Cashman’s seven change mastery shifts: Becoming a Leader for Life

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“Leadership From the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life”, Kevin Cashman (Credit: Via Briefings Magazine/
Book cover: “Leadership From the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life”, Kevin Cashman (Credit: Via Briefings Magazine/

In his Book “Leadership From the Inside Out: Becoming a Leader for Life”, Kevin Cashman offers valuable insights, ideas, lessons and tools actual leaders or leaders-to-be can use to improve themselves, their employees, their organizations and their communities. Thus, a virtual coaching experience any person can develop as a “whole person” and, thus, as a “whole leader”.

With his ‘whole-person’ approach, the author integrates seven interrelated pathways to leadership: Personal Mastery, Purpose Mastery, Change Mastery, Interpersonal Mastery, Being Mastery, Resilience Mastery and Action Mastery. Through insightful stories, real-life examples and practical exercises, Cashman helps you connect personal growth to leadership effectiveness.

Cashman explains different experiments allowing the leaders to tie their real value-creating influence and to raise their impact as individuals, in teams and in organizations. He advances a view of leadership that originates in the character of the person and diffuses outward to enrich others. He further argues that it goes beyond competency and skill building to character and personal development. Penetrating the externally defined manifestations of leadership, it goes to the essence of leadership itself: authentic self-expression that creates value. It will literally turn your views of leadership inside out.

Kevin Cashman highlights that the comfort of a leader in certain situations affects his or her thinking, and in return, the leader’s mental processing generates responses and actions that impact his or her environment.

I completely agree with Cashman on the money when he says that typical leadership development programs in organizations focus exclusively on the “outside,” which is leadership actions, behaviors, competencies and techniques. Therefore, he has chosen to focus Leadership from the Inside Out on the “inside” or how you go about continuously growing your inner self as a leader. I wholeheartedly endorse Cashman’s book as it opens the mind and gives deep introspection about self-discovery in leadership. The author’s argument that a leader is bigger than circumstance is supported by his new research showing that to achieve a significant degree of mastery as a leader we must attend to mastering ourselves.

Kevin Cashman insists that the inner mastery practice requires a continuous commitment. You cannot get it in a one day or two days workshop. The best leaders always conduct self-evaluation for more successful performance improvements, open to criticisms from others, reflection and continue self-discovery. Conventional wisdom has it that there is no “quick fix” on the internal side. Why? My discussion of Cashman is in fact addressing the larger matter of these unconscious beliefs and draws of reality that we all carry around inside us, and they are deeply built in. They determine or at least heavily influence our external behavior. Ian Cook, presenter and consultant who works with managers, overlooks what I consider an important point about the fact that we don’t know that we don’t see them. “The only way to release ourselves from their grip on us is to bring these limiting beliefs and thinking habits into the light of day and consciously develop new pathways to effectiveness,” Cook argues. This is where this book comes in.

Memorable Quotes from the book:

“Being a leader is not about what you do. It is about who you are” – Kevin Cashman

“What we believe, we become” – Kevin Cashman (p.39)

“We need to learn to love that part of ourselves that limps” – Kevin Cashman (p.37)

“Vulnerability . . . is the gift I give to those I trust, when I trust myself” – Kevin Cashman (p.44)

“Each of us is being called to lead by authentically connecting our own life experiences, values, and talents to the special circumstances we face” – Kevin Cashman

“If you want to develop your people, be the development you want to see” – Kevin Cashman

“If we hope to be more effective leaders we must pin our hopes on our ability to deal with all life throws at us by changing, adapting, and growing.” – Kevin Cashman (p.116)

“You must really love what you do. You must feel passionate and purposeful about your life.” – Kevin Cashman (p.137)

“A cheerful heart is good medicine.” – Kevin Cashman (p.140 Proverbs 17:22)

“Silent leaders lead by who they are, commit to expanding the depth of your character to its most essential level–Being.” – Kevin Cashman (p.162)

“Building commitment begins with comprehending the consequences of our actions.” – Kevin Cashman (p. 171)