must be awake and fully alert. Like a nighttime traveler attuned to every sound in the forest, the leader must be aware of all possibilities lurking in the shadows. For we can neither challenge nor transform what we cannot see.”

Personality can open doors. Only character can keep them open.

—Elmer Letterman

On a personal level, some of my Shadow Beliefs have to do with exceptionally high standards for others and myself. From a young age, I evaluated myself by this external, often critical, yardstick. As a result, I developed a series of Shadow Beliefs: “I’m never quite good enough; I have to work twice as hard to be valued; if something is not exceptional, it is not worthwhile; I am afraid to fail.” As you can see, these beliefs have some value. They have fueled a drive to achieve. On the other hand, some of these same beliefs cast a shadow on my behavior and relationships at times. However, when I am actively committed to fostering my awareness of these shadows, I’ve been able to shed some light on them and hopefully minimize their limiting influence on others and me.

Transforming Shadow Beliefs to Conscious Beliefs is crucial to Personal Mastery. This is not to say we don’t struggle continually with them. We do. The difference is we consciously engage them vs. unconsciously being driven by them. What happens to us if we don’t deal with Shadow Beliefs? We pay a high price. Addictive behaviors, difficulty in relationships, achievement overdrive, imbalanced lifestyles, and health problems can be some of the costs associated with them. Shadow Beliefs are not scary; not dealing with them is.

While I was coaching Steven, the president of a multibillion-dollar international firm based in Latin America, a Shadow Belief that was limiting him surfaced. Let me preface this story by explaining that Steven was not referred to us because he had any “issues.” He was wildly successful in his current role. His consumer products firm was number one in revenue and market share globally for four consecutive years. In fact, it was his success that was starting to be a problem for him. He had this nagging anxiety—“Can I continue to top my past achievements?” Each time we would explore future plans, he would conjure up all sorts of disaster scenarios. As I got to know him better, I understood that he had internalized a hidden belief that no matter how hard he worked or what he achieved, it could all go away tomorrow. On one level this Shadow Belief served him well; it gave him the drive to achieve many goals. However, because he wasn’t aware of it, his fear of failure was actually inhibiting him from risking new experiences and new learning. It also was squeezing the life out of his team, which was totally inconsistent with his values and intentions. Finally I asked Steven, “You don’t get it, do you?” Surprised, he looked at me and said, “Get what?” I responded, “Steven, look at your life. You succeed in all areas of your life: your career, your family, your relationships. What evidence do you have that you are going to fail at your next endeavor?” It was a defining moment for Steven. He saw the shadow and brought it into the light. He moved from trusting his fear to trusting his contributions. He brought a Shadow Belief into the Conscious Belief arena. Before that moment he wasn’t aware of its presence. It had been controlling him, and now he was beginning to take control of it. A few months later, describing his experience, he said, “This one insight has opened a doorway for me. It has given me the peace of mind to trust myself and to lead from who I am. I now know that no matter what I attempt, I will make it a success, and if not, I will adapt, learn, and somehow make it work.”



Take a few minutes to explore some of your Conscious Beliefs—the self-conversations we have that reveal what we hold to be true, important, and of value.

Image What do you believe about yourself?

Image What do you believe about other people?

Image What do you believe about your teams?

Image What do you believe about life?

Image What do you believe is your impact or influence on others?

Image What do you believe about leadership?


How often have you heard the expression that “an overdeveloped strength can become a weakness”? Although there is truth to this statement, there is also a deeper underlying dynamic. Why do some strengths turn into weaknesses? Usually because some Shadow Belief is operating. Leaders either shed light or cast a shadow on everything they do. The more conscious the self-awareness, the more light leaders bring. The more limited the self-understanding, the bigger the shadow a leader casts. Let’s say we have a Shadow Belief that “we only have value if we are doing and achieving.” If we are unaware of this Shadow Belief, our drive and determination will soon turn into workaholism and lack of intimacy, with profound negative implications for our health and relationships. Let’s say we have intelligence and self-confidence as strengths combined with a Shadow Belief that “we always have to be right.” Without sufficient awareness, our self-confidence will turn into arrogance, abrasiveness, and self-righteousness. Here are some other examples of how shadows can potentially turn strengths into weaknesses:

The ideal is in thyself; the impediment, too, is in thyself.

