Reviews of ‘ARC Leadership’

A practical book that helps leaders be simultaneously more Authentic, Responsible and Courageous - three qualities that are key to thriving in an increasingly complex and interconnected world in which people are losing faith in their leaders and even the very concept of leadership.

While other authors have written about authentic leadership, ethical leadership, servant leadership and ‘fierce’ leadership, this was the first book to pull all of those ideas and more together into a coherent, accessible and fully-grounded framework. It’s heavily researched but eminently readable. It walks with you, not judging you. It accepts that these three ‘ARC qualities’ can be hard to live up to, and it offers a practical programme for getting a whole lot better at it. Here’s what other readers have said about the the book…


“One of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. It touched numerous nerves with me and shone a light beautifully on my own leadership, my years at the BBC, ITV and Disney and the way we lead at Nickelodeon. It’s a book shareholders will be waving at CEOs, expecting Authentic, Responsible, Courageous leadership as key to providing a competitive edge. A must-read for any ambitious CEO and for management teams – whether their focus is the bottom line, thriving in the face of 21st-century challenges, or leaving their own personal legacy in the organisation.”

Tim Patterson, Vice President, Director of Programming, Nickelodeon


“I found this book unbelievably thought-provoking. It is clearly based on an enormous amount of research, but is incredibly easy to read and is the most engaging management book I’ve read – almost like reading a novel. Importantly, it raises a number of questions that forced me to challenge myself and my leadership at a fundamental level.

“I’d recommend this book to anyone in a leadership position – not just those at the ‘top’ of organisations, but those in junior and mid-level roles. It’s of clear value to our next generation of leaders, but I believe it’s the leaders of today that need this book most. Today’s business demands that we be more Authentic, Responsible and Courageous now. We can’t afford to simply shrug our shoulders, continue with ‘business as usual’ and hope the better leaders of tomorrow will pick up the pieces.”

Tony Cooper, Entrepreneur and wine importer, following ten years as a Partner at Deloitte


“This book has had a real impact on me. I absolutely believe these three ARC qualities are necessary to become a better leader. The more I read, the more I found I wanted to discuss them with others – to deepen our understanding of what these words mean to us and why they resonate so much.

“For these reasons and others, I’d recommend this book as the framework for a leadership programme. Business schools in particular would do well to pay attention: given what’s gone on in corporations over the years, they need to take greater responsibility for producing future business leaders who aren’t simply able to profitably grow a business, but are – to their core – Authentic, Responsible and Courageous.”

Karen Lombardo, former Worldwide Head of Human Resources, Gucci Group


“Reading this book is a very intense experience. Everyone who dives into this vast blue hole of carefully interwoven ideas is sure to have a personal experience. The author gets us to smile, to laugh, to be intrigued by the evidence, but there is little relaxation to be found here. Like many books it challenges your thinking. Like few books it challenges your heart. It is unforgettable, unsettling, relentless and life changing. It is a ‘keeper’, something you put on the shelf and come back to time and time again.”

David Cannon, Managing Director, AndersonLaing


“Since my executive coach introduced me to the three ARC qualities, they’ve become my ‘mighty three’. The words ‘Authentic, Responsible and Courageous’ are on the wall in my office and together they inform every major decision we make at The Grand Appeal.”

Nicola Masters, Director, UK children’s charity Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal


“An excellent book and an inspirational template for a better way of leading and living. It is positive, hopeful, intelligent, friendly, shrewd, eye-opening, evidence-based and incredibly generous. It’s a book that challenges and supports us like a great coach or trainer would do, provoking fresh insights and creating a renewed, refreshed sense of purpose – part character review, part campaign for personal overhaul. I will undoubtedly read it a number of times.

“This would be a wonderful centrepiece to a leadership development programme, and what an awesome course that could be. Indeed, I predict that this book will become a standard text. It’s a book that deserves big success and to establish Richard Boston as an important figure in the world of leadership and personal development.”

Phil Hayes, Chairman, Management Futures


“I get more and more out of this book every time I read it. It combines stories, insights, the author’s own professional and personal experiences, copious research and thought-provoking questions, which bring the ARC concepts to life and help the reader apply them directly to their own leadership.

“The model seems simple at first, but do not be fooled: beneath the surface, in the tensions within and between each of the three ARC qualities, there is a great deal of complexity. If you are serious about making real changes to your leadership, do not just read this book. As tempting as it is to keep reading, I would strongly recommend you spend time on the various questions and exercises it offers.”

Rebecca Stevens, whose previous roles include heading up leadership, talent and organisational development at Kimberly-Clark (Australia), Deloitte (UK) and BAT (Global)


“I love this book. I’ve read it, re-read it, and written notes in all the margins. The author is very generous with his knowledge, and left me sufficiently hooked to find more information online. It’s a rigorous, intelligent book that doesn’t try to hide its intelligence. It treats us like adults, resisting the temptation to offer quick, superficial tricks and fixes. Instead, it challenges us to make a fundamental shift, to make ourselves better – both as leaders and as people – and feels all the more decent because of it. It’s not just a book to read; it’s a book to use, to work through (its various exercises are excellent, practical and eye-opening). I’d recommend ARC to anyone who wants to build a career they can be proud of – particularly if they’re also keen to be proud of how they did it.”

Adam Burns, Editor-in-Chief, MeetTheBoss TV


“ARC brings new insights into what it means to be a great leader. It conveys the important benefits of being yourself, building on your strengths, being responsible for your actions and those of your team and facing the fear of making brave decisions, whilst being able to stand by them.

“The book is as absorbing as reading a novel and demonstrates what ARC means through practical exercises that encourage self-awareness and reflection. I am working hard to integrate Authentic, Responsible and Courageous leadership into my daily life as a member of the senior team at the British Library. Doing so is helping me to develop the trust of my colleagues and stakeholders and ultimately to improve my performance.”

Lucie Burgess, Head of Content Strategy, Research and Operations, The British Library


“ARC has reinforced my compass, the guiding principles that help me navigate a world filled with policies and procedures. The book’s proposition is easy to grasp and easy to buy into, and the stories and case studies are interesting and inspiring. More importantly, though, the author brings real tangible clarity to what it means to be Authentic, Responsible and Courageous. So, I’ve not only enjoyed the book, I’ve taken away clear actions that will improve my performance both as a leader and as a follower of others. I recommend this book to leaders at all levels, from high level executives to leaders in the making.”

Mark Griffiths, Head of Customer Services for North America, Workplace Systems


“This book is for anyone ready to take on the most fundamental leadership challenge: effectively leading yourself. You don’t have to be a “line manager” to benefit from this work, but you do have to be ready to take a good hard look at yourself, act with consciousness and integrity on what you find, and shamelessly stand up for what you believe in. ARC is the mantra for our individual and collective longevity.”

Britta van Dyk, Senior Consultant, Maximus International (Australia), and board member at Moringa Project (India)


You’ll get a discount on this book at Blackwells online. Alternatively, buy the book in paperback or e-book on,, .fr or .de, iTunes and all the usual places. If you’d like to read some of it first, just register via the button at the bottom of the page for the first three chapters. You can also join the ARC group on LinkedIn or visit the ‘ARC Leadership’ page on Facebook:

  • Discuss what it means to be Authentic, Responsible and Courageous – or simply listen in
  • Receive updates on the book
  • Hear about upcoming ARC seminars