Professional Books

Quality Leadership Skills

Standards of Leadership Behavior

Traditionally, human resource departments focused on providing leadership training for only supervisors and managers. And in that training they talked a lot about "participative" leadership. But more often than not, the supervisors and managers left the training department to enter a world of work that often did not encourage or allow participation. So we paid mere lip service to good leadership practices, and vast segments of this country's businesses became noncompetitive in the world market.

Now, however, significant shifts in organizational focus have taken place. Many organizations now utilize work teams that in the past were usually led by traditional managers. Today, they are more likely to be self-directed teams. These employee involvement teams have such names as "Total Quality Performance," "Total Quality Management," or "Continuous Quality Improvement." These teams are cross-functional groups as well as department teams in the marketing, service, and operations areas.

Today's organizations are emphasizing quality, effectiveness, and productivity. To help them do so, they are downsizing, reducing the middle management population ("flattening"), delegating responsibility downward, and giving the responsibility for quality to front-line employees.

Unfortunately, organizations that have changed by downsizing, right-sizing, reengineering, and divesting have led to mixed results, mostly bad. According to Cameron and Quinn (1999, 10), most of these changes "produced cynicism, frustration, loss of trust, and deterioration in morale among organizations members." Mostly, major changes in the organization have focused on expending people, changes processes, and the bottom line-not on enhancing the leadership skills of its people.

This book, Quality Leadership Skills, is part of the answer to today's need for quality performance. It is a practical how-to-do-it manual that explains the basic leadership tasks in a simple, step-by-step manner. As such, it is an important update for those who have been trained and retrained-and trained again-in leadership principles. It is also a key manual for new and future leaders.

And it's easy to use. Would you like to know how really to empower your employees so that they will take greater charge over their own careers? To teach your employees how to take more responsibility for their performance appraisal interviews? To learn how to effectively delegate work to employees? Do you understand that the old saying, "You can't delegate responsibility, only authority," is 99% myth?

In this book, you will find clear directions on how to develop your employees. And the exciting thing about it is that you and your employees will produce more, better, and faster-and enjoy doing it, too


"Dick Leatherman is channeling my great story-telling grandfather...only Dr. Leatherman's subject is leadership instead of fishing! The result is a powerfully practical book written in the style of a great novel and chocked full of tools and techniques. If you only buy two books this year on leadership, buy two copies of this book and give one copy to a friend!"

Chip R. Bell, Ph.D., Author

Customer Loyalty Guaranteed

"A clear and concise introduction to the nuts and bolts skills managers need to develop into leaders."

Joanne Ciulla, Ph.D., Professor and Author

The Ethics of Leadership

Ethics, the Heart of Leadership

"Leatherman's new leadership skills book is a prodigious piece of work. Most impressive is his ability to produce a practical, comprehensive well-grounded guide AND write it in a tone or style that is so personal and conversational that it's almost as if he were sitting right beside you, telling you his leadership tale for your personal benefit "

Michael Wriston, Ed.D

President, Competitive Edge Consulting

"I am delighted to endorse Dick Leatherman's book on Leadership Skills. He writes in a conversational style, using examples and analogies that bring his message to life. His personal confessions remind us that we're dealing with a lifelong challenge and that perfecting our skills as leaders should grow as we mature. "

Scott B. Parry, Ph.D.

Chairman (retired), Training House, Inc.

Member, The HRD Hall of Fame

The Training Trilogy

Third Edition

Our Human Resource Development profession is made up of great people who care, really care, about others. I think like doctors, nurses, grade-school teachers, and social workers, we self-select to become trainers for that primary reason. And because we care, we continually look for ways to be even more effective at what we do. This book is for those of you that care.

We have an awesome responsibility. We are responsible to help our participants become more effective in their jobs. We are responsible to provide training that yields a return on our organization's investment. And we are responsible to ourselves to continue to grow and develop as trainers.

I wrote The Training Trilogy in order to help you deal with these responsibilities. It is not a theory book. The suggestions that follow are a compilation of what I've actually observed other successful trainers do; what I've learned, mostly the hard way, over the past 40 years in this business; and many ideas from studying the works of others. 

This book is for the classroom trainer. Yes, many of the strategies presented are appropriate for distance learning (such as conducting a needs assessment) and I wrote a bit about using the internet and the web. But most of what you will read here is for those of you that stand in front of a group of adults and have that wonderful opportunity of helping them learn something that will enhance their performance. 

New and experienced trainers alike will hopefully benefit from this book. It offers significant detail throughout to help new trainers create and lead successful training programs. For more experienced trainers, the Trilogy offers many suggestions and ideas that they can use to become even more successful. 

The Training Trilogy is divided into three sections: Assessing Needs, Designing Effective Training Programs, and Training Skills. In each of these sections, there are practical and real-world ideas to farther enhance your avocation.

As you will surmise from reading this book, I love our profession. I have found it exhilarating, exciting, stirring, and sometimes scary. I hope you find this book helpful in your personal journey. 


"If you were only buying one training resource, The Training Trilogy would be the book. It is the comprehensive, soup to nuts, everything-you-wanted-to-know guide to training brought to you by the master training guru himself, Dick Leatherman."

