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About Light a Fire in Their Hearts

Light a Fire in Their Hearts is a labor of love for people working around the globe. It seeks to spread the message that the state of leadership is a matter of public health: making the world a better workplace is essential for the advancement and continuation and evolution of our species, and for all living beings. Ultimately, the message to the new and future generations of leaders is that if you decide to take on a leadership role, you have a responsibility to do your part to inspire and engage employees, and to create healthier and more inclusive workplaces. As a collective, you hold the power to make the world a better workplace, which will ultimately contribute to a healthier planet for us all.

Light a Fire in Their Hearts book

"Did you know that 50-75% of people who quit their jobs really quit their bosses?"

Are you a high performer ready for a promotion, a manager or director climbing the corporate ranks, a founder who’s busy growing your start-up, or a formal leader in any field, you need to retain talented employees and inspire them to contribute their very best at work. However, traditional command-and-control leadership methods are increasingly failing employees and hurting businesses. So, how do you lead compassionately and effectively in today’s rapidly shifting marketplace?

In Light a Fire in Their Hearts, Leadership and Career Advancement Specialist Lisa Anna Palmer guides you through the modern leadership journey. She shares powerful perspectives, techniques, and stories drawn from her own experiences and from over 30 other great leaders—a team of virtual mentors who impart their wisdom about how you can:

  • Understand the impact of leaders on people, the planet, and the bottom line.
  • Reflect on your leadership journey and envision how you want to show up as a leader.
  • Overcome challenges they don’t typically teach you about in business school.
  • Transform from a high-performing individual into a great people leader.
  • Use the “Light Your Leadership” approach to tap into the top competitive advantage in twenty-first century business.

Using a fun-to-read, conversational style, this enlightening book provides modern leaders (and leaders-to-be) with a guide for lighting a fire in the hearts of your employees, boosting morale and igniting engagement, and helping you and your company succeed.

Praise for Light a Fire in Their Hearts

So much more than just another leadership book

“So much more than just another leadership book, Light a Fire in Their Hearts clearly articulates that what sets great people leaders apart is their ability to connect at the human level with employees and colleagues, through compassion, courage and competence. In my experience as Founder of a major and renowned North American employee assistance program, I can attest that this is essential to support the well-being and mental health of employees.” 

—Dr. Warren Shepell,  Founder and Past President at Warren Shepell—The EAP Professionals

Marci Shimoff

The world needs more of this right now

“What a wonderful leadership book with a premise I love: To ignite employees’ passions and inspire them to be and do their best at work, you need to light a fire in their hearts. The world needs more of this right now.” 

—Marci Shimoff,  International Speaker, Co-founder, Your Year of Miracles, #1 New York Times bestselling author, Happy for No Reason, Love for No Reason, Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul 

Joel Roberts

The perfect blend of information and inspiration

“As a former primetime Los Angeles talk radio host, and now as the proud owner of a successful training and consulting firm, I have come across dozens of experts in the field of employee engagement. Of them, by far the most, well…engaging is Lisa Anna Palmer. She is the perfect blend of information and inspiration. It’s not just what she knows, it’s who she is, and her passion and expertise come across in Light A Fire in Their Hearts.” 

— Joel Roberts, Former prime time talk show host KABC Radio, Los Angeles, Owner, Joel D. Roberts and Associates

Steve Farber

Captures what sets great leaders apart in the twenty-first century

“Lisa Anna Palmer captures what sets great leaders apart in the twenty-first century: their ability to show their employees that they genuinely love and care about them, and that their work matters and makes a positive difference in the lives of others. It is connecting at the human level that lights a fire in the hearts of employees, and love that drives success in business, and offers the strongest competitive advantage.” 

— Steve Farber, CEO & Founder, Extreme Leadership Institute, bestselling author, The Radical Leap and renowned leadership expert

Janet Bray Attwood

Practical and enlightening

“If you are already a leader or are aspiring to become one, read Light a Fire in Their Hearts: The Truth About Leadership. Lisa Anna Palmer’s book is filled with practical and enlightening ways to deeply connect with your employees so that they are inspired to be and do their very best to support you and help your organization succeed.” 

