Monday, November 23, 2009

"The Leadership Garden Guidebook" by Debra J. Slover

I have to say Debra Slover's series is very well done. She has created an effectively designed brand that brings something new to the self-improvement market. The main concepts of the U.N.I.Q.U.E. series are clearly delineated in the companion guidebook. Interactive space is also provided for readers to record their reactions to Slover's thought-provoking questions. The guidebook forges the gap between concept and reality. It is a must-have for those wanting to get the most out of the series.

The guidebook's chapters correspond to those in the adult and child versions of the U.N.I.Q.U.E. books. They are filled with writing exercises that help readers apply the series' concepts to their lives. Intangible concepts are made personal by involving the reader in hands-on activities. Theory is put into action. The guidebook also functions as a journal allowing the reader the opportunity to go back and reflect on past entries. Personal growth can be measured and evaluated as the reader progresses through the U.N.I.Q.U.E. chapters.

Some key points illustrate Slover's philosophy:

- True leadership is not a title, position, or job. It's a way of life that expresses your imagination, purpose and spirit. What brings these qualities to life is unique in everyone. Love binds you with others and is at the heart of all authentic leadership. Leadership warms your heart and lifts your spirit when used in service of another's greatness.

- Greatness sprouts, not in spite of your imperfections, but from the wisdom you gain as you improve upon them.

- When you allow others to be themselves, without trying to fix or change them, and focus on their positive behaviors, extraordinary results show up. Empathy is a bridge from survival to thriving leadership. The more open and receptive you are with others, the more open and receptive they are to you.

- You cannot always control the circumstances of your life, but you can choose how you respond to them. Each time you choose to focus on the pleasant events of your life, and not let the unpleasant ones dictate your response in a negative manner, you begin to rewire your brain and create a new reality. Setbacks, failure and disappointments are to be expected, and thriving leaders use them as an opportunity to grow and expand.

This guidebook affords you the opportunity to look at
what you do, how you do it, and why you do it, so you can begin to make the choice to thrive.

Slover also relates an interesting anecdote about the U.N.I.Q.U.E. series influence. At a book signing, Slover sold one copy. That copy was sent to a doctoral candidate in leadership studies who used the book in teaching college students in the United States and in an economically challenged school in Africa.

Inspired by the effect the U.N.I.Q.U.E. series was having on others, Slover set up the Leadership Garden Registry which accepts donations through the Calvert Foundation to provide grants in $250-$500 amounts to non-profit organizations that wish to develop leader-friendly gardening "Practice Projects."

The guidebook concludes with an adorable photo of Slover with her dog, Mooko.

The Leadership Garden Guidebook
by Debra J. Slover is available for $18.95 at and

A complimentary review copy was provided by Debra J. Slover.


  1. I must say that the idea of having an adult version and children's version of a book that works together is still fairly new in the world of books. However, the concept behind it has merit and from the your review, this book aims to help build self-confidence and character on a solid self-owned foundation. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the review. Sounds like a great book.

  3. Debra Slover worked long and hard over this book - and it shows!! I acted as her consultant during much of the process, and her passion for this dual project jumps out of every page.

    I am thrilled for her for her, and I wish her every success. YEA Deb!!

    Margot Finke
    Books - Manuscript Critiques - Writing Help