—Thomas Carlyle


Since our shadows are often hidden successfully from our own view, how can we bring them to light? Over the years, we’ve developed seven clues to indicate if a shadow may be operating:

Image Shadow Clue One: If other people often give us feedback inconsistent with how we see ourselves, a shadow is present.

Image Shadow Clue Two: When we feel stuck or blocked with a real loss as to what to do next, a shadow is holding us back.

Image Shadow Clue Three: As strengths become counterproductive, some hidden dynamics need to surface.

Image Shadow Clue Four: When we are not open to new information, new learning, or other people’s views, a shadow is limiting us.

Image Shadow Clue Five: If we react to circumstances with emotional responses disproportionate to the situation, we are right over the target of a Shadow Belief.

Image Shadow Clue Six: When we find ourselves forcefully reacting to the limitations of others in a critical, judgmental way, we are often projecting our shadow onto others.

Image Shadow Clue Seven: If we often experience pain, trauma, or discomfort in our body, a shadow may be attempting to rise to the surface to seek reconciliation. Listen to the wisdom of your body as you look to uncover Shadow Beliefs.

Craig, an executive I worked with, was caught in the executive syndrome of “having it all together.” He feared that revealing any of his limitations would result in others perceiving him as weak or inadequate. He also honestly believed others didn’t perceive his underdeveloped side. After sharing with him a 360° assessment revealing how others saw his limitations even more clearly than he did, the coaching process began. Fortunately, after he had experienced several months of coaching, a major business crisis surfaced. Here was the perfect opportunity for Craig to practice what he had learned. Clearly, he had made some mistakes leading up to the crisis. Rather than continuing the old pattern, he faced the troops, acknowledged his mistakes, and asked for their support. His co-workers were shocked and understandably hesitant at first, but they admired his courage and stepped forward to solve the crisis. Commenting on his experience, he told me, “I thought my power was in being right. Now I understand my power is in being real.” Personal Mastery had begun.

What happens to us when we are around people who are real and open about themselves, warts and all? We trust them. Their authenticity, vulnerability, and Personal Mastery have made them trustworthy, and we rush to their side. When asked by Charlie Rose, “What’s the most important quality today for leadership?” Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, replied, “To display vulnerability.” In his book Pour Your Heart into It, Schultz says, “Although they can hire executives with many talents and skills, many CEOs discover that what they lack most is a reliable sounding board. They don’t want to show vulnerability to those who report to them.” He advises, “Don’t be afraid to expose your vulnerabilities. Admit you don’t know what you don’t know. When you acknowledge your weaknesses and ask for advice, you’ll be surprised how much others will help.”

Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood.

—Marie Curie

Vulnerability, in the words of Terry Kellogg and Marvel Harrison, is “the gift I give to those I trust, when I trust myself.” A leader’s authenticity is rooted and grows in a field of self-trust.

Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.

—Abraham Lincoln


If leadership from the inside-out is authentic influence that creates value, how do we go about expressing ourselves more authentically? Since the word authenticity comes from the same Greek root as the word author, I’m sure no one would be surprised that authoring your own life does not have “ten easy steps.” Authenticity requires a lifelong commitment to self-discovery and self-observation. However, in coaching leaders to develop more authentic dimensions of self, we have found some helpful practices to bring out the essence of who we are. When a leader approaches the question, “How authentic am I?” it is often helpful to ask some other questions first: “Where is my leadership coming from? Where are my beliefs and values coming from?” We need to consider constantly the origin of our leadership in various circumstances. Do our actions originate from deep within ourselves, or are they coming from a more superficial, limited place? Is our leadership serving only ourselves, our career and success, or is it also focused on our team and organization? Is our leadership arising from our Character, the essence of who we are? Or, is it derived from a pattern of Coping, where we tend to react to circumstances to elicit an immediate result?

Some approaches to leadership are reactive, consume energy, and produce unsustainable or undesirable results. Other approaches are transformative, add energy to the undertaking, and create value for the short and long term. The latter approaches derive from qualities of Character.

Character is the essence or core of the leader. Character is deeper and broader than any action or achievement; it springs from the essential nature of the person. Reflecting on this principle, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “This is what we call character, a reserved force which acts directly as presence, and without means.”

Character works to transform and open up possibilities and potential. When we are leading from our character, we exude qualities of authenticity, purpose, openness, trust, courage, congruence, and compassion. We have the ability to transform circumstances, open up possibilities, and create lasting value for ourselves and for others.

