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BETTER: The Fundamentals of Leadership

Book Release: What you must know and do if you want others to follow you

IT IS A pleasure to announce the publication of my book, BETTER: The Fundamentals of Leadership.

The real public launch of the book will occur several weeks from now, but I want to share this early news with my LinkedIn network and friends. It is already available on

Whether you lead an entire organization or a small team, you will benefit from this book. Even if a field is primarily technical, business is about people working with people to accomplish results through people. Leadership is the inescapable common denominator. It is the art of influencing a group of people to move in concert toward a desired goal.

There are thousands of titles available on the subject of leadership. What makes this one different?

Unique angles

First, as expressed in the subtitle, BETTER systematically lays out the fundamentals of leadership. Having worked with and coached many leaders at all levels over the years, I have found there are unrecognized gaps in people’s understanding. Among those who have previewed the book, even some of the most experienced leaders have mentioned learning new insights and applications they were unaware of.

A second unique feature is that the book comes from the perspective of an executive coach and leadership developer. is not a dry academic presentation of concepts, but lively and fast-moving. Points are illustrated with stories from the hundreds of people I’ve coached and trained. Because confidentiality is a given in my coaching relationships, names and identifying details have been changed, but every story is a true one about men and women striving to become better leaders.

Though it may sound like a cliché, this book has truly been 30 years in the making.


The book is divided into three parts.

Part I consists of three chapters which form the foundation for the investigation, beginning with the elementary question, “What is a leader?” It also addresses whether or not a particular personality or temperament is necessary to be a leader, and what is required to win followers.

Part II presents the requirements of effective leadership in my 10 Leadership Propositions. These are 10 assertions that are essential to know and practice for successful, long-term leadership:

1 The Currency of Leadership is Credibility

2 The Goal of Leadership is a Better Future

3 The Attitude of Leadership is Optimism

4 The Backbone of Leadership is Conviction

5 The Power of Leadership is the Ability to Define Reality

6 The Character of Leadership is Authenticity

7 The Heart of Leadership is Serving

8 The Burden of Leadership is Responsibility

9 The Responsibility of Leadership is Initiative

10 The Requirement of Leadership is Courage

Part III provides insights and essential equipment from a coach’s perspective for moving ahead in leadership, and some helpful tools. The first emphasis is on how to do an honest self-evaluation and make desired improvements in behavior. Readers receive a glimpse into what it is like to experience executive coaching in this section. Finally, the importance of building and maintaining a self-maintenance system with proper boundaries is stressed.

Each chapter in the book is followed by a summary of takeaways called “Leading Insights” to help crystalize and capture major applications.

Comments from readers

Here are comments from early readers:

“At last, a leadership book that is focused on behavior! Tim Stevenson has written a much-needed book for leaders who want to get BETTER. I have known Tim for a decade. He has been a leader for as long as I can remember, and it shows. As a coach, he is process-focused, authentic, and dedicated to his clients. As an author, he is both clear and compassionate. He brings you this book from knowledge, experience, and practice. Highly recommended.”

─ Brenda Corbett, Author & Co-founder, Sherpa Executive Coaching

“I am very impressed with BETTER. Having spent a long career in the corporate world, I was amazed to find how comprehensive Tim’s presentation is, addressing a number of subjects that are often not even on executives’ radar screens. BETTER presents clear insights on subjects important for any leader, from the front-line manager to the CEO, and explains how to apply the principles to everyday work and life.”

─ R. J. Richards, National Director of Engineering (retired)

“After years of studying science and pursuing personal development, Tim Stevenson threw open the doors to new learning and challenges in the arena of professional leadership for me. His methods, presentation, and personal style make for a rich and exciting adventure down a clearly laid-out path, leading to accelerated professional and personal growth. Time spent reading BETTER will prove to be a wise investment in your leadership skill set and future success.”

─ Megan Conoley, M.D., Internal Medicine & Pediatrics

“Working with Tim over the last several years, learning and applying the fundamentals and disciplines found in the pages of this book, I’ve seen it work. Nothing can cripple an organization quite like a leadership void. Nothing can strengthen and accelerate a team’s potential quite like quality, effective leadership. Study the principles in BETTER and you will find a common language and methodology for identifying and developing the leader within you and your organization.”

─ Steve Weatherford, Vice President

The “Quote Corner” follows below. Thanks for your interest, and I hope you will give a look. Li


Quote Corner from BETTER: The Fundamentals of Leadership

“Successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes, all personality and temperament types. There is no particular mold you must fit into.” (32)

“The most you can get through authority alone is compliance. A leader can stimulate willing commitment.” (34)

“Effective leadership is fueled by imparting a vision that the future can and will be better.” (70)

“Attitudes are contagious for good or ill, and proceed downward faster than any other direction. A head cold in the captain becomes an epidemic in the crew.” (83)

“If you genuinely want to build a team or organization around stated values, it must be insisted upon from the start that you and every other leader involved are committing yourselves to the same things you are teaching.” (95)

“Seen from the standpoint of attitude, the opposite of leadership is pessimism. From the standpoint of action, the opposite of leadership is passivity. Leaders are both optimistic and active.” (156)

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