Monday, February 22, 2016

Interview with Nick A. Shepherd, author of Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations

Inside the Book

Reflective LeadersTitle: Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations
Author: Nick A. Shepherd and Peter J. Smyth
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Business and Economics
Format: Ebook/Paperback

An organization operating in the twenty-first century is different from one that operated during the Industrial Revolution. Today’s focus is on optimizing human potential; people are the enablers of most aspects of intangible value. People develop relationships with suppliers, customers, distributors, and other third parties through which work is executed. In Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations, authors Nick Shepherd and Peter Smyth take an integrated view of organizational performance that blends a focus on both outcomes and relationships. Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations suggests a framework for developing and applying an improved approach to organizational leadership and management. In addition to philosophy and conceptual approaches, it presents tested practical tools and direction. It also delivers case studies of organizations that have applied Shepherd’s and Smyth’s ideas and realized measurable improvements in the day-to-day activities of the organization, along with measurably improved outcomes from the organizational activity. Using over twenty years of practical consulting experience as well as careers in management, Shepherd and Smyth demonstrate how effective leaders can maintain a focus on organizational tasks and outcomes and do this while building and enhancing human relationships.
Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations is available for order at

How did you come up with the title of your book?

Like a good adventure novel we tried to think about what would “catch the eye” of our potential readers. We wanted “Leadership” in there as that is a great area for all managers – but we also wanted something that linked to the content and “reflective” seemed to work. Reflective Leaders are those that suppress “the ego” and think about how others “see them” and what impact that has on the leadership effectiveness.

What is your writing environment like? 

Difficult – as it is for many writers; finding the time to put thoughts on paper.

What are some of the best tools available today for writers? 

Joining self-help writers groups to share ideas as well as the advent of self-publishing PLUS websites like “harmonious publicity” that provide a great platform to learn about what others are doing. We also like “print on demand” and “e-books” for production and social media for promotion.

What inspires you to write? 

Maybe its masochism given the amount of time and effort involved? Not really though – it’s a passion about helping people find the best in themselves. For an adventure book it’s providing the reader with a fantasy environment within which they can become immersed; for us – it’s the belief that the greatest waste on earth is the waste of human talent which in many cases is caused by poor leadership by people who are unaware of how their behavior impacts others.

Did you learn anything while writing this book? 

Yes – writing is a great discipline to structure ideas around “telling a story;” there is a beginning, a middle and an end so the reader can follow step-by-step and come away having learned something that they can apply.

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

Each of us would probably answer differently! Nick’s core quality is probably the ability to see, absorb and learn new things; Peter’s core quality is his ability to be an effective counselor to whom others turn when they need help. 

Meet the Author

Nick A. Shepherd has more than forty years of business experience. Since 1989, he has owned the management-consulting and professional-development company, EduVision Inc., which provides management-consulting and development services to public and private sector organizations. Peter J. Smyth has over thirty-five years of experience in the fields of adult education and organizational consultation, counseling, psychology, social work, and mental health. He holds numerous qualifications in the areas of teamwork, leadership, coaching, emotional intelligence, and personal and organizational assessment. Shepherd and Smyth have worked together for over twenty-five years facilitating workshops and helping clients enhance their teams and leadership capabilities.

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