Nathan Magnuson On Leadership, Coaching, And His New eBook

Nathan Magnuson

If you haven't discovered Nathan Magnuson's Everyday Leadership blog, check it out today.

You'll find lots of good advice and insights from this Kansas City area leadership consultant, coach and thought leader.

You can also download his new, and free, eBook, Trusted Leadership Advisor, when you subscribe for free to his website.

This week, Nathan kindly shared more about his eBook and leadership in general.



1.  What inspired you to write the eBook?

Nathan:  I wanted something tangible to share. Instead of only sharing my website address, it's nice to have something people can take with them and reference later on. Even my best articles are only accessible via search after a couple months, but someone can take the eBook, print it and keep it at their desk - or bring it with them on a computer or device.

2.  Who is your target reader for the eBook?

Nathan:  My primary target for my writing is people who have responsibility for managing other people or managing specific outcomes - as well as people who aspire for greater things. What they (and I) have found is that it's not quite so easy or glamorous as it looks. In this sense, the eBook is a little different because instead of targeting this group directly, it kind of targets everyone else to join me in helping support these folks.

3.  What chapter of the eBook do you believe will be particularly helpful to most readers?

Nathan:  I have two short pieces on Becoming a Leadership Expert. Let me tell you something, Eric - you don't have to be special to be a leader. You can just be yourself. Is that good news or what?? On the surface, it sounds daunting, but the first thing I say is that each person is probably already a leader - and a "leadership expert" to someone. So that's where we start and just build from there. There are so many ways we can help without needing to be the ultimate authority, such as sharing the ideas of others, relating past experiences and observations and just setting a good example regardless of your qualifications. In fact, I like to say that if you can't lead without authority, you'll never be able to lead with authority.

4.  What aspect of leadership do you like writing, coaching and speaking about most?

Nathan:  Probably the part I like most is helping people think differently about leadership. I've found that often times a small change in perspective can make a huge change in what is possible for so many people, myself included. In an environment where so many conflicting messages are thrown in our direction, if I can make leadership seem easier, less complicated and more fun - I feel like I've added value.

5.  In your consulting and coaching role what have you found to be the most common challenges leaders are facing today?

Nathan:  I think without a doubt one of the most common challenges leaders face is rising expectations with a limited amount of resources - especially time. And the bad news is that it's only going to get worse. If you look at the demographics in America, we're about to experience an enormous labor gap do to a generational shift in the workplace. There will be many more jobs than there will be qualified people. This will mean that many under-qualified people will be thrown into leadership roles just based on the numbers. Leadership development won't be a luxury - it'll be a necessity. That means people like us better be ready to get to work and help!

6.  Do you have another eBook in the works?

Nathan:  Sort of - I usually have several projects in various levels of completion. I've got some ideas, a few outlines and a manuscript or two. Never just one thing at a time. This is usually how I read as well. But when the next one is ready, you can be sure I'll let everyone know!

7.  What venues have you found to be the most useful for networking with inspiring leaders within the Kansas City area?

Nathan:  Great question - honestly I think the best network I found was joining the Army Reserve in Kansas City. I was a part of the 418th Civil Affairs Battalion in Belton and deployed to Iraq in 2008. Not all of us are in KC anymore (we all returned home safely!) but that's been a network I still benefit from to this day. Additionally, I've really benefited from each Toastmasters group I've joined, both in KC and elsewhere.

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