Sunday, August 25, 2013

Book Review - Awakened Leadership: Beyond Self-Mastery by Alan E. Shelton

Awakened Leadership: Beyond Self-Mastery by Alan E. Shelton

Transformational leadership books and processes have delivered us to the era of self-mastery. But how do we move from being effective leaders to being awakened leaders? By situating leadership in the nest of the seeker's journey toward truth, you can now stand on the shoulders of the visionaries who have come before, and become conscious of your own position within Source.

Leaving behind charts, maps, and graphs, “Awakened Leadership” is a portal to direct experience via pointers and personal stories that will help you recognize the gift of being who you really are. Then your leadership essence will effortlessly manifest not only in the boardroom, but in all facets of your life.

While I am not in a leadership role (as in, I don't have any direct reports) in my job, I do have to lead projects so I am often interested in learning about how to be a better leader. So when I was contacted to see if I was interested in reviewing this book, I said yes. 

I really enjoyed the beginning of the book when the author talked about his childhood, his mission trip to Peru, and building his business. However, he lost me when he went to India to become a Seeker to "seek the truth"... there were many talks of the ego... I was a psych major in college so the concept of the ego is not new to me. When I was reading about this journey, it reminded me a bit of the "Pray" part in Eat, Pray Love... I have no doubt that this was a significant journey in the author's experience, but perhaps to be enlightened, one really needs to experience it, and just can't read about it? Or maybe I am just not ready for this journey yet (my ego is in the way :) ) 

I do really admire the author's drive and passion - when he was my age, he was already a very successful business owner. So my review is NOT to say his thoughts of leadership is wrong, but that I didn't quite get as much out of it as I thought I would. Though now that I am a mother myself, I do agree wholeheartedly about this - "I realized that being a full-time father again meant that interests higher than my own needed to be served" - I definitely have to put myself aside and think for my son first. Maybe it is something I need to keep in mind when I lead others.

2.5 Stars. 

Author Bio:
Alan Shelton is a leader who colors outside the lines, a corporate executive
mentor with an entrepreneurial spirit and a gripping speaker who engages his audiences. 

With a reputation like that, it is no wonder that his book, “Awakened  Leadership: Beyond Self-Mastery,” has become so successful. Shelton graduated from Brigham Young  University (BYU) in Utah after completing missionary work in Peru. By 1977, Shelton had landed his first big gig in the corporate  world at PricewaterhouseCoopers, now PwC, where his clients included IBM, Sunkist, Beckman Instruments and Toyota Motor Sales. His journey continued through 1990  when he sold his CPA firm, Shelton, Smith and Townsend, and turned to leadership training. Since then, his client list has grown to include the University of San Diego,  Wrangler, VF Corp., The North Face, Celgene and many others.

“Awakened Leadership,” published by Red Hatchet Press in May 2012, has taken the 
leadership world by storm. The book is the winner of a 2013 National Indie Excellence 
Book Award as well as a 2012 USA Best Book Award.

Shelton advises and facilitates workshops for international businesses in Oceanside, 
Calif., where he lives in a refurbished fire station with his loving wife, Justine. He has 
two children, Kristin and Michael, who earned business degrees from the University of 
Southern California and the University of Arizona, respectively.

Indie Excellence Winner 2013
USA Best Book Awards WInner

Book Information:
Hardcover $24.95
ISBN: 978-0984712502
Motivational, 220 pages
Red Hatchet Press, May 2012

Author Links:
Author Website:
Twitter: @AlanEShelton

Note - A free copy was given to me from in exchange for an unbiased review

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.


  1. As a mother I can appreciate the last part. I think that my husband may actually like this. If he wanted (he doesn't) he could have a leadership role.

    1. There are definitely plus and minuses being a leader. I think nowadays, when I am so busy/tired, I prefer reading fiction to non-fiction since I don't seem to have the energy or clear mind to concentrate on reading non-fiction, so maybe if I re-read it later I'd get more out of it!