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

Here is the way they describe the books:

What happens when you pair an accomplished business leader with a noted leadership scholar? The answer is you get Applied Leadership Development – a guide to personal leader development that is out of the ordinary. When we began this book series, Leadership: Research and Practice, we had in mind exactly what this book embodies: a book that moves our knowledge and understanding of leadership forward in a practical way, but one that is also thoroughly grounded in the research literature.

As a result, Applied Leadership Development has been so successful that we published a revised edition.

Author Al Bolea is a retired executive with considerable leadership experience. Drawing on his extensive career accomplishments and observations, he created the "J-Curve" model that is an extraordinarily useful roadmap for both the development of a leadership team and for personal leader development.

Scholar Leanne Atwater supports Bolea’s observations and his model by drawing connections to research on leadership and leader development – adding the “why” to the “what.” You will find this book to be lively, engaging, and extremely useful for individuals who are in leadership positions or those aspiring to lead.

Students of leadership will see the development and applications of leader competencies, behaviors, and principles, which are clearly illustrated by Al Bolea’s experiences and observations. No wonder the first edition of this book was so successful.


New 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 26th the newly revised book will be 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