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Cowboy Leadership in a Corporate World Can Be Effective

As a proud Texan, Steve Wood knows a thing or two about real-life cowboys and great leadership. More than spurs and boots, the true cowboy, as Wood sees him, epitomizes great leadership.

This is an era of American business leaders, politicians and professional athletes behaving badly.  So the cowboy's unwavering values, commitment to integrity and toughness to withstand adversity make that American icon both an ideal model leader and the backdrop for Wood's new book, Be Bodacious: Put Life in Your Leadership.

A corporate executive with a proven track record in leading sales teams and spearheading groundbreaking growth, Wood understands how to lead and motivate individuals for top performance. He breaks the mold of traditional "how to" advice by using the power of story to inspire his audience on a path to effective leadership.

Be Bodacious follows a young man who discovers the secrets of effective leadership through a mentor named "Cowboy," a character who is the embodiment of the many leaders who have influenced Wood in his career and personal life. With motivational and humorous stories, Wood details how to embrace Cowboy's secrets to "bodacious leadership" and become a better role model at home, in the community and at the office.

Cowboy's leadership lessons are founded on the philosophy that leadership goes beyond a job title or a position. Effective leaders are leaders not only at work, but also in their personal lives - a timely point while the leadership failures of sports stars, politicians and corporate leaders are played out in today's headlines. 

"For years I have observed many strong and effective leaders who embodied great integrity," says Wood. "Alternately, I have observed leaders who were ineffective, not because they lacked knowledge, experience, education, or talent, but because they failed to extend their leadership into their personal lives and community."

Three characteristics of an effective leader

Wood identifies three characteristics of an effective or "bodacious" leader:

  • an extraordinary commitment to a dream,
  • unrestrained passion to pursue a dream, and
  • bold action to realize a dream.

He goes on to explain how to avoid leadership pitfalls and learn how to pursue, give, persist, think, live and experience the adventure of bodacious leadership.

"A bodacious leader is dedicated to creating an extraordinary, unrestrained and bold team," Wood says. "Bodacious leaders are great communicators; they instill confidence by being genuine and speaking in an honest, open manner and by never using political talk to sidestep the issues. They are passionate about their vision and understand the importance of transferring their passion for the vision to the team. When people hear them talk about their vision, it is clear they are excited about what they want to achieve and have a plan of action."

Wood goes on to say that bodacious leaders believe in "getting sustainable results by being extraordinary, unrestrained, and bold in their approach. They realize ordinary leaders can deliver short-term results; however, bodacious leaders strive to be extraordinary through steady, healthy, long-term growth." They are "unrestrained and see beyond the horizon."  They "are in for the long haul and have a vision that extends beyond the next quarter or year-end."

For more information on the book, visit

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