Interview by IndieReader: IR Approved Author Claudio Chiste tells all about his book

Rise of the Warrior Leader received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Claudio Chiste.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

Rise of the Warrior Leader, published September 2023.

What’s the book’s first line?

A leader’s influence permeates throughout an organisation. It is this influence that can inspire and light the way in the darkest of moments.

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.

This lively highly readable text is a stimulating contribution to skillful leadership and great guide for those either starting out on their role as leaders or those wanting to polish their skills. Claudio offers a special contribution in his addressing the ‘both-and’ perspective of strength and compassion, required by emotionally intelligent leaders managing in turbulent times. The emphasis on the importance of strong positive values and self-reflective awareness is a consistent theme in his setting out of the ten dimensions of Steward-Warrior Leadership. A unique contribution is Claudio’s fascinating examples and stories of heroes and villains drawn from particularly South Africa’s warrior history, illustrating the ‘both-and’ of exceptional relationally-intelligent leadership – courageous decision-making strength in crisis moments, and sociable engagement up and down the line in less stressful times. This is a timely contribution for students of coaching and leadership, as well as human resource practitioners and of course, every level of leader.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?

During my time in the unforgiving environment of the military and international banking, I devoted significant effort to unraveling the intricacies of effective leadership. Transitioning from the military to the banking sector amid the sub-prime crisis, an era marked by relentless waves of job losses, presented a daunting scenario. It was, undoubtedly, an inopportune time to embark on this career shift.

Amidst this tumultuous period, my exploration of leadership literature revealed two notable observations. First and foremost, a multitude of self-proclaimed leadership experts ardently championed their own leadership models, often motivated by financial gains or fixated on singular lessons drawn from crises such as the infamous Enron scandal. This compartmentalized approach operated in isolation from other models, creating a fragmented landscape. However, I recognized that each model offered a valuable fragment of the overall leadership puzzle.

Secondly, I observed the diverse interpretations provided by commentators regarding the era we live in—whether it be labeled as the Information Age, Industry 4.0, Digital Age, and so forth. In response, I chose to shift my focus towards embracing the challenges intrinsic to each of these definitions. I sought to discern patterns across various leadership models, thereby crafting an integrated approach geared towards enhancing leaders’ effectiveness.

In essence, the new challenges that confront us demand a new approach. I am committed to synthesizing the collective wisdom embedded in diverse leadership models to construct a comprehensive framework. This holistic perspective is intended to empower leaders to navigate the complexities of our ever-evolving landscape with newfound efficacy.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?

The primary reason someone should read this book is that it offers an empowering alternative to rigid, one-size-fits-all leadership solutions. In a landscape filled with conflicting models that often prioritize traits over context, this book provides a guiding framework. By recognizing individualities and responses shaped by personality traits and context, it fosters a thoughtful approach that enhances leadership effectiveness. The Ownership-driven Leadership approach, with its components of “Own who you are. Own the mission. Own the result,” emphasizes the importance of self-leadership and systems thinking. This ensures not only an understanding of unintended consequences but also safeguards leaders from negative influences in potentially toxic environments.

Is this the first book you’ve written?


What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

Leadership and Mental Resilience coach.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

2-3 hours a day.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?

The best part is that there is a blank canvas with the freedom to paint it the way I envisage, without being dictated to by traditional publisher. The hardest part is that lessons can be costly.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune?)

Having a positive impact.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Mark Divine.



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