About the book

The world’s problems are calling for new ways of leading that take what people care about from being just personal ideals to being reality. The world needs role models who have taken on issues and produced results. Best practices from leaders around the globe need to be publicized and available. In this book, we felt it was important to share examples of leaders that most people can identify with, rather than “bigger than life” leaders such as Bill Gates. We are not motivated to act toward goals that look impossible. Rather, when we learn how ordinary people with fewer resources can have social impact, action is more likely.

We embarked on the writing of the book as the logical next stage of our self-expression and a way to provide our leadership wisdom. It takes us each closer to what our hearts yearn for. “Care abouts” are the most important values in our lives. They drive us to stand for that value and to initiate action toward fulfilling it. What are our “care abouts”? Well, Barbara’s deepest care is for the freedom to be able to express herself and lead others to find their own voices. As for Linda, she feels a deep care for justice in the world. Linda wants to see a world of peace, love, and justice for everyone.

We have dedicated much of our lives to serving all types of leaders around the world. It has been through our consulting to businesses, facilitating workshops, holding coaching sessions, and completing joint projects that we have honed our understanding of what it is to be a leader for the twenty-first century. We have spent decades studying, teaching about, and practicing leadership. Our greatest joy is when our students share their accomplishments achieved by applying new ways of leading. The book became an expression of our love for the courageous women and like-minded men we have had the honor to know.

Activists are people who work to bring about social change. This book reveals new ways to get results—by starting with yourself as a leader. It examines many different context shifts. Even small shifts in context can create major change in results. Context shifts are more about who one is “being” than what one is “doing.” Building on what one cares about through context shifts can cause breakthroughs and greater social impact.

We invite you to read the book, reflect on each chapter’s questions, and take new actions to forward what you care about. 

The authors

Linda Alepin is a retired female executive and has served in leadership roles in large corporations, startups, consulting enterprises, academia, and the international nonprofit sector. She spent her early career breaking through the glass ceiling in the business world, went on to teach at the university level, and then pursued social justice globally through leadership education. She believes that every person has the innate capability to be a leader in family, community, and the world.

Barbara E. Key is a teacher, consultant, and coach in Canada and the United States. She is passionate about facilitating leaders to achieve their vision for social change. She wants to shine her light so that others experience and express their own freedom. Coaching programs that she has designed and led have laid the foundation for the success of hundreds of social change projects benefitting thousands of community members.