Leading Lightly: Lower Your Stress, Think with Clarity, and Lead with Ease

Leading Lightly: Lower Your Stress, Think with Clarity, and Lead with Ease

by Jody Michael
Leading Lightly: Lower Your Stress, Think with Clarity, and Lead with Ease

Leading Lightly: Lower Your Stress, Think with Clarity, and Lead with Ease

by Jody Michael


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A Conscious Approach to Leadership and Life

Leading lightly is about looking at what you do through a radical new lens. It’s a way to powerfully transform your performance, make better decisions, gain greater self-awareness, and develop the capacity to manage your work and life with enduring ease and clarity. An alternative to the everyday stress, pace, challenges, and burdens that weigh you down, leading lightly shows you how to shift your mindset, live lighter, and optimize your effectiveness. Part leadership, part mental fitness, part health and wellness guide, Leading Lightly empowers you to work at your best and operate at your fullest potential. 

Stress and difficulty don’t have to be a given. Learning to lead lightly and live mindfully can profoundly change the trajectory of your day. This book is for anyone who finds themselves overloaded, frustrated, anxious, or exhausted by their life circumstances. It offers more than just tactical strategies for sustained optimal performance at work, but transcends that, helping you develop a conscious approach to all the facets of your life, so you’re able to leverage the choices you have each day and take action that puts you in control of your experience. You’ll not only be able to create better outcomes but also do this in a way that energizes and enlivens you.

​In Leading Lightly, author Jody Michael brings together 20+ years of her research and work as a psychotherapist, Master Certified Coach, and leadership expert to provide you with a practical, measurable, and proven process for developing your mental fitness. You’ll increase your emotional intelligence, discover how to respond to situations with more agility, build stronger interpersonal relationships, and find that the ability to thrive in leadership and life is within your grasp. This book will show you how to think differently, feel lighter, and achieve personal and professional well-being. You’ll notice the results immediately, and those around you will too.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781626348998
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Publication date: 06/28/2022
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 152,662
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Jody Michael is CEO of Jody Michael Associates, a premier coaching company specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, and career coaching. She is recognized as one of the top 4% of coaches worldwide and is an internationally credentialed Master Certified Coach, Board Certified Coach, University of Chicago trained psychotherapist, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.

Jody brings a rare combination of global SVP leadership, theoretical knowledge, plus extensive field experience. She’s built her expertise through 40,000+ hours of individual sessions across 25+ years of coaching; post-graduate education in human behavior, neuroscience, and psychology; and 15 years in corporate leadership with Goldman Sachs, Chicago Research and Trading (CRT)/Nations Bank, and Kidder-Peabody. 

Jody has coached some of the nation’s top performing leaders and teams across diverse industries and organizations, from hypergrowth tech companies to global Fortune 100 organizations. She has a special affinity for partnering with tech, finance, and healthcare. Among her clients are more than 120 senior executives across 18 Fortune 100 companies.

She’s a renowned keynote speaker, author, and thought leader in her field who has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Forbes, Oprah Magazine, Huffington Post, Crain’s Chicago, and more. She has appeared as an expert on MSNBC, CNN, the TODAY Show, and NPR.

Jody and her partner Kathy reside in Chicago, IL, and Palm Springs, CA. 

Table of Contents

Introduction: Leading Lightly 1

1 How Learning to Lead Lightly Can Help You 5

2 Creating Mental Fitness™ 19

3 Pinpointing the Pain 45

4 Creating Performance 71

5 Choosing Accountability 101

6 Selecting a Helpful Perceptional Lens 123

7 Accurately Self-Assessing 149

8 Engaging with Multiple Perspectives 173

9 Calming Your Physiology 195

10 How to Perform at Your Best and Change Your Brain 209

Epilogue 228

Appendix: The Jody Michael Associates Mental Fitness Index™ 230

Acknowledgments 233

About the Author 238

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“ . . . a fresh perspective and methodology for releasing ourselves from the cycle of stress. A shift in leadership perspective that will have ripple effects in all areas of life.”
—ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, Founder & CEO, Thrive Global

“If you’re a leader caught in the same rhythm of stress, anxiety, and fatigue at work, you need to read Leading Lightly! Jody has written the ultimate toolkit to finding freedom and peace in your work.”
—MARSHALL GOLDSMITH, New York Times #1 best-selling author of Triggers, Mojo, and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“Jody is bold and incisively honest. You’ll thank her—again and again.”
—MELISSA THOMAS, Chief Financial Officer, Groupon

“Jody’s work is the perfect marriage of energy leadership principles with neuropsychological application and technology to rewire the brain’s patterns of habitual stress. An indispensable, hands-on guide for leaders and coaches alike to achieve transformational change.”
—BRUCE D SCHNEIDER, author of Energy Leadership; Founder, iPEC Coaching

“A game-changing, transformative framework for engineers and tech leaders looking to build their soft skills.”
—SRI SHIVANANDA, EVP, Chief Technology Officer, PayPal

