Friday, February 12, 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

Do you listen to music while writing? 

It depends – sometimes I need quiet but when I am “in a groove” I often listen to music. Probably my core is classics but I also like many other genres. I find my choice is often driven my emotional state!

Do you have any suggestions for upcoming writers?

Don’t give up! Seek feedback from others as they are a good guide for how you might improve your work. For some people joining a writers group might work while for others sharing ideas over a coffee or a glass of wine. Be open-minded but stick to your core principles and your passion to be heard.

What is it you like to do when you are not reading/writing? 

Peter has a fulltime career running his own counseling practice and in his “off time” he likes to spend social time with others as well as travelling if and when possible. Nick is now semi-retired which means lots of time with grand-children as well as an aged mother who is in a retirement home. On top of that he likes to “potter about” at his log cottage in the woods.

Is there an author/authors that have inspired you? 

Both of us have favorite authors; Peter likes much of the writing of Carl Jung, Viktor Frankl, James Hollis and others in the sociology field. Nick has an “eclectic” taste – but from an inspirational perspective would mention Jeremy Rifkin with books like “The Empathetic Civilization.” From a leadership perspective there are many including Jack Welch, Tom Peters, Winston Churchill, Jim Collins, Stephen Covey and many others?

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? 

Nick wanted to be an engineer as he was always fascinated and entranced by machines. Peter wanted to be a singer at an early age.

How do you/would you react to a bad review of your book? 

Emotionally it is disappointing when someone gives a bad review but both of us have realized and learned that all reviews – both good and bad offer a learning opportunity. What is most disappointing and hardest to take is a bad review that provides little insight as to “why” it was negative.

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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