Coping protects us and helps us get through challenging circumstances. In this sense, it has value, and if used sparingly and appropriately, will serve our needs. Coping works like a muscle. We need to use it at times, but if we overuse it, the muscle will collapse. Qualities of Coping include concern for image, safety, security, comfort, or control. The Coping leader may get results but also exhibit defensiveness, fear, withdrawal, or a desire to win at all costs. He or she may exclude certain people or information.

Both approaches to leadership—leading with Character and leading by Coping—can get results. It is important to note that Coping is not in itself bad and may be needed in certain situations. For leadership, however, Character is a much better master, and Coping is a much better servant. For example, image may be a component of leadership, which can create influence and value when it is aligned with messages delivered from the leader’s deeper values. On the other hand, image may be used to manipulate messages in an attempt to compensate for a leader’s insecurity, and this may lead to devastating results.

Both Character and Coping are present in most leadership situations. However, we need to ask ourselves, “Which one is my master and which one is my servant?” When we make Character the master of our leadership and Coping the servant, we move toward better relationships and lasting value creation.


As leaders it is essential to learn how to build our awareness of when we are being guided by Character and when we are being guided by Coping. The following information illustrates some of the behaviors that indicate whether we are in a Character pattern or in a Coping pattern.


Let’s explore three examples:

1. Image vs. Authenticity: When we care a bit too much how we look to others and we focus on getting their approval, acknowledgement, or acceptance, our leadership may be guided by an Image Coping pattern. We are in this image persona: when we try too hard to “look great”; when we present ourselves as more than we are; when we misrepresent values, beliefs, or other information to win acceptance. Recently, I was coaching the CEO of a firm and one of his key executives. Although the CEO needed to work on a few crucial growth areas, authenticity was not one of them. The key executive in his organization, however unknowingly, was caught up in her image. At a critical point in one of their interactions as the key executive was overanalyzing all the political implications of an important decision, the CEO calmly and compassionately asked, “Michelle, do you want to look good, or do you want to make a difference?” Michelle fell silent. Of course she wanted to make a difference. She needed someone to shock her out of investing herself totally in Coping and into shifting her awareness to leading from Character. In The Corporate Mystic, Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludeman reinforce this practice: “It is as important to challenge people about their personas as it is to love and cherish their true essence. In the business world it is dangerous to ignore people’s personas. Genuinely caring for people means seeing them as they are, not blithely overlooking fatal flaws.”

2. Safety, Security, and Comfort vs. Purpose: If our actions are principally guided by safety, security, and comfort, we are in a Coping pattern. This is a big one for most of us. It is also subtle. We are usually unaware of how staying safe is actually limiting us from new experiences and possibilities. How often have most of us thought, “When I build up enough assets, then I’ll go do what I really want to do?” This is the voice of Coping. In the executive ranks this can be a major issue. As senior executives seek to become more comfortable financially and otherwise, do they continue to risk innovative, meaningful, out-of-the-box initiatives? Often they do not. Or, worse yet, do we postpone our real purpose and contribution for that magical future moment when we will be safe and secure enough to fully express ourselves?

I was working with a senior marketing executive who was caught in this Coping pattern. The first day I met Jack he told me he had lost his passion for his work and was preparing to leave his organization to seek a new career. After spending some time together, he shared his career-life vision: to accumulate assets in order to replace his current income and in five years start his own business. On the surface it sounded all right. As we went deeper, however, it became apparent that he had sacrificed his purpose on the altar of security and comfort. Driven by his need to accumulate money in an attempt to build his inner sense of security, he had gradually lost touch with what really gave him meaning: using his creativity and insight to help others achieve their potential. Once Jack reconnected to his purpose, he returned to his work with renewed passion and perspective.

When we are caught up in Coping, we seek solutions outside ourselves like changing a job, changing a career, accumulating enough money to feel secure, or changing a relationship. Too often we seek solutions in “Whats” instead of “Hows.” Jack needed to re-learn how to show up in his life in a renewed way. He learned how to be clear about his purpose and to lead with his Character.

Character also means putting the greater good of the organization and society ahead of self-interest. It’s about worrying about “what is right” rather than “who is right.”