“Pragmatic as it is profound. Leading Lightly is an urgent wake-up call for executives to radically up their leadership game. Jody Michael is as direct and fearless in her book as I’ve known her to be in real life. Her message is timely, relevant, and compelling.”
—BILL READY, President of Commerce, Payments + Next Billion Users, Google

“Virtually every entrepreneur I’ve worked with over my thirty-year career struggles with the rapidly-changing demands of leadership in a high-growth company. Preeminent executive coach Jody Michael—an entrepreneur in her own right—offers data-driven, proven techniques for leaders to strengthen their mental fitness. With this invaluable skill, entrepreneurs can better manage chaos while preserving more energy and bandwidth to focus on what’s important to the company, their life, and their happiness.”
—WAVERLY DEUTSCH, Professor, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

“You’ve got this! Overwhelmed and exhausted executives now have a roadmap to choose and optimize effectiveness without stress and struggle. Leading Lightly teaches you to release inner noise and handle what comes your way with ease and clarity. Jody Michael brilliantly weaves together mental fitness, leadership systems, psychology research, and decades’ worth of experience as both a therapist and an executive coach. Using her reliable, data-driven recipe, you can systemically transform leadership for yourself, your team, and your whole organization.”
—SUZI POMERANTZ, CEO, Innovative Leadership International; best-selling author; and master executive coach

“Jody Michael sets a high bar for leadership. Her book shows you exactly how to get there, and she makes no apology for dismantling your self-imposed limitations. Get ready to grow.”
—MATHEW ELENJICKAL, Founder and CEO, FourKites

Leading Lightly is a truly unique leadership book. Instead of advocating outward actions, it builds your intrinsic strength and psychological resilience, so you thrive in all facets of life and leadership. Jody’s tools powerfully effect lasting and transformative change and personal growth, ultimately leading to radical accountability, mental fitness, and happiness.”
—OLIVIA NELLIGAN, EVP, Chief Financial Officer, CHS Inc.

“Jody Michael has a secret. And she’s sharing it with any leaders brave enough to take lasting action. Leading Lightly breaks through a crowded category with a highly actionable playbook designed to put leaders in control of the only thing they actually have control over—themselves. A refreshingly mindful leadership tool in an ever-shifting societal landscape.”
—BRENT STEINER, Founder & CEO, Engrain

“Holy Cow! I needed this book so much . . . I devoured it. My first thought was to reach out to every fellow EO member and BrainTrust member—all entrepreneurs and say, ‘This book is for us . . . you’ve gotta read it!’ But really, this book is for every person in a leadership position. No, wait! It’s for every person who wants to be happier and healthier, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I’m putting it right up there with Essentialism by Greg McKeown as a ‘must-read,’ ‘must-live-by’ book.”
—SHERRY DEUTSCHMANN, Founder & CEO, BrainTrust

“Leadership is neither a checklist nor formula: it’s about your mindset. To increase your impact and navigate the toughest situations with clarity and ease, look no further than Jody’s definitive book about transformational leadership. She has honed these practical and actionable insights over decades of coaching many of our nation’s premier leaders. Leading Lightly is a must-read for all leaders, both corporate and civic.”
—EDWARD WYNN, Former VP General Counsel and Secretary, Stepan Co.; Executive Chairman, Call One, Inc.

“The best leaders have an ability to both take things seriously and hold them lightly. Taking things seriously seems easy enough for most. But to also remain light—free of excessive stress, worry, or overwhelm—requires a degree of self-mastery. Jody Michael points the way in this practical and grounded book.”
—MICHAEL BUNGAY STANIER, Founder & CEO, Box of Crayons; author of the best-seller, The Coaching Habit

“Leading Lightly . . . how profound! When has anyone suggested we adopt a lightness in leadership rather than buckling down, being tough, and pushing through? When have we dared to imagine real change? I was fortunate to work with Jody Michael as an executive coach. She’s brilliant and impactful in her focus on the default perceptual lenses that limit us and repeatedly fail us, our colleagues, and loved ones. Her book, Leading Lightly, details her mental fitness approach to leadership, and it’s exactly what we all need, now more than ever. It’s a method that will serve you well for the rest of your life.”
—MARTHA GILMER, CEO, The San Diego Symphony

“I’ve used Jody’s mental fitness and accountability tools in every organization I have led—with powerful results. Learning to lead lightly will change you, not just as a leader, but as an entire person. You’ll come to Jody in search of executive coaching—and come out with your whole life transformed.”
—MARGARET M. MUELLER, PhD, CEO, Executive Club of Chicago

“Jody Michael is a leadership-effectiveness expert with a proven track record of helping executives maximize their performance. With Leading Lightly, she has unlocked the secret to operating at a higher level with noticeable effortlessness on both a professional and personal level. You’ll find the practical guidance you need to be your personal best and level up your leadership.”
—WANJI WOLCOTT, Chief Legal Officer, Discover

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