I don’t know about you but when I’ve heard too many rave reviews of something, I’m usually then disappointed by it – the hype doesn’t match my reality of experiencing it.

However, that’s not what happened with this book. I’ve listened to people talk about it for a few years, model their lives and work on it and they even ask people to re-read it. Now I know why. 

For me, this really aligns all the things I get excited about relating to CiftonStrengths and neuroscience.  There’s so much more to say than I can put in this one post, and so much that isn’t even going to be touched on at all, but here’s a brief summary of some main points in the book and a few thoughts from me…

There are some things that are just built into us -things that don’t change. But when I say ‘don’t change,’ I actually mean that they don’t go away. They still have the potential to grow and adapt and get overused but they will be a staple part of our thinking and being, no matter what. There are other things that seem like they are part of us but they are actually things we have built in along the way due to life circumstances, things we have been taught or had to learn in order to survive.

Despite appearances, a lot of those things are not helpful to us long term. They feel useful and friendly in the moment and they carry us through tough things, but if we could thank those things for their service to us and safely move to a deeper wisdom inside of us, we can actually become a rarer, truer, more joyful version of ourselves and navigate even the most tricky things with ease.


So what is RARE leadership?

It involves:

‘R – Remining Relational – keeping relationships bigger than problems

A – Acting Like Yourself – living out the best version of who you are, even when there are big emotions 

R – Returning to Joy – maintaining our capacity to be relational and act like ourselves during upset emotions instead of shutting down important parts of our personality. 

E – Enduring Hardship Well – the key is capacity.’ 


Now obviously, all that takes a bit of work, but I think it’s a journey worth committing to isn’t it? And if we let ourselves look more closely at these things and take stock of where we are and what they are looking or feeling like, then we can start to measure how they are improving (or not!) To help us get a quicker handle on that, and for it to feel more real, we can start by grouping these things together as categories of our emotional intelligence.


Wilder and Warner have this take: 

‘Why Assessing Emotional Maturity is so important…

1.  Assessments help you hire more mature leaders

2. Assessments help to create a foundation for authenticity

3. Assessments help us to know which skills we are missing or which need the most work.

4. Assessments help us show tenderness toward weakness.’


When did someone last show tenderness towards your weakness? I’m not sure I could answer that question! Do you feel like you are living as authentically as you could be? Do you have a good enough understanding of yourself and those you work with to be able to hire the ‘best fit’ and to know what to ask for help with or collaboration on because it’s never going to be your strongest area?



I think that’s enough to be pondering on for now, but if you haven’t read ‘Rare Leadership’ yet, go get started! 

And if you want to keep talking about these topics then let me know. You can always find time on my calendar for a chat and see what else I’m thinking about on instagram here.

 See you next time for a look at ‘Traction.’