—Noel Tichy and
Warren Bennis

3. Control vs. Openness: If our energies are absorbed in having our world conform to our will with a desire to avoid nearly all surprise, then we are leading from a place of Coping. This is particularly challenging if we are moving from managerial to leadership roles in an organization. Managers control by virtue of their doing. Leaders lead by virtue of their being. When we are rapidly alternating between management and leadership, as is often the case, the relationship between control and openness is a constant dynamic.

Tracy, a senior-level executive for an international service firm, was clearly operating in a Control Coping pattern. It was actually her “winning formula.” She viewed herself as an exceptionally competent person, and by all external measures she was. Based on a series of outstanding achievements in sales and marketing, she had been on the fast track in her company. She was known for always exceeding the need. If the organization wanted something done exceptionally well, Tracy was the one recruited for the job. Some would say she had mastered her profession—maybe even mastered some aspects of her external environment. But her external success was not based on internal mastery. Her obsessive need to control everything around her had created strain in all her relationships. Her marriage wasn’t surviving her need to control. Her children were growing distant. Her friendships were suffering. The more Tracy’s life started to spin out of control, the more she tried to assert control. Without understanding why, she gradually drove away nearly everyone around her. For many years, her external competence had been sufficient to help Tracy to face her life and career demands. However, her new life and leadership demands involved competence of a different order.

Tracy was a great example of the managers identified in the Brousseau, Hourihan, et al. research study cited earlier in this chapter. Tracy was a leader whose take-charge, task-focused style worked well up to a point in her career. Unwilling to pause for awareness and growth, she could easily have become among those executives whose careers hit the wall and got stuck, falling short of their potential.

Before Tracy could move to the next stage of her leadership and life effectiveness, she needed to access a platform of internal competence and character. It took a few months of coaching. She was resistant and closed at first, but slowly she came to the realization that her excessive need to control was based on a Shadow Belief. She had come to believe that just being herself and trusting that things would work out was not an option for her. At a crucial point in our coaching she said, “If I stopped controlling everything, my life would fall apart!” The instant she said it, the paradox hit her with full force. Her life was falling apart because she was so controlling. Yet, she felt that control was her only savior. Over time, she gained the Personal Mastery to begin trusting and to be more open to change. As her self-trust and openness grew, Tracy’s ability to trust and to appreciate others grew as well. She had begun leading with Character.



Take some time to review the rest of the qualities that guide Character and Coping listed on pages 46–49. Now, think about the qualities of Coping as you consider these questions:

Image Which of these qualities are most prevalent for you?

Image What is going on in those times?

Image How do you feel?

Image What fears, limitations, or inadequacies do you avoid when you are in a Coping pattern?

Image How can you challenge yourself to move out of Coping and into Character more often?

Now, reflect on the qualities of Character, and consider these questions.

Image Which of these qualities are more prevalent for you?

Image What is going on in those times?

Image How do you feel?

Image What fears do you have to face to lead from Character?

Image How can you continue to lead from Character in more situations in the future?

As we have seen, Character transforms whereas Coping tends to be more of a reactive, survival mode. When we are in a Coping pattern, we tend to see the problems of life as existing outside ourselves. We say to ourselves, “If I could only change this person or that situation, then everything would be fine.” But life’s problems are rarely resolved by only changing the external situation. Lasting solutions involve dealing with our internal situation in order to transform the external circumstance. To illustrate this principle, imagine Nelson Mandela several years ago saying, “I think I need to leave South Africa. The situation here is just too big a problem. These people just don’t get it. I need to go to a more comfortable, accommodating country.” It sounds humorous even to imagine this scenario with a person of so much Character. When Character and purpose are weak, then our initial Coping response is usually to leave or escape our situation. When purpose is strong, leaders transform many of the circumstances they encounter. Obviously, there may be times when we need to leave or walk away from a situation for self-preservation. However, if our first response is consistently to exit challenging circumstances, then we probably need to work on leaning into Character more often.

It’s important to note that Personal Mastery is not about eliminating Coping. It is about increasing Character to such a degree that Character is primary and Coping is secondary. Coping exists for a reason—to protect us and to deal with stressful situations—so, we really don’t want to eliminate it completely. It serves a purpose. We do want to favor Character so that this more substantial way to lead becomes the master of our behavior more often. To have Character supporting Coping—the inner supporting the outer—is the goal of Personal Mastery.

