LONDON, March 5, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Invisible Giants: changing the world one step at a time tells the stories of some extraordinary people who, whatever their background and status, are stepping up to overcome obstacles and change the world around them.
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Author Lindsay Levin is the founder and managing partner of Leaders' Quest, a social enterprise that brings together a diverse global community of 6,000 leaders - from CEOs of multinational companies to grassroots activists working in some of the poorest communities on the planet. All of them share a commitment to using their unique influence to create positive change.
In Invisible Giants, Levin challenges conventional ideas about leadership. She makes the case that leaders come in many different shapes and sizes, and that everyone has the potential to be one.
The invisible giants of her book span continents and cultures - from the boardrooms of the City of London to Makoko, a sprawling slum at the edge of Lagos lagoon, and from the new industrial parks of Hyderabad and Chongqing, to cities in Israel and Palestinian communities in the West Bank.
They're people like Anwari Khan, who lives with her children next to one of the biggest rubbish dumps in Asia. A self-taught leader who never learned to read and write, she heads a network of hundreds of women, and runs training courses for the police on responding to domestic violence.
Or Yang Xin, who runs an environmental NGO dedicated to protecting one of the planet's most precious ecosystems - the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau. The rivers that start there support the lives of almost two billion people across south Asia.
"I've spent a decade bringing together leaders from different walks of life to ask hard questions about how we shape the future, and what leadership means," says Levin. "At Leaders' Quest we help people think about some of the toughest challenges in the world today - to ask what really matters, and to reach out across the divide to find solutions."
Invisible Giants is also about people in companies around the world, who have joined Levin in asking tough questions about the role of business in society.
People like Paul Fletcher, the senior partner of private equity firm Actis. Under his leadership, the firm has chosen to think deeply about the social and environmental impact of the investments it makes and has shifted its priorities as a result. "The key breakthrough in Actis was from a group of people who thought that the only thing that mattered was financial returns, to a group of people who now run a balanced business between those financial returns and non-financial outcomes. Leaders' Quest was absolutely central to that journey.
"We need to behave in a way that allows us to leave the businesses, the employees, the communities and the societies in which we operate in a better place than we found them in."
Levin says that "increasingly there's a recognition that just driving profit within your company or having a narrow focus on one particular problem isn't enough. In an age of global challenges - poverty, sustainability, religious and political conflict - we need leaders who can step up and understand how they fit into the big picture."
"That's why I wrote this book - to explore some of the questions and choices that affect us all. It's a story about seeing the world through new eyes, and understanding how we're all part of something much bigger than ourselves."
Invisible Giants is published by Vala and is available to buy online, at high street bookshops, or directly from the publishers at http://www.valapublishers.coop/invisiblegiants. It costs £16.99, and all the author's royalties go to the Leaders' Quest Foundation, a registered charity.
What readers are saying
Bob Bechek, Worldwide Managing Director of Bain & Company has called Invisible Giants "an important and enjoyable read for business leaders. It is an inspiring journey with wonderful stories of exceptional people beating the odds to accomplish extraordinary things."
Anu Aga, Chairperson of Teach For India, Director of Thermax Limited and a member of the Indian Parliament, says: "Invisible Giants is truly inspiring. It contains powerful lessons for everyone."
"Generous, deeply personal and beautifully written." Tom Glocer, former CEO, Thomson Reuters
"Many have written about leadership. Invisible Giants explores its moral meaning. Lindsay seeks inspiration from grassroots leaders, and takes people to worlds they never normally encounter." Koy Thomson, Chief Executive, Children in Crisis
"Invisible Giants is an extraordinary, warts-and-all account of an evolving cultural revolution designed to jump leaders into 21st century realities." John Elkington, author of "Cannibals with Forks"
"Every corporate leader who yearns to redefine the role of business-beyond-profit should read Invisible Giants. Lindsay's quest takes us to Indian slums and South African prisons, but most importantly on a transformative inner journey - one which starts with curiosity, grows into compassion and leads to courageous actions, changing the world one leader at a time." Virginie Helias, Global Director, Sustainability, Procter & Gamble
About the author
After 15 years as a successful entrepreneur, Lindsay Levin founded Leaders' Quest in 2001, to connect leaders from all disciplines and sectors, and explore solutions to global issues.
A strong NGO advocate, her work ranges from searching for new initiatives that address poverty and environmental sustainability, to helping businesses redefine values and shift culture.
About Leaders' Quest
Leaders' Quest works with people from all walks of life - from CEOs of multinational companies, to grassroots organisers - who use their unique influence to create positive change in the world. It designs experiential learning journeys which enable them to ask tough questions about business, society and their own leadership, and look for answers together. It runs programmes in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East.
Find out more at: http://www.leadersquest.org
About the publisher
The Vala Publishing Co-operative is an adventure in community supported publishing. They publish high quality books that explore and celebrate the human spirit with brave and authentic ways of thinking and being.
Vala is co-owned and democratically managed by its members.
Find out more at: http://www.valapublishers.coop
For more information, to order a review copy of Invisible Giants, or to schedule an interview with Lindsay Levin, please contact either Richard.email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (+44)-0208-948-5208.
SOURCE Leaders' Quest