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  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 application 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


Chosen to be featured in the International Leadership Association publication

Becoming a Better Leader (p. 98-116)

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

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


New Release: Applied Leadership Development: Nine Elements of Leadership Mastery

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•

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