Leading with Character is not easy. The CEO of a rapidly growing firm shared this comment with me: “I hate to admit it, but most organizations reward Coping. We talk about Character, but we reward Coping. We extol the values of trust, inclusion, and adding value, but we consistently reward control and image. Most of us are unwilling to do the hard work and to take the personal risk to lead from Character.”

Unfortunately, executive coaching programs often reinforce refining Coping rather than fostering Character. Executives are coached how to act instead of how to be. It’s a charm-school process that produces only superficial, short-term results. Executives are “coached” to polish the exterior, but rarely does any real substantial and sustained growth take place. Under sufficient stress, all the old patterns return.

To be effective, executive coaching needs to build awareness of the limiting aspects of Coping behaviors so that Character can be primary and Coping secondary. Penetrating Coping mechanisms to allow Character to come forth requires sophisticated coaching that deals with the whole person.

Corporate Mystics develop a kind of double vision, at once able to see the mask and the essential person inside.… They know that we all have personas that are wrapped around our true essence, but they also know that we are not our personas.

—Gay Hendricks and Kate Ludeman


Many of us know more about our favorite vacation spot, sports team, or running shoes than we do about ourselves. In order to break out of old patterns and grow as a whole person, we need to answer the “Who am I?” question. As we take on this question, we may get snickers from our own internal critic. Or, we may return with a quick answer that superficially reflects the roles we play vs. who we really are.

The other day I sat down with a CEO for an initial coaching session. With a bit of nervous bravado the executive proclaimed, “Kevin, you know, I know myself pretty well.” Honestly, I’ve been in situations like this so many times I envisioned a subtitle across his chest that read, “He doesn’t know himself very well at all.” On the other hand, when I meet with someone who admits, “You know, I understand some aspects of myself, but others are still a mystery to me,” then my envisioned subtext says, “This person knows himself pretty well.” Perhaps the reason most people think they know themselves well is that their experience of their inner world is restricted to very narrow boundaries. Few people would admit that they know everything outside themselves. We all understand how unfathomable external knowledge and information is. We see the external world as huge. Our inner life, however, is defined too often in a very restricted way. When we get on the path to Personal Mastery, we begin to glimpse how deep, broad, and unbounded our inner life really is. When people casually say, “I know myself,” all too often they are really saying, “I know my limited state of self-knowledge.” There are no limits within us. There is no end to Personal Mastery. It is bigger, deeper, and grander than the external world we think is so vast. Begin your journey by considering life’s big questions: “Who are you? Where are you headed? Why are you going there?” That darn soldier just crossed our path again, didn’t he?

The wisest mind has something yet to learn.

—George Santayana

Personal Mastery is about comprehending the vehicle, our character, that brings us to our destination. There’s just one problem: We’ve temporarily lost the “owner’s manual.” It’s like buying a high performance sports car without learning how to drive it. Sure we know how to drive, but we just don’t understand how to drive that vehicle. How are we ever going to arrive safely at our desired destination when we don’t understand that taking a curve at 65 miles an hour on a wet road at midnight with a certain suspension system is an invitation for disaster? That’s exactly how many leaders lead—barreling down the freeway of life without any real mastery of their owner’s manual. So how can we start to understand our owner’s manual? How can we begin to uncover our identity and maneuver this “vehicle”? The following reflection will help you get on the path. But remember, no one else can give you this insight. You must give it to yourself. This is the beginning of the process.



Take your time. Be thoughtful. The questions are designed to be thought-provoking, so don’t rush through them. Read all the questions first, and begin the exercise by answering the ones that come easiest. Use a notepad to sketch out longer responses.

1. Imagine yourself observing a dear friend talking about you with heartfelt love and admiration. What would your friend be saying?

2. When you are energized and inspired, what particular personality traits or strengths are being expressed by you?

3. What are some of your Conscious Beliefs about yourself?

4. What are you most afraid of?

5. When you are leading with Character, what qualities come forth? Do certain situations inhibit or express your character more?

6. When you are leading by Coping, what qualities come forth? What beliefs or fears are generating these states of mind or emotion?

7. When during your life have you felt most completely yourself—not meeting others’ expectations, but just being centered in expressing who you are?

8. What steps can you take in your life to create more times like this?

9. What do other people consistently tell you that you need to work on or develop? What new behavior are you committed to practicing?

