An Interview with Susan Steinbrecher, a Heart-Centered Leader

April’s Featured Author is a fellow member of the Lead Change Group, and someone I’ve interacted with on Twitter for years.

Susan Steinbrecher head shot media, author of Heart-Centered LeadershipSusan Steinbrecher is an executive coach, licensed mediator, speaker and author, and is CEO of Steinbrecher And Associates, Inc., a management consulting firm that provides professional-development services in the areas of executive coaching, group facilitation and customer and leadership training.

Susan’s Amazon bestselling book KENSHO: A Modern Awakening, Instigating Change in an Era of Global Renewal is a business book that delves into the realm of personal development.

She is also the co-author of Heart-Centered Leadership: Lead Well, Live Well (2nd edition, February, 2014), Roadmap to Success, and Straight Talk from America’s Top 10 Speakers.

Susan is a Huffington Post Business blogger and has also been a featured expert on MSNBC Your Business, Good Day Dallas, Texas Living and the John Tesh Radio Network, Fortune Small Business magazine, Woman’s Day, Dallas Business Journal,, and

So, as you can see, she has an impressive body of work and experience behind her. With the re-release of her book Heart-Centered Leadership out earlier this year, I thought it would be a great time to reconnect and ask her our standard set of Featured Author questions.

Ready to see what she has to share? Then let’s get started!

Tara: What motivated you to write a book?

Susan: My co-author, Dr. Joel Bennett, and I were considered pioneers in many ways contributing to the “heart-centered leadership” movement having authored our first book on the subject in 2003 – which, at the time, was labelled too “soft” and then further down the road, “ahead of its time.” However, the tide is slowly shifting to a more heart-centered or connected workplace, one that emphasizes relationships, authenticity and transparency.

Perhaps this is due to the increased demands that have been placed on all leaders and the inner stirrings of conviction on their part, prompting them to embrace more meaningful goals, so that in the end they might make a difference beyond that of just being responsible for turning a profit for their companies. Theirs is a growing urge to do significant work while on this planet and to leave a lasting and significant legacy. We are encouraged by the fact that so many are ready and willing to walk the path of the heart.

From the employee’s perspective, there seems to be a desire for more meaning in the work they do as well as the desire for more connection to one another, particularly between employees and their manager/leader.

It no longer works for leaders to take the “ivory tower” approach in dealing with their associates. This is why we felt the time was right to publish a second edition of Heart-Centered Leadership (HCL). The seven principles and corresponding virtues of HCL are just as relevant, if not more so, than when we first introduced them over 10 years ago.

Tara: What publishing options did you consider?

Susan: For this book, I decided to take the self-publishing route utilizing an offset printer, and hiring my own book designer. I felt that traditional offset printing allows more choice when it comes to producing a quality product, and I was able to have more say in all aspects of the process. From a strictly business point of view, this is a favorable route to go if you have the funds to invest in the print run, as you have more control over the profit aspect.

Tara: How easy was it to get your book done?

Susan: In my experience, writing a book takes patience, support, planning and, if self-publishing, a realistic budget. Even though we were bringing a second edition to the market the entire book had to be revamped. This included working with an editor (countless rounds of edits), securing new interviews and research for the book, collaborating with my coauthor and writing new material.

There was also the design aspect to consider. We worked closely with the book designer and the printer to achieve a high-quality result using a design that was evocative of the book’s concept.

Tara: How did you distribute the book after publication?

Susan: Heart-Centered Leadership is available for purchase on Amazon and all popular eBook retailers.

Tara: How are you marketing and promoting your book?

Susan: I have a PR team that helps generate media prospects, radio, print, TV and online media outlets. I also focus on social media communities, blogging and writing opportunities to get the word out and connect with people. My speaking engagements help as well.

Tara: If you had one piece of advice for someone thinking about writing a book, what would it be?

Susan: If possible, have someone help you organize your research and/or manuscript and try your best to keep to a writing schedule. Take a good look at all of your publishing options – do a comparison and see what each publisher or self publisher has to offer and compare it to your goals.

Determine what’s most important to you. Is it distribution? Profit? Branding/notoriety?  Focus on what it is you really want out of the experience to help you choose the option that’s best for you.

And, when you have dark days of frustration and inertia and you wonder whether your project will ever come together – remember to persevere – the light is just ahead!


I hope you’ve enjoyed learning from Susan!

Just a final note… I love that Susan opted to collaborate with a book designer. I find one of the most rewarding services I provide here at Aleweb is book design. Helping an author create what they envisioned, while keeping industry standards in mind, is very satisfying to me. When new authors self-publish, they rarely think beyond the content and cover. Yet book design is an important part of how readable the book is. Never forget to keep a line item in your publishing budget for a book designer!