The Insightful Leader
Find Your Leadership Superpowers, Crush Limiting Beliefs, and Abolish Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
by Carlann Fergusson
June 2018, 165pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6280-9
$45, £35, 40€, A62
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6281-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Your ability to overcome adversity can be your greatest leadership strength while at the same time leading you to sabotage your own success.

The Insightful Leader is the secret formula for claiming your best leadership and using it to achieve unlimited success.

Traditional leadership coaching asks leaders to substitute ineffective behaviors with alternatives, without addressing the underlying internal beliefs that reinforce the old behaviors. After months of successfully trying to change, a leader may suddenly face stressors at work—a looming deadline or a difficult negotiation—that trigger counterproductive behavior, resulting in guilt, shame, and frustration.

The Insightful Leader first helps readers to recognize ineffective behaviors that may be connected to one or more of ten “superpowers,” or overused strengths. Readers embark on a step-by-step process, identifying their superpowers and understanding the strengths of these superpowers as well as when their overuse may cause them to be perceived as egotistical or manipulative.

Having deepened their understanding of their superpowers, leaders then use them as a catalyst to discover adversity they may have faced in their past. The book guides them to uncover survival beliefs held over from these experiences and to reprogram them such that they no longer trigger self-destructive habits but instead focus on recent successes. Finally, tips are provided to help leaders to successfully sustain this transformation.


  • Enables leaders to discover their greatest strength and acknowledge their special abilities
  • Helps readers to decipher which behaviors are sabotaging their leadership
  • Provides the tools leaders need to increase their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and executive presence in preparation for assuming greater responsibility
  • Applies the psychology of leadership to building better relationships, positively influencing others, and becoming an incredible role model and coach
Carlann Fergusson is an award-winning leadership change expert, a past corporate executive, a speaker, and founder of Propel Forward. She guides experienced leaders in becoming more insightful and strategic. Although a psychologist by education, she discovered her coaching and consulting methods while rising through the ranks of corporate leadership at Intel, Visteon, Press Ganey, and Meijer. In addition to assisting a variety of corporate and individual clients, Fergusson serves on the adjunct faculty for Northwestern University's Leadership Certificate Program in Chicago. Her expertise has been cited in CBS MoneyWatch, International Business Times, Newsday, and the Boston Globe.


The Insightful Leader is a guide to self-examination that has caused me, as a leader, to rethink the strengths I valued in myself. I now look at them from the employee’s perspective. Carlann is the most thoughtful and, in a positive way, confrontational organizational professional I have ever worked with. I am a better leader because of her coaching.”—Bill Sheppard, Executive VP of Operations, Vixar, and former VP of Technology and Manufacturing Group, Intel

“This book turns traditional thinking about leadership on its head—and enables a different and more positive set of behaviors for leaders.”—Jack Stahl, Former CEO, Revlon, and former President, The Coca-Cola Company

“Leaders often hear they need to have deeper self-awareness but rarely has there been a book that so accurately charts a path of self-discovery. In The Insightful Leader, Carlann Fergusson systematically enables leaders to serve as their own executive coaches.”—Marshall Goldsmith, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Triggers and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

The Insightful Leader is insightful in a new way. Using a superpower metaphor, Carlann Fergusson provides leaders and coaches with fresh awareness of leader effectiveness. She easily distills research evidence and her extensive coaching experience in a way that is accessible and engaging. A must-read!”—Lisa A. Steelman, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Florida Institute of Technology

“Carlann Fergusson’s observations of leaders' overused strengths are so accurate that you will have x-ray vision into yourself and your colleagues. Being able to see beyond the surface is incredibly valuable in navigating workplace dynamics.”—Steve Jacobs, PhD, CEO, Bright, and former Senior VP of Digital Technology and Product, Hudson Bay Company

“Carlann Fergusson is always real and direct in her coaching sessions, and that’s what I love about The Insightful Leader: it is real, practical, and actionable. Her book expertly guides you through a path of self-discovery that lets you shed your limiting beliefs and own your leadership.”—David Zadikoff, CEO, Cornerstone Restaurant Group

“Carlann Fergusson's conversational style successfully translates leadership skills from theory into practice in a way that is both educational and enlightening.”—Dr. Peggy Chabrian, President and Founder, Women in Aviation
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