Humane Leadership Book

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Performance Improvement Tools for Humane Leaders

Today's most valuable creative, technical, and clinical talent and leaders ask more of their work.  Now, there's a book that can help leaders learn a more effective and humane mindset and approach.

Stephen Sloan has clearly walked the terrain and offers a beautiful heart-centered approach to compassionate and wise leadership.

This book is rich and fascinating.

— Eben, Coach, Business Therapist, Consultant, and former CEO of EMyth Coaching


How can I lead my team to better performance while being true to my own values?

Weaving brain chemistry, Gandhi’s three purposes of work, management theory, history, philosophy, and literature with the scientific method, Stephen Sloan offers a balance of compassion and accountability he calls humane leadership. This book is designed for leaders seeking better results and more fulfillment.

This will transform the way you lead yourself and your team. With clear mental models and tools, it teaches practical approaches to having delicate yet powerful performance improvement conversations.

The core model outlines how motivation, opportunity, clarity of expectations and ability drive performance. Learn how to create a collaborative setting where you and your team can evaluate these variables and design improvement experiments together.

To ground your experiments, this book offers 12 wisdom jig thinking tools to shift your mindset and help you earn influence with others, structure time, and manage risk. Also included are scripts to address 15 common performance challenges with curiosity and clarity.

By outlining how to lead from values of fair strength, generative care, and wise balance, Sloan hopes to transform our standards of leadership: how we lead ourselves, how we empower others, and how we choose who we allow to lead us.

Stephen Sloan Humane Leadership

Stephen Sloan is founder of the Humane Leadership Institute, as well as a former CEO, startup founder, and consultant to Global 1000 technology firms. He has served leaders in business and nonprofits in the fields of technology, medicine, retail, education, and the arts.


Chapter One– Introduction
Days in the Desert · Who am I to be leading this journey? · The Problems · Humane Leadership Values · How to Benefit From This Book· How Change Happens · Wisdom Jigs: Tools to Improve Thinking

Chapter Two– Humane Performance Improvement
The Performance (MOCA) Jig · Current, As-is Performance Analysis · How to use this Performance Wisdom Jig · Assess Current Performance · Envision Better Performance · Design Experiments to Improve Performance

Chapter Three– Performance Improvement Meetings
Holding Form in Performance Improvement Meetings · Social form · Physical form · Emotional Form · Mental Form: Intention · Intentional Attention · Collaborative Analysis · Everything is an Experiment · Timing and Tempo of Meetings · Self-Leadership: Uncomfortable Discoveries

Chapter Four– Core Concepts of Humane Leadership
Reimagining Organizations and Work · The Leader’s Role · Service Profit Chain · Employee Experience and Engagement · Managers Must Be Leaders · A Humane Theory of Change · Whole Or Part? · Leadership, Opportunity and Performance

Chapter Five– Leaders’ Challenges
The Leader’s Own Edges · Edge 1: Distraction · Edge 2: Lack of Self Examination · Edge 3: Mechanism · Edge 4: Anxiety · Edge 5: Lack of Care · Edge 6: Lack of Prudence · Edge 7: Breaking Trust · Edge 8: Self Absorption · Edge 9: Cynicism · Promises and The One Inch Puddle

Chapter Six– Others’ Challenges
Edge 10: Overwhelm and the Fog of Work · Edge 11: Inert Good Intentions · Edge 12: Surrendered Self Leadership · Edge 13: Personal Issues · Edge 14: Freedom Fighter · Edge 15: Passive Aggressive · Story: A Performance Challenge in Practice · Edge 16: Overly Aggressive · When Performance Doesn’t Improve · Planning Transitions · The Conversation: Releasing Humanely · Warm Accountability

Chapter Seven– Motivation’s Roots
Sources of Motivation · Experiment: Internal, Hope-Based Motivations · Sources of Motivation Wisdom Jig · Motivating One Another · Needs of People and the Organization · Roots of Internal Motivation · Ontological Roots of Motivation · Lived Values

Chapter Eight– Motivation and Accountability
Accountable to MBO, OKRs and KPIs? · Mapping the Organization Algorithm · The Variables That Count · Unintended Consequences: Software Sales Measures · Designing Living Incentives · Experiment: Loose, Tight, Agile and Balance · Chunking · Time-Based Forcing Functions · Collaborative Forcing Functions · Looseness

Chapter Nine– Opening Opportunities
Foundations of Authority · Leadership & Consent · Extending Relevance · Case Study: Opportunity Creation in a Large Firm · Learning to Be Relevant · Pursuing Power for Good · Power, Pride and Unique Self Relevance · Charting Time: Leader as Cartographer · Interruptions · What’s Relevant Now · Entropy of Consciousness · Leaders Start and Restart · Time to Invest In Your Own Power

Chapter Ten– Clarifying Expectations
Beautiful Plans · Inspiring Creative Reach · Clarity: Project Leadership · Elegance · Leaders, Thinking and Reality · Tool: Dependency Trees · Gantt Charts · Meet to Manage the Critical Path · Methodical Planning and Humane Leadership · Fetch: Fighting Entropy · Socratic Leadership: Fetching Questions · Checklists: Persistent Questions · Expectations From Below: Prodelegation · Defining Scope of Responsibility

Chapter Eleven– Amplifying Abilities
Tools: Extending Your Team’s Power · When the System is the Problem · Leaders Own Adoption · Talent · Inhumane Leadership: The Crisis We Chose · Humane and Sustainable · Humane Talent Development · Training that Fits · Improving Training Performance · Tailor Your Own Trainings · Knowing is Good, Not Knowing is Even Better · Autodidacts Are the Future

Chapter Twelve– What This Means to You
Leadership: A Moral Challenge · Free Will and Consequences · Our Docile, Gentle Isle · Be The Change · This Ending is Your Daily Beginning


What people are saying


"Intimate, personal"

"Very engaging"

"Extremely useful"

The print and Kindle editions of the book will be available by mid-June.

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