Chris Ewing’s Living Your Leadership could be best described as an actionable manifesto for holistic leadership. Leaning heavily on the tenets of the servant, authentic, and transformational leadership frameworks, Ewing offers a well-researched and earnestly articulated approach to being a self-examined and motivational leader.
Ewing is clearly a scholar of leadership and psychology research. In the span of the 12-page chapter “Temet Nosce,” which explores self-knowledge, Ewing tackles Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the psychology of self-talk, Daniel Goleman’s work on emotional intelligence, and more. Each topic warrants its own book, and in less educated hands, covering so many at once could feel shallow. But Ewing weaves them together in a way that feels logical and meaningful. “You have to know yourself to lead yourself,” he writes early on, and then proceeds to share the psychological concepts that contribute to self-awareness.
The strength of Living Your Leadership is in this synthesis of existing models and concepts. Ewing doesn’t present original ideas for consideration; instead, he validates the models of others through personal anecdotes from his time in the United States Air Force and as a manager at Kaiser Permanente. In a chapter on servant leadership, he writes, “Knowing that the education I provided those soldiers…would inevitably either save, or, if they chose to disregard it, end their lives brought the idea of servant leadership sharply into perspective for me.”
One area where Ewing shares a unique perspective is around the power of perception in leadership. He writes, “Self-sacrifice…is only useful if they [sic] are evident to others…as a leader the utility of your actions is determined by the perception of others.” While brief, this insight is impactful, taking leadership concepts out of an overly idealized realm into an actionably real one.
Living Your Leadership is a moving, well-informed, and sincere examination of how leaders can practically start to understand themselves so they can be of greatest service to those who follow them.
Also available as an ebook.