Spirited Leadership Book Review

Disclaimer: QMW was provided a complimentary copy of Spirited Leadership for review. All opinions are my own

spiritedleadershipSpirited Leadership…52 Ways to Build Trust has been a go-to source for leaders and those wanting to increase their leadership skills since 1998. An empowering, real-world blueprint for leading and living courageously, the book acts as an executive coach and leadership workout for increasing personal power and people-smarts while encouraging people to enjoy a life of excellence and self-expression. (NBCOM Publicity)

Ellen Castro has released an expanded third edition of Spirited Leadership. Castro uses her personal experience from being a Latina leader in the corporate world to being a global consultant and coach to share with us an uplifting and authentic look at what it takes to be a true leader in our own world, organizations and careers. Part of my own quest for Que Means What is to find real resources that inspire others to discover and celebrate their own unique greatness. I've found one resource in Ellen Castro and her lessons and coaching in this book. 

Serves as a Resource or Workout

At first, I was expecting a quick read about leadership that had something to do with connecting with something greater than yourself. That was not the case. 

Spirited Leadership by Ellen Castro is a leadership book that serves leaders as a resource to be used frequently. This book is not a quick read to be left on the shelf. I imagine this book to have much wear and tear as leaders would use regularly it to take notes and flip through it looking for the topic that is may be challenging them that day. 

For review purposes, I read more than one lesson per day. My plan is to use this book as a guide to work through all year. I use daily/weekly devotionals for my personal growth. This will be my weekly devotional for my leadership growth. Each lesson is a one-page read with what 'the spirited leader' believes or how he/she acts. It begins with a leadership quote from other great leaders. For example, Lesson #27 is titled "Encourage Problem Solving" and Castro quotes Duke Ellington:

A problem is a chance for you to do your best. 

She shares why problem solving is great for leaders, their minds and delegating problem solving to others can enhance a team but it can also cause harm when not delegated properly. 

Each lesson is also followed by a section of questions titled "Coaching Moments". This is a space for the author to ask reflecting quesitons of your own experiences with room for you to write your answers. One of the questions in Coaching Moments #27 is:

Does problem solving occur at the level it is happening? Give an example of when it last occurred. Describe the outcome and benefits. 

The "Coaching Moments" section allows leaders to dig in a little deeper. My suggestion would be do these exercises during your quiet time at the beginning or end of each week. They can be intense when you really dig deep. They can also remind you of your purpose … and that's always important.  



Ellen Castro teaches us many lessons in this book. Some of the lesson titles are: 

Honor Yourself

Be a Beaming Example

Promote Curiosity, Creativity and Innovation

Facilitate Greatness


Influence Others 

Thrive on Accountability

My Biggest takeaway: TRUST. The most effective way to lead and motivate others to greatness is to have them trust you. A leader absolutely cannot have others trust them if they are not living their own lives authentically.

Maybe I've heard a version of this takeaway before. However, it was through working on each exercise that helped me to see areas in my own life where I'm not living authentically. That's not an easy confession. It's only through doing the work (like what Castro asks of you) are leaders able to reveal what can make them better leaders. Sometime is is making those difficult confessions. 

Now, time to keep working and move forward! Join me QMW readers! Are you a life-long learner and ?

You can purchase Spirited Leadership: 52 Ways to Build Trust online

About Ellen Castro

Ellen-CastroEllen Castro, Chief Energizing Officer, is a best-selling author, inspirational speaker, trusted coach, and a global consultant since 1991. Her work gives immediate results and lasting solutions for her clients, whom to date, span 17 industries and 11 countries. Ellen's clients range from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to non-profits to schools and individuals. She has touched millions via keynotes and media appearances.

Ellen Castro earned her MEd from Harvard and MBA from Southern Methodist University where she served on the faculty of the Edwin L. Cox Business Leadership Center for more than 15 years. Her first corporate experience was leading a $90 million profit center of 500 employees for Exxon in the 1970’s, where she was the highest-ranking female in Marketing, with five promotions in just 11 years.