"Anyone who has been trying to get their home in order definitely needs this book. We know that at home we really try to make sure all appointments are made and that tasks are completed within an acceptable amount of time. Well the lessons you learn in your home you can take with you to your job.
I read The Connected and Committed Leader – Lessons from Home. Results at Work. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it’s one that I refer back to often."
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-- Kristin Peoples, Coupon Scribbles Blog, June 27, 2010
"At a recent Girls Inc. luncheon I had the good fortune to visit with a gracious speaker, author, consultant and former corporate executive, Laura Lopez. I've just finished her book, The Connected and Committed Leader - Lessons from Home. Results at Work. Adopting a child changed her leadership focus and effectiveness. She reminds us that respect leads to trust; effective leadership permeates our lives; and leadership is relationship based - individual to individual, horizontal, vertical and 360 degrees."
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-- Pamela Lovett, Everything's Connected Blog, May 24, 2010
"When she adopted a child and became a mother at age 44, she abruptly had to learn to let her heart, not her head, do the talking. Lopez found that she became a more effective team leader when she applied her new parenting skills in the workplace."
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-- Bucknell World, Reviews & Criticism, Spring 2010
"The techniques that we all use when dealing with small children are equally useful in a leadership role. We let children experiment so they learn, try new things so they grow, guide them when they are making choices, support them when they are unsure and pick them up when they fall. We consider their needs while still making sure that we get where we have to go. These behaviours are just what is needed to create a connected and committed workforce.
Isn't it about time that someone at a senior level realised this? Organisations lose so many people because they won't cater for their needs. How many parents have had to quit work to stay with their little ones because they can't do both roles well? How many times, though, have we heard that the most loyal employees are the ones whose needs have been accomodated by the workplace? For parents considering a return to the workplace, this change will certainly give you hope."
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-- Anne Maybus, The Tall Poppy, http://thetallpoppy.blogspot.com/
"Laura Lopez draws insightful parallels between parenting and leading people at work, a much needed read for business in this 21st century. The Connected and Committed Leader captures the essence of a soulful approach to leadership."
-- LeAnn Thieman, Coauthor, "Chicken Soup for the Nurse's Soul" and "Chicken Soup for the Caregiver Soul"
“Great book! As Laura writes, leadership is not exclusively for ‘the top dogs’ but for everyone. Her seven insights for leaders are really about being more effective human beings. Let's all start there! This is a thought-provoking work that can help all of us win, and win the right way."
-- Don Knauss, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, The Clorox Company
“This is a book for men and women alike. Laura reminds us how important it is to 'bring your heart to work.' Her stories illustrate that leading from your head brings predictable results, but taking the risk and leading with your head and your heart can bring truly transformational results....for you, your team and your business."
-- Abigail Rodgers, Vice President, The Coca-Cola Company
"Laura Lopez rocks! Her leadership insights apply to everyone - whether you front a band, run a household or lead a multi-million dollar corporation. Sometimes, all you need to do to rock to the top is step back, give your team some creative space…and read The Connected and Committed Leader."
-- Dayna Steele, Author of "Rock To The Top: What I Learned about Success from the World's Greatest Rock Stars"
As the author of my own leadership book, “Leading Beyond Tradition,” and a leadership instructor and coach, I read many leadership books. With the great number of such books available, the book that proves to be successful in the market will provide a separate and distinct approach to leadership. I looked for such an approach in “The Connected and Committed Leader,” and found it.
Laura Lopez provides her readers with a unique, yet interesting comparison between what you do at home and what you do at work. She draws the comparisons that leadership in one positively influences leadership in the other. She brings considerable experience and expertise from her time as VP of Coca Cola, one of the more successful companies in the world, and she should be listened to. Her anecdotal information provides the context from which to apply the content in the book.
To get the most benefit from the book, the reader needs to ask and answer questions – honestly and thoroughly. First, do you want to lead, and more importantly, are you ready? Are you ready to take on the challenges leadership brings – because what you do significantly influences others around you, both at home and at work. She also provides great content on achieving real and measurable
results in the workplace.
But if the reader is to take anything from the book, it is that leadership is not a part-time commitment, either at work or at home. Ms. Lopez gives the reader Seven Essential Leadership Insights – each in its own right works, but when the dots are connected between all seven, there is an equation equally real success. I encourage people, executives, managers, supervisors, students, and those who aspire to leadership positions to read this book. It is a winner, and I have added “The Connected and Committed Leader” to my extensive library of leadership and management books. Well done Laura Lopez.
-- Bill Cooper for Reader Views, www.readerviews.com
"In The Connected and Committed Leader, Laura Lopez, a fifteen-year veteran with The Coca-Cola Company as a Marketing Vice President, pulls from her experience as a mother to impart important leadership lessons from home that allowed her to get better results at work.
Ms. Lopez has created a leadership guide that exemplifies the abilities working parents bring to the table and has tapped into the importance of not only using the knowledge gained in the workforce, but experience from all areas of life to help people be more effective supervisors. The author explains, 'I saw how parenting was the ultimate leadership experience because it epitomized the tenuous line we all tow as leaders—how to influence and guide behavior without resorting to command and control.' The skills that Ms. Lopez has gained while parenting are offered as Essential Leadership Insights: Believe and Let Go, Be Curious and See Everyone, Be Humble and Keep Your Ego in Check are just a few of the ideas she proposes in The Connected and Committed Leader.