10. What is your unique value proposition as a leader? If you were a brand, what brand of leadership would you be?

11. What do you hope people will thank you for contributing at the end of your life?

12. If you witnessed your funeral, what do you hope the eulogy would say?

As we will continue to explore throughout this book, Personal Mastery is not a recent phenomenon; it is imbedded in the nature of the human experience. Nearly all significant systems of human development through the ages have valued it. More contemporary thinkers like Warren Bennis, Stephen Covey, Daniel Goleman, Peter Senge, Richard Leider, and so many others have recognized its value-creating influence. Many human development systems like client-centered therapy, cognitive behavioral coaching, rational-emotive therapy, adult learning theory, transformative learning, NLP, Landmark Forum, humanistic coaching, and psychodynamic coaching certainly align with what we have been discussing. Many of these methodologies could be helpful on your journey to Personal Mastery. An excellent article by John Passmore in Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, March 2007, connects many of these approaches to coaching and development.


Keep in mind the following principles as you begin to master your ability to lead with more awareness and authenticity.

1. Take Total Responsibility: Commit yourself to the path of Personal Mastery. Only you can commit to it, and only you can walk your own path to it. No one else can motivate you. No one else can do it for you. A mentor cannot do it for you. Your organization or clients cannot do it for you. As Hermann Hesse wrote in Demian, “Each man had only one genuine vocation—to find the way to himself.” Personal Mastery is the one life experience we must give ourselves. No one else is “in the loop.” Walt Whitman wrote, “Not I—not anyone else—can travel that road for you; you must learn to travel it for yourself.”

No matter what life or leadership challenges we face, no matter what circumstances we encounter; we are responsible. As we advance, we notice that we are more self-validated, self-recognized, self-trusting. As we increasingly assume responsibility for the life we are creating, we are prepared to assume responsibility for leading others. The foundation of genuine leadership is built with self-leadership, self-responsibility, and self-trust.

2. Bring Beliefs to Conscious Awareness: Commit to the process of clarifying your Conscious Beliefs and your Shadow Beliefs. Practice by pausing to reflect on how some of these beliefs open you up and how others close you down. Practice reinforcing the ones that open up possibilities and energize you, as well as others. Reconsider the ones that limit possibilities and drain energy. Remind yourself of the Personal Mastery mantra: “As you believe, so shall you lead.”

3. Develop Awareness of Character and Coping: Develop an awareness of when you are leading with the qualities of Character and when you are being led by the qualities of Coping. Instead of overinvesting in Coping, commit your energies to leading with Character. Doing so requires that you courageously examine the beliefs, fears, and limitations generating the qualities of Coping. Facing these limiting filters will free up energy to experience new learning from the outside, as well as to express new potentiality from within. Transform your approach to leading by making Character the master and Coping the servant.

The leader for today and the future will be focused on how to be—how to develop quality, character, mind-set, values, principles, and courage.

—Frances Hesselbein

4. Practice Personal Mastery with Others: Practicing Personal Mastery requires risk and vulnerability. It means placing ourselves in situations where we may not be accepted or validated by others for who we are or what we think or believe. If we do not take this risk, we too often will be led by the expectations of others. As a result, we might unknowingly compromise our integrity. As you practice Personal Mastery with others, keep these thoughts in mind:

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.

—John F. Kennedy

Image Listen to your authentic inner voice for what you really think and feel vs. what others want you to think and feel.

Image Be mindful when “creating” others in your image.

Image Be mindful when “being created” by others in their image.

Image Practice the strength of vulnerability; notice how it opens up relationships and teams.

Image Be aware when you are wasting too much time and energy judging others and trying to change them.

Image Be there for people when they need you. Be there not only for the purpose of giving advice or being appreciated for your support but also just to give the gift of your presence.

Image Practice sharing your genuine thoughts, feelings, joys, successes, concerns, and fears with people. Let your openness be the catalyst to open up the culture around you.

