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Plenty of us have been taking on DIY projects during COVID-19 lockdowns. Personal self-improvement might be one you haven’t checked off your list yet.

Languish no more: keynote speaker, strategist and millennial trend analyser Holly Ransom has set out simple-to-follow tips to become the best version of yourself in her impressive first book on leadership, The Leading Edge. Her plan applies whether you’re a law firm partner, CEO, small business owner, sports team captain or even what some might consider an insignificant pawn in a larger organisation.

“Every one of us is born with the ability to lead the change we care enough to make,” she writes. “I want to break open the notion that leadership is exclusive. It’s not.”

Eyebrows raised? Mine were, too. I usually avoid self-improvement books and their vague dabbling in buzzwords like “mindfulness”, “wellness”, or – my personal favourite non-word – “learnings”. But Ransom’s book is different. She has a unique way of spelling out concrete tips and tools to improve your mindset and approach to careers, relationships, and life generally.

It’s authentic because it is grounded in oodles of professional experience. The 31-year-old Harvard graduate has founded her own consulting company Emergent, is the youngest-ever female appointed to the board of Port Adelaide Football Club, and regularly appears on lists of globally influential leaders and game changers. She has delivered a Peace Charter to the Dalai Lama and interviewed the likes of Barack Obama, Richard Branson, Condoleezza Rice and Billie Jean-King.

Now is an interesting time to release a book on leadership – against the backdrop of Australia’s COVID-19 crisis, as our political leaders spruik mixed messages and the higgledy-piggledy hierarchies of state and federal governance are being exposed. It’s also a time during which everyday people have very little control over our lives, and for this reason Ransom’s book is especially empowering and uplifting. 

Bunnings might be closed but The Leading Edge has the tools many of us need right now.