The origin of this workbook is the year 2008 when the now-called Second Great Depression left the whole market economy and its many manifestations into question. Many managers and entrepreneurs faced suddenly uncharted territory in terms of career and business prospects. This triggered in them fundamental questions about life’s priorities that otherwise remain secondary during times of tranquility and prosperity. In many respects, it was a mid-life crisis for the global business community.
Business schools did not remain quiet in front of this new context. Across the globe, leading institutions started to encourage the development of materials, courses, and other incentives with the objective to answer the concerns of the business leaders. In this context, we developed in our business school two courses on personal development for our MBA students. Both have proven to become popular and useful. Following the content and dynamics of these courses, this workbook focuses on developing the authentic self in the framework of a career as a manager or an entrepreneur.
The main objectives of this workbook are to help the readers to identify their strengths, interests, and priorities in order to take ownership of their life and career decisions. It follows a very practical approach, as our priority is to help the readers to reflect over rather than transmit wisdom. There are other books good for the later, and we felt that a complete workbook was the main gap in the bookshelves.
This workbook gives the reader answers to several questions that are becoming increasingly important among the 21st-century leaders—how to create an authentic leadership style, how to define one’s values, and how to align vision–values–career. The readers are given an extensive number of tools for defining their purpose, creating a plan, and are being encouraged to take it into action. Dr. Rivera structured the whole roadmap of this workbook from his research and leading practices around the world.
The core of the workbook is the development of a personal plan, namely Leader’s Journal, very similar to a business plan for a venture. Through various exercises, the readers will be able to identify career opportunities aligned with other personal objectives while addressing conflicting goals that appear often in demanding careers.
In order to succeed, the readers should not simply single out the part of the workbook they like the most and discard the others, but rather use them as a whole and study each of the chapters followed by an entry in the journal’s template that will be introduced in the first chapter. The value of this roadmap will be apparent only when it is applied in real life, else it will remain wishful thinking.
The main target audience of this workbook is coaches, mentors–trainers who help others achieve their aspirations. To the authors’ best understanding, business education publishers offer a limited selection of classroom resources for personal and career development courses. Generally, articles and self-help books are fully focused on a topic; however, this workbook would link and cover all the main themes related to personal and career development comprehensively looking at readers’ life and work from a helicopter view.
Further, the book is also very valuable for first-time and mid-level managers, recent graduates, and newly established entrepreneurs looking for tools to create a roadmap for their life and career planning. We do suggest that in order to have a better use of this book, that they get support from coaches, mentors, trainers who are familiar with these concepts to guide them through.