Breakthrough Leadership by Frederica A. Peterson MA, Henry M. Lee Esq., and Wei Houng by Frederica A. Peterson MA, Henry M. Lee Esq., and Wei Houng - Read Online

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Breakthrough Leadership - Frederica A. Peterson MA

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Every business leader would agree that a breakthrough is a positive event. But what exactly is a breakthrough? More importantly, how can leaders purposefully work towards them, in both their professional and personal lives?

For leaders to excel, and to inspire their team and company to greatness, they need to stay ahead of market trends and competitors as well as staying on top of their own game. Just as the market place changes, so must the mindset of a leader, who needs to continually evolve and transform to maintain their right to be called a leader and to fulfill their role successfully.

"Think of the transformation as a process of buildup followed by breakthrough, broken into three broad stages: disciplined people, disciplined thought, and disciplined action, states Jim C. Collins in Good to Great. "

The six innovative leaders profiled in this book have not only experienced breakthroughs in their own lives, but have also committed their careers to helping others experience breakthrough moments in one way or another. "

This diverse group of accomplished leaders provides a wealth of life-tested advice on leadership, life, and the things that hold people back from reaching their leadership potential. Frederica A. Peterson left a high-powered corporate career behind to launch a career coaching business. Henry M. Lee, Esquire has embraced a title that some might call an oxymoron: The Happy Lawyer, and he has been impacting his clients’ lives beyond the courtroom. Marian S. White has drawn on her diverse professional and leadership experience to launch The Refinery, a successful business consulting firm, while Steven Griswold has defied the norms of the insurance business to make his family agency stand out from the field. When health concerns forced Sue Ann Dunlevie out of her leadership role at a Fortune 500 company, she embraced her passion for blogging, and now makes a living teaching others to do the same. Finally, Wei Houng, founder of 6 Figure Academy, has provided resources and direction to entrepreneurs of all kinds, reaching his own goals as they reach theirs.

Each interview offers a unique perspective in the leader’s own, candid words. However, despite the variety of business fields and backgrounds represented, a surprising number of common threads also emerge. Whether you are a seasoned business leader in constant search of improvement or a would-be leader lost along the path, chances are good that at least one of these voices will resonate with you. These individuals have made it their lives’ work to help others achieve their dreams, and they hope to help you achieve yours through the pages of this book.


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Legal Notes

Frederica A. Peterson, MA

Henry M. Lee, ESQ.

Marian S. White

Steven Griswold, CHRS

Sue Anne Dunlevie

Wei Houng


About Simply Good Press


egal Notes

Copyright © 2016 Jane Tabachnick | Simply Good Press. All rights reserved.

No part of the book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without prior written consent of the authors, except as provided by the United States of America copyright law.

Published by Simply Good Press, Montclair, NJ / A division of Jane Tabachnick and Co.

This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information with regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding the publisher is not engaged in rendering relationship, legal or other professional advices. If professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought. The opinions expressed by the author in this book are not endorsed by Simply Good Press, and are the sole responsibility of the author rendering an opinion.

For information contact: Simply Good Press at 646 867-0788 or visit us online at:


hapter 1.

Frederica A. Peterson, MA

Let’s talk about breakthroughs. What is a breakthrough, in the general sense?

Frederica: In my perspective a breakthrough is clarity. That’s when something that was maybe not clear, or a little foggy so to speak, has now become clear based on a perspective that was either presented or realized at some point.

What kinds of breakthroughs are necessary to achieve greater leadership success?

Frederica: Self-awareness, energy and connection with others. Let’s talk about self- awareness for a moment. As a leader, self-awareness is a critical component to success when leading others. It’s understanding how the decisions you make and the actions you take impact others. Having a very conscious level of this awareness will enable leaders to be more effective in their decision-making and overall leadership skills and presence.

A good example of this can be seen in someone that is new to a leadership role. Up to this point in their career the decisions they have made only impacted them. Now that they are in a leadership capacity, they have to learn how to consider the bigger picture, or broaden their perspective, in other words. This includes how they show up for people, in their communication style, their thinking and in different situations and circumstances. Self-awareness plays a key role in the effectiveness of this new leader because the decisions they make have an effect on others and the scope of influence is usually greater than their team of direct reports. They have influence over the emotional temperature of their direct team and the leadership team they serve on.

For instance, they can’t show favoritism toward one member of the team over another just because they like them more. In the same way, they can’t show bias toward a member of the team because they don’t like them. As a leader, you learn not to look at people and situations as good or bad, because you know there is always a story behind what you see. It is important for leaders to learn this because often the team adopts their thoughts and opinions, mainly because they want to be accepted by their leader. The leader’s actions literally establish the energy or climate of the team. When a leader is self-aware of how people respond to them (from a 360 degree view, including their leaders, direct reports and colleagues) and how they respond to others, in that 360-degree view, is the key in creating the influence, success and impact they desire.

Now, I also mentioned energy and connection with others being important to breakthroughs in leadership success. When I refer to energy, it is the energy that the leader carries around with them. Are they upbeat, positive, inspiring, motivating, have a genuine concern for others, or generally make people feel good/safe to be around them? That is the energy I am referring to – it is the result of how the leader connects with others. This is an important concept to understand when looking to bring your leadership capabilities to a higher level. We can all think of leaders that may have had an opposite effect from what I just described at one time or another. It wasn’t a good feeling, and likely the environment they fostered was not one where others could excel in their potential. It’s the old adage that a leader is only as good as their team. You can literally talk to any member of a leader’s team and determine how effective they are at leading others, which is completely different from managing process or strategy. Leading benefits, inspires and motivates others, managing benefits you.

What’s the relationship between leadership and career success?

Frederica: Good question. They both require vision and commitment; vision, commitment and then accountability. If you are leading people, leading organizations, or even leading strategies, you have to have a vision, because leading is not only taking you somewhere, you are brining other people along with you. It is important to see the potential, the possibility in things; this is where vision is critical for leaders. This is what is expected of them. This is not something that is necessarily learned; it is an innate ability. You can learn how to manage, but leading, that is an art. Vision is like a canvas on which the leader uses his intuition, experiences, and foresight to create a path to success. Sometimes leaders can’t see the actual next step, but they stay focused on the end goal and use their internal compass to navigate changes along the way. They are not afraid of change as long as it has a purpose, to get to the destination they are seeking. A leader with vision is infectious. People do not have to be coerced to follow them. When a leader has a clear vision, people will follow. It is the leader’s ability to influence through a variety of traits including their charisma and passion about their vision.

It’s the same thing with your career. You need to understand the relationship between the job you are currently doing and how it relates to your skills, abilities, desires, and experience and then know where that has the potential to take you. Where is it going? You have to be intentional about your career journey or you could find yourself somewhere you never intended to be. If you don’t have a vision for your career, it has the potential to be stagnant, run off course, or worse, be orchestrated by someone else! The course you set for yourself is not always certain, but when you are focused on the end goal, you use all that is available to you to make the decisions that will navigate you toward your goal, similar to the leadership journey. It is quite normal to have to have to make course corrections or take small detours along the way, and this is where you build the experience you need to continue on your journey that will eventually lead you to the career you desire.

Understand that in your leadership and career journey there will be ebbs and flows, meaning there’s going to be high points, and low points. Staying committed, with the understanding that there will be challenges and trials along the way, and maintaining your focus on the goal, is what will make you successful. The pitfalls in your career and/or leadership journey are really the things that will help you learn and grow; suffice it to say that these experiences will arm you with the