When searching the top leadership books of today, words like war, laws, and power appear slightly aggressively across covers. And, it doesn't take long to notice that those books are predominantly written by white men. While that fact certainly does not invalidate the valuable lessons for leaders within those pages, aren’t we certainly missing perspectives and contributions from leaders with additional challenges to overcome? Aren’t we missing the full picture of what leadership in the 21st century looks like?
Untapped Leadership examines strategies, capabilities, and contributions from leaders of color and marginalized backgrounds from all walks of life and career stages. Highlighting diverse stories and strategies, this groundbreaking book reveals a different kind of leadership, one that requires an advanced understanding of situational awareness, organizational dynamics, and sound decision-making. Far from being a book only for leaders of color, Untapped Leadership shows that the lessons grounded in BIPOC leadership are lessons for anyone and everyone looking to bring a more nuanced and contextual perspective towards navigating life and career – from readers beginning their leadership journeys to those fortunate to lead teams and organizations through complex and fast-changing environments.
For the past two decades, author Dr. Jenny Vazquez-Newsum has designed and delivered leadership training for hundreds of diverse leaders, from established executives at large corporations to high school students beginning their leadership journeys. Untapped Leadership is the first step towards moving beyond behavioral or situational leadership models towards a more inclusive and impactful model of contextual leadership by expanding the discourse to include and value marginalized perspectives.
Jenny Vazquez-Newsum, Ed.D., is a facilitator, researcher, and educator with a long-time interest in leadership. As a biracial Black/Latinx woman, the leadership journey has been bumpy, stimulating, challenging, and a life's work. For the past two decades, Vazquez-Newsum has designed and delivered leadership training for hundreds of diverse leaders, from established executives at large corporations to high school students beginning their leadership journeys. She currently serves as the Founder and CEO of Untapped Leaders, a dynamic and diverse leadership community and consultancy specializing in uncovering the untapped capacities of individuals, teams, and organizations. Vazquez-Newsum has served on the Santa Monica Commission on the Status of Women and was an Advisory Committee Member for the Scripps College Laspa Leadership Center. She lives in Santa Monica, California.
“For anyone who is committed to inclusive leadership and building thriving and diverse organizations, this book is essential reading. Vazquez-Newsum offers critical perspectives from leaders of color too long overlooked in the field. Blending real leader experiences with tangible tools for all to learn from, Untapped Leadership should be on every leader's bookshelf.” – Deanna Singh, author of Actions Speak Louder: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming an Inclusive Workplace
“As a black woman in a leadership role, I have taken many courses and read several books on being an effective leader while aiming to remain true to my authentic self. However, I often found myself not truly connecting to the material presented. Untapped Leadership does an amazing job on delving into the BIPOC leader and the idiosyncrasies of leadership as a person of color.”– Jaccara Cadet Smith, Managing Director, Ernst and Young, LLP
“Untapped Leadership is a refreshing and powerful take on why we must rethink leadership. Readers will appreciate Vazquez-Newsum’s ability to speak truth to power and name how race, gender, and other social identities can strengthen our understanding and enactment of leadership. Untapped Leadership is a must-read for anyone seeking to lead in more effective, humanizing, and socially just ways.” – Dr. Bianca Baldridge, Associate Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Author of Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work
“Vazquez-Newsum’s pioneering work to bring visibility to BIPOC leadership is long overdue. The amplification of BIPOC leaders has been a void for far too long. We cannot build competencies that drive inclusive behaviors and outcomes within a field that is exclusive.” – Natalie Samarjian, President and CEO, Coro Southern California; Commissioner, City of Los Angeles
"I finished reading the book while in Baltimore. I felt seen. I felt understood. I was reading the words from the little voice in my head. It’s always been our moment, but Untapped Leadership makes it plain that BIPOC leaders are the future. We are what’s needed today, tomorrow, and always. We are the (secret) sauce for leadership reimagined." – Dr. Nomsa Khalfani, Co-CEO/Chief Strategy + Equity Officer, Essential Access Health
"Untapped Leadership must take space on every leader's bookshelf. It is unequivocally the book that leaders of color have been waiting for that see us as who we are. Vazquez -Newsum explores the beauty and challenges of leaders of color like no other leadership expert with unapologetic honesty. It was truly powerful and affirming to read." – Reena Hajat Carroll, MSW, Executive Director, California Conference for Equality and Justice (CCEJ)
“In Untapped Leadership, the marginalized and woefully underutilized voices of BIPOC leaders find a platform to tell their stories of learning, navigating, negotiating, and transcending workplaces that are fundamentally antithetical to their own viewpoints on leadership, which center authenticity and collectivity. But beyond the power of this groundbreaking take on leadership, she creates a space for you to feel heard and seen, and that in and of itself acts as its own form of transformational healing.” – Corey Matthews, Coaching Transitions, LLC, and Vice President, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase & Co.