Our books are part of a series of leadership books stewarded by two distinguished editors, Ronald E, Riggio, Ph.D., and Georgia Sorenson, PhD.

Here is what they have to say about our books:

One of the greatest mistakes a leader can make is believing that they know it all, or at least that they have mastered leadership. Truly great leaders understand that they must continue to develop their leadership competencies – that they can always get better.

There are many strategies that leaders can use to continuously improve their ability to lead. Courses, workshops, and certificate programs, offered by university business schools, or leader development organizations, are a common path. Mentoring programs are another avenue for development. Gaining popularity every year is the use of leadership coaches. These leadership development programs, along with a lot of dedication and hard work, are what make good leaders into great leaders.

Which brings us to this book. It is the second volume in a series by these two fine authors, and the goal of both books is to help build leadership in new, and not so new, leaders. In the first book, Becoming A Leader, Al Bolea and Leanne Atwater, serve as “virtual” coaches to both aspiring and accomplished leaders. It is a wonderful and inspired combination to have an accomplished leader (Bolea), and an established academic scholar (Atwater) as your coach– guides. Using their Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery (NELM) model as a framework, they offer scientifically grounded, but practical, advice for improving leadership. (I challenge you to come up with a leadership dilemma that is not addressed in these books!)

In this new book, Deepening The Leadership Journey, Bolea and Atwater continue the coaching and development of their reader/leaders. With their many decades of experience in leadership research and practice, the authors present the many and complex situations that leaders face and offer advice for dealing with each. There is such a wealth of leadership knowledge and strategy in both of these books that either one alone can be a priceless leader development program. But, together, Becoming A Leader and Deepening The Leadership Journey, is a master course in exemplary leadership development.


Deepening The Leadership Journey: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery

Deepening the Leadership Journey, Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery, a book by Al Bolea and Leanne AtwaterMy co-author, Leanne Atwater, and I wrote our first two books, Applied Leadership Development and Becoming A Leader, to provide practical tool kits for leaders at any career level. Our new book, Deepening The Leadership Journey, applies these tools to current situations for which leadership is an imperative. We take deep dives into the following:

● Resolving Inequality – we call this “Breaking The 4th Wall”

● Organization Culture – creating and sustaining healthiness

● Digital Maturity – being viable in the rapidly changing digital world

● Workforce Motivation & Resilience – we call this “The Glow”

● Quality Decisions – how to make them in uncertain and shifting environments

● Godliness vs. Machiavellianism – implications for leadership

As an added bonus we have included a chapter at the beginning of the book – “Back to the Future” – in which we refresh for readers our Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery. We have also included highlights of improvement actions that we have used to coach clients over the years to address feedback from bosses, peers, and direct reports. We hope you will find the improvement actions to be a valuable resource.

The behavior guidelines provided in our chapter “Breaking the 4th Wall” were chosen as the basis for an “Equality Pledge” by Community Associations Institute (CAI), an international organization with over 40,000 members. We are proud to be a part of CAI’s journey of building better communities worldwide – those that promote togetherness, neighborliness, belonging, and connection.

See The Equality Pledge Order The Book

2nd Edition: Becoming A Leader: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery

becoming-a-leader-nine-elements-of-leadership-mastery by al bolea and leanne atwaterAbout a year ago, my publisher, Taylor and Frances Group ask me to write an update to Applied Leadership Development: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery. I co-authored the book in 2015 with Leanne Atwater. My response was, “Hell would freeze over before I was ever involved in writing another book.”

Well, I guess hell is covered with ice because on September 26, 2020 the newly revised book was published. Although the leadership concepts in the new book are the same as the first edition, Leanne and I updated a lot of context and we reoriented the book to individuals interested in personal development rather than the original objective of a textbook being a learning guide for students at universities.

To signify the new focus we also changed the title to Becoming A Leader: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery.

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First Edition: Applied Leadership Development: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery

Applied Leadership Development Book Al Bolea

"Wow! This work transcends typical book text to become a development experience with self-assessment exercises for old, new, and next-generation leaders.

True to its title, Applied Leadership Development delivers plenty of applications in the art and science of leadership. Co-author Al Bolea adds his insights from a lifetime of field experience to the tested research of co-author and leadership scholar Leanne Atwater.

The resulting synergy not only bridges theory and practice but also prescribes powerful leadership behaviors, based on Bolea’s “J-Curve” model, describing nine elements for leadership mastery."

~Ken Shelton, Editor/Publisher 1984-2014/Leadership Excellence Magazine

Leadership Excellence

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One is not born a leader – it’s something you become. So how do you become a great leader? Dispelling the myth that "leaders are natural born", Al Bolea and Leanne Atwater take you on a journey of self-discovery in their new book, Applied Leadership Development, to help you realize your leadership potential. Applied Leadership Development: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery, was written for practicing managers, executives, and leadership training programs.

"The ultimate manifestation of a great leader is the team that surrounds them," says Bolea.

A talented, intelligent, and capable group of people doesn't become a team—a leader makes them one. Using the "J-curve" model, which outlines nine critical elements for adopting the necessary skills for leadership mastery, authors Bolea and Atwater take you on a journey that will inform, instruct, and entertain.

The combination of Bolea’s personal, practical experience, and Atwater’s cutting edge research will guide the reader on an exploration and self-reflection of his/her own path toward leadership mastery.

“I’m often asked how long does it take for a person to achieve mastery in leadership. My answer brings me back to an earlier foundation learning point: Being a leader is about behavior and skills—that are acquired and demonstrated.  It is not about personality, traits, or genetics. The choice of the word “about” is significant. Achievement of mastery in leadership is not about ability, where some people have it, and others do not. It’s about the journey.”  ~Al Bolea in Applied Leadership Development


The Psychologist: Applied Leadership Development: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery

book: becoming a better leader applying key strategies

Chosen to be featured in the International Leadership Association publication Becoming a Better Leader (p. 98-116)

"I spend a lot of my time coaching senior leaders within organizations and I am currently involved in designing a leadership development program, so was eager to find out what I could learn from Bolea and Atwater’s book on leadership development.
The short answer is quite a lot. This book is packed with a useful mix of theory, case study examples, and practical advice. It is structured around a "J-Curve" Leadership Model – nine elements that the authors consider leaders need to learn to be effective: both what leaders need to do, and how they need to lead.

I read the book thinking of client organizations that I have worked with and found the concepts easy to relate to. All the theories and models that I would expect to be included were (e.g. positive psychology, neuroscience, Brene Brown’s research on vulnerability), but there were also some that were new to me. It is strongly evidence-based and thorough academically with extensive referencing.

The fact that it goes into practical areas such as strategy and performance management, as well as the qualities needed as a leader, means that I think that this book would appeal to quite a wide audience – leaders at all levels, and those supporting their development. There are even a few formulas, which I know would appeal to a lot of my clients (engineers!).

There aren’t that many books that I feel that I want to go back and re-read – but this is one of them. Or if time doesn’t allow, I will at least check through all my multiple underlinings and notes in the margins."

~Emily Hutchinson, Director EJH Consulting Ltd