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Book Reviews
[DEMO] Forward: Leading Your Team Thru Change
++ JAN 31, 2023++

By: Dr. Elizabeth Moran - JHP Business Books, $__.95

Description: Forward: Leading Your Team Through Change, from author Elizabeth Moran, is a practical playbook for leaders to guide their teams through their organization’s next big change.

Verdict: Every week thousands of leaders have to guide their teams through a change that they didn’t initiate. They do what they can, but too often they feel unprepared and pressed for time.

Needing to quickly get the word out, they announce the change through an email and hope for the best. If there’s resistance, they increase the frequency and pressure in their messages. Not surprisingly, this rarely works.

Dr. Elizabeth Moran is a self-described “change nerd” who guides some of the most successful companies in the world, and /Forward/ outlines her practical, communication-based approach, offering proven advice, actions, and tools to help team leaders navigate their own transformation challenges.

Grounded in neuroscience and written with humor, this is the playbook leaders need, complete with beginning-to-end action steps, team and individual conversation guides, and a clear approach to measuring success.

Specific chapters help readers tackle some of the toughest and yet most common transformation challenges happening today, like changes that involve job loss, and how to build long-term resilience.

Being a Team Leader, under any circumstance, is always going to be a hefty task for a human, but imagine a scenario where all your usual avenues of communication (to your team along with the outreach sector you are trying to make aware) are falling on deaf ears.

Well, here in Forward: Leading Your Team Through Change by author Dr. Elizabeth Moran, one of the most discussed changes is that of one grounded in neuroscience.

The scientific study of the nervous system (the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system) and its functions, it is a multidisciplinary science that combines physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology, cytology, psychology, physics, computer science, chemistry, medicine, statistics, and mathematical modeling to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of neurons, glia and neural circuits.

Phew, ok, well, more simply put, key terms such as the circle of safety, as well as our biology with selfish chemicals, such as endorphin and dopamine (the other two chemicals that we receive are called selfless chemicals and they are serotonin and oxytocin), all come to the fore here and, for the most part, clearly showcase how we ourselves might have made a lot of business (and personal, of course) decisions and choices thus far in life.

As you may or may not already know, Endorphins come from physical activity, or stress and fear. When it is released into our body it masks pain with pleasure. This is also seen when we start to enjoy exercising and how some people can complete long triathlons. This chemical gives us the next step in what we need to cover a great distance.

Dopamine is the reward we receive when we accomplish something or become near to accomplishing a task. Dopamine is slowly released little by little when we get closer to finishing something. The dopamine amount is also relative to how hard the task is. Dopamine is the reason why we continue with projects because it makes us feel good about ourselves.

Serotonin is the feeling we get when we feel recognized and appreciated. It gives us confidence and makes us strong when we receive a compliment of our abilities as a person. examples of this is when we walk receive an award for best employee in front of all your co-workers, or walking down graduation day being held your degree you worked so hard to get.

Oxytocin is the chemical we receive when we develop deep trust with another person. When someone does something nice to us we get a rush of oxytocin in our blood and it is a feeling what some call the chemical love. Oxytocin is also responsible for making us vulnerable and open up. This gives us a equal share in the group to bare our inner circle of safety which gives us an easier time to focus on tasks.

These two terms go hand in hand and it is up to the leaders to create the circle of safety for their employees in the work environment a place they feel safe and secure. Without the circle of safety being received by all employees, trust and integrity go down the drain and slowly grab the company in a slow but sure spiral of how the company should be.

These chemicals should be in balance and it is up to how the leader structures their company to ensure their employees are receiving the circle of safety.

Thus, this brand new, and highly engrossing now book from Dr, Elizabeth Moran, guides everyone who reads it (and I implore you to do so, whether you are a formidable teamleader, a training leader, or a stay-at-home mom) through a time-saving amount of pressure-reducing, selflessly-guided steps to ensure that your following decisions to be made are ones based on the best facts to hand.

Created to help unclutter your mind and free your soul from its chains of uncertainty, Forward is one of the most aptly-named books I have come across in a long time, especially as it does what it says on the tin (as they say!).

About the Author - Elizabeth Moran is passionate about helping leaders, teams, and organizations navigate and evolve through constant change. She is a consultant and executive coach, and holds masters and doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies. She lives in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Official Book Purchase Link