Chip R. Bell, Ph.D., Author

Managers as Mentors

"The Training Trilogy, Third Edition, by Dr. Dick Leatherman is the definitive text on training. I have used Dick’s concepts and materials in leadership and management workshops on four continents in a wide variety of industries for twenty-five years. His guidance is practical, entertaining and, more importantly, it really works. I enthusiastically endorse this book and strongly encourage all training professionals worldwide to become, as I have, a Dick Leatherman Disciple. "

Peter A. Land, MS, CSP, CMC, CPCM

"Dick Leatherman has done it again! His Training Trilogy (Third Edition) is eminently readable, avoiding the jargon that trainers are often prone to use. From start (specifying the desired results in behavioral terms) to finish (measuring the outcomes back on the job), this book takes the trainer through the steps needed to create and administer a professional, high impact program. I'm delighted to recommend it for new and experienced trainers."

Scott B. Parry, Ph.D.

Chairman (retired), Training House, Inc.

Member, The HRD Hall of Fame

Is Coffee Break the Best Part of Your Day?

How to Keep Your Job in Today's Turbulent Environment.

If you’re tired of feeling anxious about losing your job, then this book is for you. It’s a distilled, boiled-down explanation of how you can be¬come the best you can be—and make your job more secure. But there is a catch. You’ll no longer be able to blame your insecurities on your organization, boss, co-workers, or a disadvantaged childhood. Why not? Because YOU are the one who is primarily responsible for your job security! Not your organization, boss, coworker, or spouse. You. 

Sure, life could always be easier. Companies do go out of business. People are laid off. But as long as we expect others to be responsible for us, we won’t do much about ourselves. There are things we can do almost immediately to become an outstanding employee and enhance our job security—no matter what kind of crazy organization we work for. And when we become an outstanding employee, we don’t have to work for crazy organizations. We can work almost anywhere we want.

Something interesting begins to happen when we take responsibility for ourselves. We work better. We become more effec¬tive. And when we become as productive as we can be, we find that our jobs are more secure. It’s a wonderful cycle. Usually, the better we perform, the more we enjoy what we do. And the more we en¬joy our work, the better we become at it. Organizations often reward people who become more effective at what they do. If economic conditions do force layoffs, their chances of being retained are greatly increased.  

There are two things that will make a job more secure. One is to know as much as we can about the job. The second is to be effective. By “effective” I mean an employee who uses his or her head, has good work habits, and gets along with others. Job knowledge and effective¬ness—it takes both to be successful. 

Sometimes we’re fortunate in having good models: effective parents, a remarkable coworker, or a competent boss. But may of us aren’t so lucky. We may have had less than effective parents or incompetent bosses. So we never had the opportunity to learn what it means to take responsibility for ourselves, to become the best that we can be. That’s what this book is all about. 

I remember my first real job. I was a plumber’s helper during the summer when I was in high school. How I hated that job. As time past, I became pretty good at unclogging stopped-up com¬modes, digging ditches, and threading pipe. In other words, I got so I could do the job. But I was still a lousy employee. I goofed off, took long breaks (coffee breaks were definitely the best part of my day), even longer lunch breaks, and always looked for ways of getting out of work. The only reason I wasn’t fired that summer was that the owner was my uncle.

The following summer, my mother persuaded my uncle to take me back. This time, I was assigned to work with Ike. He was the hardest-working person I’d ever seen—and one of the happiest. Forced by ne¬cessity to keep up with him, I became more productive. As I became more productive, I began to feel great satisfaction in being effective. The more competent I became, the more I enjoyed my job and the more valuable I became for my uncle’s business. I was asked to return the following summer. 

From Ike, I learned what it really meant to work. Not in terms of job knowl¬edge; I already know how to do the job. Ike taught me work habits. He became my model of what it meant to work. What I learned that summer many years ago has become a deep part of me ever since.

This book is for those of you who never had a chance to work for an “Ike.” 


“Every successful ‘do-it-yourselfer’ needs a gizmo box—a collection of special tools, unique items and unusual resources.  It saves you time and extra trips to the store. Your career is a ‘do-it-yourself’ life project.  You are holding the best career enhancing gizmo book out there.”

Chip Bell, Ph.D.
Co-Author of Take Their Breath Away: 
How Imaginative Service Creates Devoted Customers

“Continuously developing your skills in today’s competitive market is critical to growth, happiness, and long-term success. This book is a treasure trove of simple yet practical methods and tools for those with a desire to take their performance to the next level.”

Craig A. BeVier, Ph.D.
Director of Leadership Development
Owens & Minor Medical, Inc.

 “Dr. Leatherman has spent years on leadership studies, researching best practices. This Coffee Break book should serve as a ‘how-to’ guide for the employee trying to be better today than they were yesterday, without the years of research to do so. Each chapter aims at growing the reader’s arsenal of tools to perform at a higher level which translates into increased viability and proficiency in an uncertain job market. You deserve to take the lead and this book will put you out in front, your career may depend on it. This is a must have for my tool kit.”

Captain Joseph R. Hill, Assistant Director
Fairfax County Criminal Justice Academy
Fairfax County Police Department 

“I find that the more I know the more that I realize what little I know. Dr. Dick not only keeps it simple and in layman’s terms, this book will be my Bible on how to lead and teach others. I am not surprised at all, because he has taught me well. Blessings to him and much success.” 

Sheriff C. T. Woody, JR. 
Richmond City Sheriff’s Office