Awake Ethics: A System for Aligning Your Actions with Your Core Intentions was the winner in the How-To category of the 2019 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.
Following find an interview with author Hilary Grosskopf.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Awake Ethics: A System for Aligning Your Actions with Your Core Intentions. The second edition was published in November 2018.
What’s the book’s first line?
“Unlike the popular term leadership, the term ethics is not a buzzword used very often in companies and organizations.”
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Especially in the complex world of commerce and business, it’s challenging to make genuine connections with others and truly know the impacts of our actions. We often ask ourselves: How can I act in alignment with my core intentions in a given situation despite norms, competition, and pressure?
Awake Ethics illustrates how ten ethical principles, when put into practice with individual and team exercises, enable you to make human-centered progress at work and build meaningful connections with others. Interpersonal conflict, miscommunication, ignorance, harm to the environment, and lack of focus on self-care are norms of modern business that actually get in the way of individual and collective progress. We all crave more alignment and genuine connection.
A leader’s actions must align with his or her core intentions in order to inspire a team and make meaningful impact. Without an understanding of and focus on ethics, teams and organizations become stagnant environments of animosity that often fall apart prematurely and have negative effects on individuals and the world at large. Building a career, a team, or an organization without an understanding and appreciation for ethics is like building a skyscraper on a foundation of sand. Through the Awake Ethics stories and exercises, learn how to see the universal impacts of your actions and discern how to better align your actions with your core intentions. Learn how to find balance between peace and progress to move forward in a sustainable, authentic way.
The Awake Ethics system is a method for working through limits and shifting your mindset in order to align your actions with your core intentions. Through the stories from the field, prompts, and exercises, learn to cultivate a truly ethical mindset that will set you apart and free you from business regimen and “should’s” in order to find true purpose and connection. This Awake Ethics system is based on an ancient system of philosophy, the Yamas and Niyamas. Interpreted for modern leaders, this system is an integrated approach to leadership, personal growth, and professional development.
This guidebook is my second interactive guidebook for modern leaders. Whether used at work or in life, these practical ethical principles and creative exercises have the power to transform your career, your life, and your relationships with others and yourself. Learn the language and prepare to lead by example to build a modern tribe of ethical leaders.
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
Awake Ethics was inspired by a gap I found while working in the business world. Early on in my career, I had pretty cool jobs in the corporate world of retail. I was fortunate to lead projects and teams. I did a lot of cross-functional work and worked with international partners. My experience as a leader helped me grow both personally and professionally. However, the biggest challenges of leading a team, working in an business environment, and trying to grow professionally often resulted from what I found to be lack of understanding and appreciation of ethics in the workplace. Surrounded by unethical behavior at work everyday, I had trouble navigating my professional and personal actions in ways that felt connected and meaningful. I found that my actions toward myself and others were often not in alignment with my core intentions or true interests.
Luckily, along my journey, a system of ten ethical principles from yoga philosophy helped me to rewire my approach to interactions, relationships, leadership, and personal growth both at work and in life. Once I started studying this system in depth and adopting it in daily practice, I was able to move forward in more alignment with my values and beliefs. I enjoyed lower stress and exciting personal growth. I cultivated better relationships and my team made progress individually and collectively. This system helped me to embrace opportunities I would not have had otherwise. In my second book, Awake Ethics, I adapted this set of principles for modern leaders so that others could learn and practice these ethical principles every day. I tell my own stories of how I used these principles to navigate challenging personal and inter-personal situations during my career as a team member, leader in large corporations, and entrepreneur. I provide exercises in each of the ten chapters so that readers can put the principles into practice. It’s an essential, timeless how-to guide for ethical leadership of work and life.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
This book is written from my perspective, so I guess I am the main character in this book! Readers have commented that the conversational tone told from my perspective helps them to relate to the stories. By reading from my perspective, readers can use the stories from my experience to navigate their own ethical dilemmas at work and in life.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
You should read this book if you are a leader or aspiring leader seeking ways to resolve contradictions and tough situations at work in order to make real progress. Whether striving to navigate day-to-day team dynamics or your own professional growth journey, you can use the 10 ethics principles of Awake Ethics to resolve tough challenges and move forward. Learn how to find alignment between your actions and your intentions for human-centered progress (not just profit or getting by). Leaders seeking to make truly human-centered decisions and contribute in ways that result in the best for the individuals and collective can use this book as a practical yet soulful guide.
Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling? If so, why?
I enjoy having freedom and control over the specific words I share and the way my work is shared. The visual component and format of my leadership guidebooks are very important, so I plan to write and publish my guidebooks independently.
However, I do have many book concepts in the works that could work very well for traditional publishing. So, for the right book, absolutely – I do see traditional publishing as a partnership full of opportunity to reach more readers and I hope to publish traditionally someday as well.
Is there something in particular that motivates you?
As a systems engineer by education, I suffered from creative repression for a large part of my life. The idea to develop my systems and to write my guidebooks in order to heal and inspire people that find themselves lost in the business world prompted me to tap into my creativity. While there is a dominant perception of scarcity and many seemingly impossible ventures in life, creating is always possible and always fulfilling. I’m motivated by my readers, collaborators, and the limitless ability to create.