Inside the Book
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
Could you please tell us a little about your book?
Our book is about effective leadership. Children won’t learn from, or trust parents who say one thing and do another, and it’s the same for effective leaders. This book is designed to help existing and aspiring leaders of all kinds “reflect” upon their own personality and behavior and think about the impact this has on how others “see them.”
Who or what is the inspiration behind this book?
In many ways life and experience are the inspiration. Both of us have spent over 40 years each in the workplace and have come to realize that leadership is what “makes the difference” in an organization. We wanted to share what we have learned together in our last 25 years in management consulting especially in how behavior and personality are key success factors – for both individuals and organizations.
What cause are you most passionate about and why?
People; we believe that the greatest waste in the world is the waste of human talent that comes from poor leadership. Almost all people are incredibly talented and the job of the leader is to recognize the unique talents in others and help them develop themselves.
Do you have any rituals you follow when you finish a piece of work?
Not really – other than reviewing the work and learning what we will do better the next time! One piece of writing is similar to one consulting contract – each of them offers a learning opportunity and hopefully helps enhance our personal wisdom that we can then share with others.
Who has influenced you throughout your writing career?
In this particular book we have influenced each other having come from very different backgrounds. It’s probably safe to say that for both of us every single person that we have met in our lives has, in some way impacted and influenced our thoughts and ideas.
What are some of your long term goals?
Nick wants to have “He made a difference” on his headstone; for both of us our whole focus in our careers has been to help others lead more effective lives and develop their own confidence, happiness and self-worth.
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.