Ms. Lopez’s unique concept, using skills learned through parenting in the workplace, proposes a new perspective to an old argument: Do emotions and personal connections belong in the world of business? The author addresses both sides of the debate. 'I came from a generation of both men and women who learned that hearts did not have a place in business. Showing any emotion was a sign of weakness; there was no place for it in the board room.' The counterpoint, 'Business is extremely up front and personal. People do business with people they like. People relate to and want to help other people they enjoy. People build trust with others who don’t let them down. Business is very personal,' offers a more modern and timely view on the discussion. With global competition at levels never before seen, offering more of yourself in a business relationship might be the very thing that sets you apart from others in your field.
It is easy to see how many people could misconstrue the message Laura Lopez is trying to impart: allowing the heart to enter the door. Anyone who has sat next to a co-worker who droned on and on about the argument they had with their boyfriend or how much they hate the boss will be reluctant to the idea of sharing more in the workplace. The Connected and Committed Leader does not advocate gossip or inappropriate work discussions. The book is about inserting the human equation into the work place and allowing it to replace the rigid, unyielding cognitive rules that have become standard in the world of business. Ms. Lopez says it best when she explains the importance of inspiring others through proper intimacy and finding common ground with colleagues, 'With connection comes trust. With connection comes hope. With connection comes confidence. With connection comes security to take risks. With connections comes growth. And with connection comes freedom to be ourselves.'"
-- Lisa Heidle, Rebecca's Reads, www.RebeccasReads.com
"I've just read Laura Lopez’s, 'The Connected and Committed Leader…Lessons from Home, Results at Work' and I quite enjoyed it. The book demonstrates understanding the utmost characteristic that not only great leaders, but also great people whom we admire possess – a great heart which I term caring and compassion for others.
The book is for everyone who aspires to be the best leader that they can whether business or personal. It is an easy read and covers a lot of ground in a very effective fashion. Laura is a great story teller and does a wonderful job of weaving in material from well-known management experts, along with her own analogies, including personal stories of life and leadership. She also presents seven essential leadership insights to help you become a more effective leader. I especially liked the application of the seven insights to help people determine their baseline and become better leaders.
In summary, I liked this book because it demonstrates the need to understand Self in order to lead with heart – compassion and caring."
-- Jane Treber Macken, MBA, MA; author of “The Art of Managing…How to Build a Better Workplace and Relationships”
"'The Connected and Committed Leader' by Laura Lopez strikes a chord with those of us who came from a generation that believed we had to leave our hearts at the corporate door each morning. Showing any emotion was a sign of weakness and there was simply no place for it in the workplace. We engaged our heads, and only our heads, at work, while our passions and creativity led a life outside the corporate world. After all, business is just business. Nothing personal! Right? Wrong!
In order to be successful in the new millennium, leaders must recognize that business is not just business. It is extremely up front and personal. We often hear today that organizational leaders want an engaged workforce. But engagement is as much emotional as it is intellectual. If we want employees to love their work, love their jobs, and love their companies, they must feel love in return. Plainly and simply, business is very personal. And leadership takes heart – a lot of it.
Laura shares leadership insights that are applicable to every area of your life, from professional relationships to spouses and children. After all, when did becoming adults mean that we didn’t have the same basic needs as children? Why should we think that the “Look at me, Mom. Look at me!” needs expressed by a child are any different than an adult who needs and wants to be recognized for their accomplishments?
Leadership, like parenting, is all about using our influence to inspire and motivate others to action. Too many leaders today still believe they can make people do things. The result of this philosophy in the workforce is a reluctant compliance to rules and policies, rather than an enthusiastic commitment to quality and excellence. We must realize that we can only inspire people to exert their own free wills to do what we want. Command and control just don’t work anymore. Instead, 21st century leaders should focus on building a culture of freedom at every level of the organization; freedom for employees to be who they are and freedom from the hierarchies in decision-making that stifle many companies today. In this type of culture everyone feels a personal connection and takes ownership for the success of the organization.
Laura provides seven essential insights for leadership based on her twenty plus years of corporate business experience coupled with late-life parenting. Here is a brief synopsis of each of her insights:
1. Believe and let go. When you believe and let go you allow others to confront their own abilities or inabilities. By letting go, you give people the freedom to ask for help and receive guidance.
2. Be curious and see everyone. Leaders should never play favorites. You should be curious about everyone on the team, even if they are just warming the bench. This shows that you truly value people; and in doing so, you will unleash their potential to perform at their best.
3. Be receptive and yield. The real leader is the quiet one who listens and asks the questions, rather than the one driving and giving the answers. Why bother having people work with you if you aren’t going to allow them to contribute their own ideas and talent?
4. Be real and serve. Being a great leader takes the courage to be real. People aren’t going to be real with you unless you are real with them. They must know that you have the best interest of the team in mind at all times, and you are serving them and not just yourself.
5. Be humble and keep your ego in check. The most common reason leaders fail is because of arrogance. The reality is that many rising stars in large organizations don’t experience any, or enough, humiliation in their lives, either at work or at home. This is unfortunate because humiliation can be one of our greatest teachers.
6. Be consistent and clear. Character and integrity are essential qualities of great leadership. Integrity is more than just telling the truth. It is about standing up for what you believe in and having the courage and conviction to do the right thing, regardless of social or political pressures.
7. Be vulnerable and give of yourself. It is only through the heart that you connect with and fully engage people. They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.
Whether you own your own business, work for a company, or simply desire to be a more effective human being, this book is a must read. 'The Connected and Committed Leader' offers the perfect ingredients for your success as a leader. Just add life and stir."
-- Tom Massey, author of "The ABC’s of Effective Leadership: Managing from the Heart
and Ten Commitments for Building High Performance Teams"; www.tommasseyinc.com