Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Interview with Nick A. Shepherd and Peter J. Smyth, authors of Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations

Inside the Book

Reflective LeadersTitle: Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations
Author: Nick A. Shepherd and Peter J. Smyth
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Business and Economics
Format: Ebook/Paperback

An organization operating in the twenty-first century is different from one that operated during the Industrial Revolution. Today’s focus is on optimizing human potential; people are the enablers of most aspects of intangible value. People develop relationships with suppliers, customers, distributors, and other third parties through which work is executed. In Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations, authors Nick Shepherd and Peter Smyth take an integrated view of organizational performance that blends a focus on both outcomes and relationships. Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations suggests a framework for developing and applying an improved approach to organizational leadership and management. In addition to philosophy and conceptual approaches, it presents tested practical tools and direction. It also delivers case studies of organizations that have applied Shepherd’s and Smyth’s ideas and realized measurable improvements in the day-to-day activities of the organization, along with measurably improved outcomes from the organizational activity. Using over twenty years of practical consulting experience as well as careers in management, Shepherd and Smyth demonstrate how effective leaders can maintain a focus on organizational tasks and outcomes and do this while building and enhancing human relationships.
Reflective Leaders and High-Performance Organizations is available for order at

What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

For Peter it would be his personality – especially his outgoing nature and ability to relate well to others. For Nick it would be his loyalty to others and commitment to trying to do “what is right.”

What is your least favorite quality about yourself? 

Peter worries that he may tend to be subjective and to worry; Nick can be moody at times and show his introverted side when he should make the effort to be more open.

When did you first know you could be a writer? 

For Peter it was at and after graduate school; Nick’s first wrote a technical book for accounting in 1980.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years? 

For Peter it was a mentor - Norman Goroff; for Nick there has been no real influence other than the time spent working with Peter.

How did you come up with the title of the book? 

We wanted “Leadership” in there as that is a great area that attracts managers – but we also wanted something that linked to the content and “reflective” seemed to work. Effective leaders develop a capability for self-awareness and through this practice conscious leadership.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? 

At the time we wrote the book we both had heavy work schedules – so time was the main challenge – followed by the constant revisions to improve the content based on the feedback and reviews of others.

Meet the Author

Nick A. Shepherd has more than forty years of business experience. Since 1989, he has owned the management-consulting and professional-development company, EduVision Inc., which provides management-consulting and development services to public and private sector organizations. Peter J. Smyth has over thirty-five years of experience in the fields of adult education and organizational consultation, counseling, psychology, social work, and mental health. He holds numerous qualifications in the areas of teamwork, leadership, coaching, emotional intelligence, and personal and organizational assessment. Shepherd and Smyth have worked together for over twenty-five years facilitating workshops and helping clients enhance their teams and leadership capabilities.

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