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Success is not about the money or the status.

There are great leaders flying alone in private jets. There are great leaders walking barefoot down a dirt path. What matters is the impact the leaders have on the people and society around them. Great leaders have a radical self-awareness that helps them get a better view of what is going on inside them and inside the people around them. Being Essential will help leaders discover their essential selves – who they are at their cores and why they show up – to help them achieve more satisfying professional experiences. It’s not about the private jets and the big bucks. It’s about who you want to be in this one precious life. Be that, and then you’ll really be able to put your success to work.

Today leadership is in disruption from so many directions. Our society needs self-aware leaders who know what kind of organization the world needs them to build, and what their people need to build it. That kind of radical self-awareness comes from stepping out of the synthetic self we have built–and had built for us by others–all our lives so you can live and lead from the Essential Self which is the core of who you are.

“This is a powerful and provocative guide for anyone wanting to live a bigger, richer, fuller life.”
“It is an incredible tool for coaches and consultants looking for a framework with the potential to facilitate true, sustained transformation with their clients. BRAVO!”

Kevin & Jackie Freiberg
Authors of the best-selling NUTS! Southwest Airlines’ Crazy Recipe for Business and Personal Success

This may be the most practical and usable system for real time management of your leadership mind – helping you locate yourself in the moment and navigate through whatever any situation is throwing at you. At the heart are two simple questions that change your life in any moment: Who are you being? And what do you want?

Leaders often know what they need to do, but don’t have a clue who they need to be. Without a true essence of self, their leadership can feel void of purpose and confidence, affecting both teams and stakeholders. But when leaders discover their essential selves—who they are at their cores and why—it enables them to reach a state of “radical self-awareness,” a game-changing practice that unlocks a more effective, commanding, agile approach to leadership.

“Dain Dunston has distilled three decades of working closely with leaders and organizations into this highly relevant and readable book. His seven essential questions are both deeply philosophical and profoundly practical. Avoiding management fads and corporate-speak, Dunston cuts to the heart of what it means to be an effective leader and a grounded person in today’s fast-changing world.”

“I can think of no better companion for a personal leadership journey than this book.”

“This book took me on a profound journey of self-discovery and personal insight. There is no question in my mind you owe it to yourself to read Being Essential.”

Eric J. McNulty
Co-author, You’re It: Crisis, Change, How to Lead When it Matters Most
Associate Director, National Preparedness Leadership Initiative at Harvard

The seven questions are taught through examples from neuroscience, psychology, real-world events, pop culture, and foundational stories from the world’s great philosophical and religious traditions, from Buddha to the Bible. Leaders will learn how to use these crucial questions in an active, dynamic practice for themselves and for the people they lead.

In an age of massive disruption, where our work and our senses of self are challenged by forces both external and existential, it is more important than ever to master the skill of self-awareness. Being Essential provides a personalized, proven framework to develop radical self-awareness and lead with the true self.

“This book is a personal enlightenment game-changer. It will make ripples in the universe!”

Gina Balarin
Author, The Secret Army: Leadership, Marketing and the Power of People