Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Book Review: 'The Art of Authenticity' by Karissa Thacker
Workplace psychologist and executive coach Karissa Thacker is founder and president of Strategic Performance Solutions, a management training and consulting firm dedicated to elevating people to reach their highest potential and career satisfaction. Over the past two decades, Thacker has done just that for countless individuals, working with nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies to drive performance and leadership growth. She specializes in executive coaching and development that balances on-the-job performance with the need for sustained personal fulfillment. Thacker is often quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, MSNBC, and many other major outlets, and is a sought-after authority on the subject of authentic leadership. Thacker earned her doctorate in psychology from Spalding University and later served as a researcher with General Mills in the strategic growth arena. Currently she serves as an adjunct professor in the MBA program at the University of Delaware’s Lerner School of Business.
Karissa combines scientific research with her own extensive experience coaching corporate executives to develop principles and techniques for becoming the leader others respect. In her preface Karissa personalizes this journey to authenticity: ‘I discovered I was not alone in this struggle to be true to myself and meet my goals, nor in feeling a vague sense of discomfort around the topic for similar reasons. I also began to envision a view of authenticity from a psychological perspective, one that was pragmatic and designed to illuminate those “small” ways in which we choose to be true to ourselves— or not— and perhaps create room for new possibilities in those moments. Practically speaking, it also made sense that the more one contemplated authenticity in the small moments, the greater the likelihood one would be “in shape” to behave authentically in the big, defining moments. The more I read and talked with clients and colleagues, the more intrigued I was. I became haunted by the following question: How could we become more authentic through those small daily struggles in real, pressure-filled situations? Or practically speaking, how could we up our percentage of authentic actions? That question is the foundation of this book. The point of view in this work is that authenticity is all about human possibility, creativity, expression, and freedom.’
Now we understand her motivation and she follows her coaching with A Vision of Authenticity, The Science of Authenticity, The Master Class, ending this final section with How to Ferociously Seek the Truth (When Everyone Is Framing and Spinning).
After spending time reading and digesting and absorbing Karissa’s book you feel a change – more than just as a leader but also to knowing yourself. Highly Recommended. Grady Harp, June 16
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