5. Listen to Feedback: Even though Personal Mastery is self-validating, sometimes other people hold keys to our self-k

Back to Top ↑


“Research on leadership is clear: leaders must move from task-specific expertise to personal, interpersonal, and strategic excellence to succeed. Cashman's Leadership from the Inside Out gives you both deep and pragmatic practices to help make this crucial leadership transition.”
—Kenneth R. Brousseau, PhD, CEO, Decision Dynamics LLC

“Kevin Cashman knows people can change, but to really improve the outside, every person needs to understand what's on the inside. This book walks you through a step-by-step process of self-discovery. Any- one who is serious about personal improvement should contemplate the questions posed by this book.”
—Joseph Folkman, coauthor of The Extraordinary Leader

“Kevin Cashman's message of staying resilient is critically relevant in today's high-change, high-stress marketplace. Leadership from the Inside Out provides a set of tools for managing energy and personal engagement, crucial to stay ahead of the game of leading and living.”
—Jim Loehr, CEO, Human Performance Institute, and coauthor of The Power of Full Engagement

“Sooner or later, every leader who would like to lead more effectively finds himself blocked. Kevin Cashman's book illuminates how we can find the means within ourselves to identify and remove these barriers in order to fulfill our leadership destiny.”
—J.P. Donlon, Editor-in-Chief, Chief Executive

“As leaders, we all need to grow from technical-functional expertise to personal-interpersonal excel- lence. Leadership from the Inside Out shows us impactful ways to take this journey with integrity and respect for all those we serve.”
—Juergen Brokatzky-Geiger, PhD, Head of Human Resources, Novartis International AG

“Bolstered by strong science and the refined art of leadership development, few books so clearly bring the many aspects of our lives into alignment. Whether you're taking your own talent or that of others to the next level, Leadership from the Inside Out provides an abundance of tools for authentic, long-term success.”
—Ana Dutra, CEO, Leadership Development Solutions, Korn/Ferry International

“No matter your professional arena, self-understanding and team trust are key to enduring success. Leadership from the Inside Out has brought out the best in our team, showing how our far-reaching talents, values, and experiences all directly fuel performance.”
—Mark Cohon, Commissioner, Canadian Football League

“Leadership from the Inside Out has produced something any manager should admire: long-term value. As a former national bestseller and perennial member on our monthly bestseller list, Cashman's classic has provoked positive change in leaders of all types and backgrounds for years. This revised and expanded work takes the timeless principles first introduced ten years ago and brings them to life for the next generation of leaders through new examples, new research, and new meaning.”
—Jack Covert, President and Founder, 800-CEO-READ

“Leadership from the Inside Out captures the latest research, the best development model, and the most comprehensive leadership practices to pragmatically and positively impact leadership effective- ness. It has been the foundation for a decade of effective and life-changing coaching with executives around the world.”
—Dee Gaeddert, PhD, President, Lominger International, a Korn/Ferry Company

“From the moment I read the first draft of this book, I knew Kevin Cashman had created a classic. His timeless book continues to stand out in a crowded field of leadership literature because it is both principled and practical. Buy it, read it, and apply it to progress.”
—Ken Shelton, Editor, Executive Excellence

“Cashman is perfecting the wisdom first conveyed a decade ago: there is a concomitant relationship between our internal selves and our external results. Leadership from the Inside Out masterfully bridges the gap between our too severed business lives and personal lives.”
—Arvinder Dhesi, Group Talent Management Director, Aviva

“Cashman's second edition of Leadership from the Inside Out blends the latest research and the latest tools to give global leaders what they need in today's competitive marketplace. A must-read for the global leader of today!”
—Lawrence P. Clark, PhD, Director, Korn/Ferry Institute

“Kevin Cashman's integrated leadership approach inspired my personal and professional transformation. The tools encouraged and still guide me to honor all parts of my self, to connect authentically with others, and to lead with an enriched sense of service.”
—Pablo Gaito, Global Leader, Learning & Development, Cargill, Inc.

“A prosperous business relies not only on the design plan from top management but on the strengths and interconnectivity of its many individual parts. Leadership from the Inside Out boils down the fundamental elements of understanding human capital and has given us strategic capacity to incubate talent from within.”
—Richard P. Kearns, Chief Administrative Officer, Zurich Financial Services

“Leadership from the Inside Out is one of the leadership classics. While it was one of the first business books to capture the crucial link between personal growth and leadership development, it is as relevant today as it was a decade ago. If you read the first one, then you will like this new edition even more!”
—Kevin Wilde, Chief Learning Officer, General Mills, Inc.

