What People Are Saying About Hanging the Mirror
“These three debut authors have crafted an impressive book, one that is highly readable, instructional and humanistic in its approach to leadership. The title is derived from a client comment that the authors’ company “pushed each of us to hang a mirror and really take a look at what we saw.” The premise that leaders need to be “reflective” to be effective is played out in finely tuned, well-organized chapters that move through topics including motivation, vision, recognition, involvement and communication. The authors’ keen insights, enhanced by liberal use of authoritative sources, pervade each chapter, offering leaders much to ponder. The authors ask provocative questions—“To what extent do leaders use their authority for employees or onthem?”—and raise deep issues: e.g., “Only when self-reflection incorporates the views and perceptions of others, only when we reach beyond our own beliefs and expectations, can it be said that we have truly hung the mirror” and “The hard reality is that many of us do not really value the thinking of others and do not believe that it can improve our own.” Wisely, the authors devote the majority of the book to self-reflection, guiding readers with relevant examples, sound counsel and end-of-chapter questions. Still, the authors broaden their concept to demonstrate how a reflective leader can help create a reflective organization. They concentrate on the leader’s responsibility to build organizational unity by “defining the culture to which they aspire” and by paying attention “not only to their own effectiveness, but also to the effectiveness of each leader within their scope of authority.” The authors come full circle in the final chapter, “Living the Reflective Life,” where they describe some of the key characteristics inherent in living a reflective life: “Only through reflection do we become everything we could be.”
Deftly written and researched, perceptive and relevant; an important addition to leadership literature.”
“Hanging the Mirror is the most important book on leadership and management I have read in fifty years of hands-on work in the field. Clear, direct, yet deeply profound, it engages the reader in acknowledging what all truly successful leaders understand – that they themselves hold the key to fulfilling the potential of their enterprise.”
Richard Bauman, Retired Senior Medical Officer, US Pacific Command
and Senior Consultant to the Deputy Surgeon General
“Hanging in the Mirror is a remarkable leadership book. One of the criteria I use to evaluate whether I read yet another leadership book is how well the author has researched concepts. In the case of Hanging in the Mirror, the authors based their theory on actual experiences with leaders, and their concepts are real and practiced. The authors were able to write about transformational leadership experiences, evaluating the behaviors of great leaders. I would recommend this book to faculty, leaders, and anyone researching great leadership behaviors. Easy to read, packed with useful concepts and theories.”
Dr. Judy R. Thimakis, HR Director, City of American Fork, UT
“I can’t say enough good things about this book. I have always been a seeker and love to spend time reflecting on my life as well as help others to reflect. If you are looking for a book that gives you the opportunity to sit with yourself and answer some tough questions truthfully and honestly, this is the book for you. I encourage you to read, reflect and contemplate as the answers will come.”
Sharon McGloin, Vice President, Performance Improvement, Marillac
“The world is in dire need of more effective leaders, and this powerful book gets to the heart of what makes or breaks leaders more than any other I have read.”
William B. Harley, President, Harley Consulting & Coaching
“Great content, good writing. And … it’s about much more than leadership in business! We’re finding that most of it relates directly to almost any relationship that involves day-to-day interaction and partnership.”
Diane Findlay, Freelance Educational Writer
What People Are Saying About the Authors’ Work
“I would like to formally thank you for your important work with Jackson Recovery Centers. Your professional services have been critical to putting us on a road to an organizational recovery that is exciting and focused. I have seen more positive change in the last 3 years than I have over the entire 24 years that I have been CEO. You helped us develop our managers and supervisors into true leaders, and create an effective leadership team that is committed, focused, and trusting.
With your help, we have crystallized and breathed life into a client-centered vision that focuses on the truly lifesaving work we are daily engaged in. We have been able to create a leadership culture that is vision-driven and outcome-focused. We have been able to transition jobs into personal dreams that are coming true each day. I have seen a whole new positive energy and productivity infused into our organization.
Alan and Nancy, you are a joy to work with and your work has lead to very specific and measurable outcomes. We still have work to do in continuing to improve our skills in leading people in a manner that empowers and recognizes their contributions to the vision. We have made huge strides but we must continue to do all we can to create an opportunity and an expectation that each individual employee is vision-driven and feels like an important part of something bigger than themselves. To that end, I look forward to our continuing work with you.”
Kermit Dahlen, CEO, Jackson Recovery Centers
“I am writing to share my very enthusiastic endorsement of Alan Sheffer and Nancy Braun of Management Associates. We engaged Management Associates after several internal attempts to guide our leadership and supervisory team to become more effective.
Management Associates entered the scene offering assessment, leadership, and staff development services that readily adapted to our unique needs as a smaller health-care organization. We began slowly with senior leadership sessions and then progressed through all levels, culminating in an organization wide dose of “Building Workplace Community.”
I can say, without hesitation, that the results have been excellent. Their sincerity, enthusiasm, and humor, touched the hearts and minds of everyone in our organization. It provided very important momentum to our efforts to improve the organizational culture with a strong, important emphasis on each individual’s role and responsibility to move forward.
As CEO, I can wholeheartedly recommend the services of Management Associates to any organization, large or small, health-care or otherwise. Their approach to directly addressing the fundamental and most meaningful elements of institutional culture is unique and, for us, ‘just what the doctor ordered.’”
Mike Donlin, CEO, Floyd Valley Hospital
“As I walked through our organization today it was very evident that the place was still ‘abuzz’ in the afterglow of the excellent management program that you presented here yesterday. As usual, our management group enters such training sessions with some skepticism and within minutes of the opening welcomes you had removed that skepticism and set the stage that this was no ordinary training session but rather a unique, meaningful and useful day of self analysis and organizational introspection. Your knowledge and presentation styles were exceptional and it is so impressive to see a professional team at work presenting complex topics, concepts and approaches to this subject matter in a manner that is exciting, understandable and refreshing. You left us not only with a sense of improved appreciation for these topics, but with an eagerness to change and grow as individuals and organizations. I’m pretty sure that our organization is not much different from many in the healthcare environment these days, and I think the perfect timing for such programs in any hospital or medical setting is NOW, and, in my opinion, there are few if any that could not benefit from a session like this.
My sincere compliments and thanks go to you both for your efforts and expertise and we look forward to looking at what other resources you have available that we might use to increase our effectiveness as healthcare providers, managers and human beings. Thanks again!”
Allan Zastrow, CEO, Keokuk Area Hospital