Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership

The definitive book on Modern Leadership

Leadership is simply a series of moments and every moment gives you the opportunity to leave a positive legacy for those you lead.

In this ground-breaking book, award-winning leadership expert and business leader Dr Kirstin Ferguson has written a much needed practical guide for every modern leader. Whether you are the head of one of the largest companies in the world, supervising a small team or guiding your family, it will be your ability to integrate your head and heart that will influence your success in leading others and navigating our complex world.

Combining studies from leading thinkers in the field with her own new research and more than three decades of personal experience, Kirstin explains the eight key attributes of a head and heart leader, and provides the tools to measure your own approach. Along the way, she shares her conversations with modern leaders from a broad range of backgrounds whose stories will surprise you, challenge your thinking and inspire you to be the type of leader the world needs today.

What people are saying

A timely, actionable book on the virtues that every great leader needs to learn. Drawing on her extensive experience and expertise, Kirstin Ferguson highlights the skills involved in developing curiosity, humility, empathy, and courage.
Adam Grant
#1 New York Times bestselling author of THINK AGAIN and host of the TED podcast WorkLife
Head & Heart is the indispensable companion for every leader seeking to lead effectively in this era. In it, Kirstin shared with us her wisdom as well as very practical approaches and tools to help us master the key attributes of modern wholesome leadership.
Hubert Joly
Former Best Buy CEO and author of The Heart of Business
A book for everyone who feels things can be better and want to build a pathway to a stronger future. As Kirstin Ferguson demonstrates, through research and compelling case studies; leaders are made, not born. There is a welcome freshness in the humility of the story-telling which I found a long way from the standard corporate leadership book. Head & Heart offers an important reminder that the best leaders can be found everywhere, with a cool, strategic head and a big, compassionate heart.
Professor Mark Scott AO
Vice Chancellor, University of Sydney
Head & Heart is one of those books you just know is going to change the world. Through extraordinary storytelling and extensive research, Kirstin Ferguson has given us a gift; a book you can’t put down and which is destined to unleash the kind of leaders we desperately need around us both at work and at home. This is a book that perfectly combines learning through inspiration with a pathway to action, while also being a cracking read. I am confident you will devour Head & Heart just as I did, and, more than just a book, it will be your touchstone for leading.
Kate Jenkins
Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner
Kirstin Ferguson has produced a ground-breaking study of the intellectual and emotional elements of contemporary leadership, which should be mandatory reading for all executives, leaders, and managers. Head & Heart makes a significant contribution to the field of leadership theory and practice and is a fine resource for developing leaders, regardless of their field. The principles of 'head and heart' leadership described in this superb book, while explored through a modern lens, are timeless. The book is an outstanding achievement.
Major General (retired) Mick Ryan, AM

Head & Heart will be joining my favourite leadership books on my bedside table. Kirstin inspires us with real life lessons from a diverse set of leaders, showing the power of integrating heads and hearts in leadership. This is the book we need right now, we are leading in white water times, where relying on a one size fits all model doesn't allow for constant learning and adapting that allows for us to bring out the best in ourselves and our teams.

Everyone can lead and everyone can learn from this amazing book.

Pip Marlow
CEO Salesforce Asia Pacific
My mantra for many years, freely offered to whoever was listening, was to keep your head and heart connected and remember that leadership is everybody’s business. Kirstin Ferguson’s reaffirming book provides scholarship and evidence which supports these views. I hope for all of us that it is the must have new book on leadership.
Wendy McCarthy AO Life Fellow FAICD
Social Activist, Company Advisor
Head & Heart weaves wisdom, stories, and research to lay out one of the most compelling books on leadership I’ve read. In a time of unprecedented change in how we work, live, and interact, Kirstin's Head & Heart is the call to action our world needs.
Collis Ta’eed
Chair and Founder, Envato
Grounded in recognised theory and supported with data driven evidence, Kirstin appeals to the leader in us all. Whether a parent, a customer service operator or a CEO of a global organisation, we all face leadership choices. Everyone will see something of themselves in this book. It’s packed with practical tips to lead responsibly and the pitfalls and traps to watch for and avoid - all guided by a modern approach to leadership, balancing our hearts and minds and being true to our authentic selves. Enjoy!
Alison Kitchen
National Chairman, KPMG Australia
This ground-breaking book provides us with the practical tools to be modern leaders and is a must read for all. In today’s turbulent world, leadership has never been more vital. Yet, as Kirstin Ferguson explains in this important book, our understanding of leadership and the people we want and need as leaders have changed. Ferguson debunks the leadership superhero myth; what we need instead are honest and thoughtful women and men prepared to ask hard questions and lead with their heads and their hearts.
Des Dearlove
Co-Founder Thinkers50
This book is an act of leadership itself. With clarity and purpose, Kirstin Ferguson demonstrates that leadership is not a lesson learned from a textbook or graduate program Ferguson’s research and experience show us that leadership is a human quality invested in and exhibited by people who put their whole selves - their head and heart - into motivating, engaging, and enlarging the people around them.
Clare Wright
Professor of History and Professor of Public Engagement, La Trobe University
A must read for all leaders, and those that aspire to be. Highly practical and easy to read, this book is rich in inspiring stories, case studies and gems of wisdom that will motivate even the most experienced leader to ensure they lead with their head and heart.
Paul Zahra
CEO Australian Retailers Association
Head & Heart is brimming with leadership expertise and anecdotes, whilst bringing to life the essential attributes of modern leaders. Given our expectations of leadership in our changing world, this book is an essential reference guide for leaders everywhere.
Julia Banks
Author, business leader, keynote speaker, former Federal MP & experienced director & general counsel
Head & Heart is an incredible achievement; through her own impressive career and first-hand experience, Kirstin revisits the history of leadership through the stories of incredible leaders of the past and present to build a case for the leader of the future. Your head will enjoy the data points used to support the theory, but the heart that jumps off each page is why you will enjoy reading Head & Heart as much I did. This is also a highly practical book; I found taking the Head & Heart Leader Scale allowed me to consider my leadership alongside the handy takeaways Kirstin provides at the end of each chapter.
Marina Go
Chair, Adore Beauty
A truly great read which I could not put down. Everyone is a leader. What Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership shows, in a very readable way, is how we can effectively develop our leadership skills to meet the demands of our complex world.
Simon Mordant AO
Executive Co-Chair, Luminis Partners

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