“Leadership from the Inside Out is a major paradigm shift in leadership development. It gives you the tools to go directly to the heart of all significant leadership transformation: growing as a person to grow as a leader.”
—Paul Walsh, CEO, Diageo, and former Chairman and CEO, The Pillsbury Company

“Leadership from the Inside Out serves as an important wake-up call for those who are ready to unleash the power of authentic leadership.”
—Ken Melrose, University of St. Thomas Holloran Endowed Chair in the Practice of Management; former Chairman and CEO, The Toro Company; and author of Making the Grass Greener on Your Side: A CEO's Journey to Leading by Serving

“True adventure always involves the exploration of one's innermost spirit. Leadership from the Inside Out is a compass that helps you navigate this hidden domain as a means to bring out full leadership capacity with honesty and renewed energy.”
—Ann Bancroft, polar explorer (first woman to reach the North and South Poles) and Founder, Ann Bancroft Foundation

“If you want personal transformation, then buy Leadership from the Inside Out. It will guide you through the unexplored territories we often miss in our frenetic-paced business world.”
—Trudy Rautio, Executive Vice President and CFO, Carlson Hospitality Worldwide

“Leadership from the Inside Out is a testament to the too often forgotten reality that leadership success comes from living your deepest purpose and values as you earn followers, starting with the person in the mirror.”
—Vance Caesar, PhD, leadership coach and mentor, The Vance Caesar Group, and Professor, Pepperdine University

“In the dozen years I have known Kevin Cashman, he has consistently made his work a masterpiece in the art of leading on purpose. His new edition is an intriguing guide to this art, and it inspires us to take it to the next level.”
—Richard J. Leider, Founder, The Inventure Group; author of The Power of Purpose; and coauthor of Repacking Your Bags and Something to Live For

“Authentic leadership lies at the intersection of our deepest spiritual values and our greatest personal gifts. Cashman's new edition of Leadership from the Inside Out invites you to live at this important crossroads by cultivating the habits and skills needed to enrich your professional life while fostering opportunities for rich and satisfying personal development.”
—Brother Dietrich Reinhart, OSB, President, Saint John's University, Collegeville, Minnesota

“Breakthroughs in neuroscience and the plasticity of the brain directly connect to Leadership from the Inside Out principles and coaching model. The book gives us the tools we need for leaders to grow and develop.”
—Marcelo Montero, President, Health and Nutrition, Cargill, Inc.

“Leadership from the Inside Out is a resource that spans the ages, integrates multiple disciplines, has experiential validity, and includes proven practical applications. Using (not just reading) this book is a transformative, peak experience.”
—Robert Hayles, PhD, Consultant, QED Consulting; former Vice President of Human Resources and Diversity, Pillsbury; former Chairman of the Board, American Society for Training and Development; and coauthor of The Diversity Directive

“Some books are noteworthy in and of themselves. Others serve as signs that something important is happening in the world. Kevin Cashman's Leadership from the Inside Out meets both criteria. Throw in the fact that it is well-designed for reading and for doing the exercises throughout, and you have a real mind-opener.”
—Perry Pascarella, Contributing Editor, American Management Review; former Editor-in-Chief, In- dustry Week; and author of Leveraging People and Profit

“Leadership from the Inside Out is full of practical inspiration and demonstrates why Kevin Cashman is regarded as a world authority on effective leadership. If you want people clamoring to be on your team, read this book!”
—David McNally, CPAE, author of Even Eagles Need a Push and coauthor of Be Your Own Brand

“With hundreds of books to choose from on the topic of leadership, it is unusual to come across one, Leadership from the Inside Out, that has the potential to make a meaningful change in your life.”
—Larry Perlman, former Chairman and CEO, Ceridian Corporation

“Authenticity is the single most important quality of leadership. In Leadership from the Inside Out, Cashman not only captures the essence of inner-driven, intentional leadership, he gives both seasoned and emerging leaders a road map to navigate the challenges of personal and professional growth.”
—Bob Kidder, Chairman and CEO, 3Stone Advisors LLC: former CEO, Borden Capital: and former CEO, Duracell

“Leadership from the Inside Out is an inspiration to lead from a deep knowledge of one's core purpose, creating value with true authenticity.”
—Deborah Dunsire, MD, CEO and President, Millennium Pharmaceuticals

“The challenge of leadership is to inspire an obligation for people at all levels of an organization to step forward and lead. Leadership from the Inside Out gives you the practical steps to develop leaders in every nook and cranny of your organization.”
—Chuck Feltz, former President and Chief Operating Officer, Lifetouch National School Studios, and former President, Deluxe Financial Services

Back to Top ↑