What makes someone a leader? Someone you vote for, work for, or listen to for their expertise? With Step Up, equality advocate Ash Beckham challenges us to embrace a different vision of leadership—to stop focusing on external authorities and start reclaiming our own ability to create change. “What we need most are everyday leaders,” she writes. “We need people to step up and be the change they wish to see in the world. Anyone can do it. You can do it.”
Whether your path involves activism, political engagement, or simply being a positive voice in your workplace, home, and community, Beckham’s Step Up provides essential guidance on cultivating the eight pillars of everyday leadership:
• Empathy—the art of relating to others with compassion for our shared humanity, regardless of whether we agree
• Responsibility—how we can raise our awareness and consciously choose to behave in ways that heal instead of harm
• Courage—understanding the nature of fear so we can move beyond our comfort zone one step at a time
• Grace—how keeping our higher purpose always in sight helps us stop reacting with fear or anger
• Individuality—learning to value and celebrate our uniqueness, including the parts of ourselves we often reject
• Humility—ways to keep the ego in check and open the door to honest, collaborative relationships
• Patience—guidance for disarming our tendency to rush ahead so we can act with greater deliberation and forethought
• Authenticity—how we can embody our deepest truths and lead by example in any situation
For each pillar, Beckham shares engaging stories of her own journey from isolation and anger to a place of greater openness and connection—supported by scientific research and everyday practices to mindfully change the way you relate to yourself and the people in your life. Step Up is a powerful call to action—to speak when it feels easier to be silent, to do good without being self-righteous, and to create a world of inclusion where everyone has a voice and everyone belongs.
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