Mind the Gap

22 June 2022

Mind the Gap: Navigating Your Leadership Journey
by Doug Forsdick, Keri Schwebius, and Heather Thomson
Published by Wood Dragon Books
Review by Toby A. Welch
$19.99 ISBN 9781989078846

Like the title spells out, Mind the Gap covers how to become a more effective leader, but it is much more than that. It is geared towards leadership in the workplace, but those not interested in career leadership advice will also get valuable information from the pages. Additionally, employees will find the information helpful as they contemplate workplace situations.

This book is divided into four areas of leadership: ‘focus on you’, ‘plot the course and steer the way’, ‘maneuver within your organization’, and ‘continue the journey’. We read about the differences between managers and leaders, the role your values play in leadership, how to have difficult conversations, and many other aspects of leadership.

Each chapter ends with Reflection Questions, a list of questions to get you thinking about your own leadership journey and how you want to grow. They are powerful questions that can lead to hours of contemplation.

My favourite chapter is #20: “Getting Sh*t Done.” It shares how to create a system to help you accomplish what needs to get done. It also touches on delegating, setting realistic deadlines, and the leader’s responsibility in getting things done. A time management refresher is always a welcomed thing!

All three authors of this book have compelling resumes; they give a high level of credibility in the subject matter. Forsdick spent 35 years in the law enforcement area of public service. Schwebius spent over two decades working with executive teams in corporate communications. Thomson has worked in the education field for almost 30 years. The experience presented in the material takes this book from average to top-notch.

I especially appreciated Thomson for sharing her experience in the chapter on working for a bad boss. She details how she shifted her attitude going into work when anticipating a difficult situation. Reading about her ordeal can help anyone experiencing a tough situation, at work or otherwise.

As a bonus, each of the three coauthors pipes in to share stories of their own leadership journey as we go through the chapters. For example, in the chapter on emotional intelligence, Thomson tells her experience working with someone who had high emotional intelligence and reveals what that was like for her. In the chapter on dealing with difficult people, Forsdick shares an experience with a difficult person in his work environment. He walks us through how he approached and confronted the situation.

I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to better themselves as a leader or just in life. Unless you are a hermit in the deep woods in the far north who will never encounter another human being, you will gain a great deal of useful knowledge from Mind the Gap.


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