In The Leader Who CARES: Guiding Human Resource Practitioners to Navigate Workplace Environments, Nikki Pounds of Unequivocally®, introduces Human Resources (HR) practitioners to the CARES Leadership Model®, a tool to evaluate the cultural health of an organization. This book details toxic behaviors of bully bosses and contrasts them with real-life stories of how inspirational leaders support HR, motivate their teams, and lead successful organizations.
Nikki Pounds thoughts on working with SPARK Publications:
“I started writing this book in 2019 and could not find my voice. My writing was sporadic and not succinct. SPARK Publications helped me get clear about my story. They have provided endless professional resources beyond what I ever imagined. Fabi and her team of SPARKlers helped me find my voice and made writing a lot less scary. Writing is not an easy process. However, the SPARK team guided me every step of the way.”
What SPARKed your interest in writing a book?
I wanted to share the expertise and experiences I’ve gained through working in Human Resources over the past 25+ years with peers. Navigating complex and sometimes toxic environments, evaluating workplace cultures, and supporting unique individuals is no easy feat. I hope the book will provide a glimpse into some questions HR practitioners could ask themselves and their teams to maintain their purview of the culture they live in daily. I have had the pleasure of working with many great leaders and some not-so-great ones, and I wanted to share those experiences so that my peers would know that this work is not easy for any of us and they are not alone when sorting through the complexities of HR.
Tell us about a part of the writing/publishing process that was harder than you expected. How did SPARK Publications help you through this process?
I asked a friend once about how to start writing a book and their advice was to “just write.” WRONG! The hardest part about writing this book was narrowing down my audience. I started the book by talking to all leaders, including HR professionals, and I found that my writing was not succinct. I was talking to leaders, then to HR, and back to leaders. Fabi and I had multiple conversations, and she finally asked me, “how do I prepare for a workshop or presentation”? Who am I talking to in these workshops and presentations? And she advised me to approach writing my book as if I am preparing for a workshop. I wasn’t writing a 1,000+ page novel – I was writing a guide for my peers to follow, and that’s when it clicked, and my writing took off.
Tell us about a time that SPARK went above and beyond to bring out the best version of your book?
Fabi showed grace when I almost gave up on writing in 2020. I was nine months into starting my business when COVID turned the world upside down. I could not focus on writing this book for an entire year while I worked tirelessly to rebuild my business. She never pushed me and only encouraged me to write when I could. The entire SPARK team has been amazing and encouraging throughout this entire journey.
How will this experience and your book impact your business moving forward?
My hope is that the book will allow HR professionals, their CEOs, and other leaders in the organization to see the value in evaluating their workplace cultures consistently. Through this book, we invite teams to reach out to the HR Unequivocally® team to assist them in moving this delicate process forward.
What is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to someone (a business owner or thought leader) who wants to write a book?
Decide the story you want to tell and who you are telling it to. Then, outline your topics. As I did, I’d advise that they hire a professional to help them through this entire multi-phase publishing process.
What other platform would you like our readers to know about?
The podcast – HR Without A Doubt – will launch in early 2024. Stay tuned!
What are some hobbies or things you enjoy outside of your business?
I am spending time with family, and surprisingly, I’m back to playing some golf now that the book is published and launched. I’ve played weekly in the past month and have hired a golf coach!
Connect with Nikki Pounds
The Leader Who CARES: Guiding Human Resource Practitioners to Navigate Workplace Environments is published by SPARK Publications
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