— Janet Bray Attwood, co-author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Passion Test and Your Hidden Riches

Chris Attwood

The guidance you need to become a great leader

“In Light a Fire in Their Hearts, Lisa Anna Palmer provides a clear roadmap to great leadership, grounded in the knowledge that respect and motivated employees have to be earned. They cannot be purchased. If you are a corporate manager or aspire to become one, this book will provide you with the guidance you need to become a great leader.”

— Chris Attwood, co-author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Passion Test and Your Hidden Riches

About Lisa Anna Palmer

Lisa Anna Palmer author Light a Fire in Their Hearts

Lisa Anna Palmer loves her family and friends, is a proud mom and wife, and loves to help people live their best lives at work and at home. She holds a B.A. in Psychology, is a Certified ProActive Coach, Certified Passion Test Facilitator, and Cross-Cultural Competencies Facilitator. She is fluent in English, French, Italian, and Friulan. She started her career at the age of twenty-two as a consultant for PwC as part of the Organizational Renewal Group, where she led reengineering teams and conducted international best practices research on HR policies, teams, communications and other related topics. Lisa draws on over twenty-five years of experience within a range of senior Human Resources & Organizational Development roles, leading teams responsible for HR Management, Talent Management, Talent Acquisition, HR Strategy & Policy, and transformation.

In 2011, she launched Cattelan Palmer Consulting. She is now the Founder & CEO of the Cattelan Palmer Light a Fire in Their Hearts Leadership Institute (LYLI), which serves leaders and employees of organizations within the private, public, and the non-profit sectors. She has been on TV, radio, and podcasts in Canada and the United States. Lisa has also contributed pieces to four bestselling books of the 365 Days Series, a collaborative book by Jodi Chapman and Dan Teck. She currently resides in Ottawa, Ontario. You can access additional resources and learn more about Lisa at LisaAnnaPalmer.com and at lightafireintheirhearts.com.

Read the Foreword

By Joanna Barclay, CEO, Culture Leadership Group, author of Conscious Culture; How to Build a High Performing Workplace through Values, Ethics, and Leadership; thought-leader and equine facilitator on conscious leadership and cultural transformation

This book gets to the heart of leadership! Whether you were born to lead, or you desire to be your best for the world, Lisa Anna Palmer uncovers the inspiration and passion that is not only possible in leadership, but which is a must. Young or old, rich or poor, at the top of the organization in a position of power, or at the grassroots level, personal self-leadership is the starting point for leading change. Lisa takes us on a journey through the many, many, experiential stories included throughout the book. We get to learn from diverse leaders who share their stories and provide a glimpse into their mindset, their values, and the beliefs that empowered them to achieve personal success as well as success for their organizations.

An overwhelming percentage of leaders are still stuck in the Industrial Age management style of command and control, protecting their positions with hierarchy and bureaucracy. This is not the leadership style for the twenty-first century if you wish to inspire and engage millennials, who will make up 50% of the workforce by the early 2020s, not to mention the upcoming Gen-Z’s, who are also known as the Digitals. Instead, compassion, courage, competence and collaborative leadership are essential in this new era. In addition to making money, people are looking for meaning and purpose in their jobs, and they want to feel cared for as human beings, not just as human resources or as human capital. 

Leadership is a calling to help others and to connect with people, rather than to simply oversee the management of work processes and the accomplishment of tasks. The key role for leaders is to serve. People don’t work for the leader, the leader works for them by ensuring that jobs are secure, that goals are clear, and that they do whatever it takes to help their employees and colleagues win.

If you are looking for ways to inspire and engage your employees, this book has the answers. In it, you will find progressive approaches, tools, and strategies to boost your ability to tap into the source that unlocks and drives true human potential: The heart—the seat of all emotions and behaviors, which houses important values such as respect, loyalty, and trust. In this book you will see that the secret to unleashing the promise of your people and help them achieve their full potential in a healthy and sustainable manner, is to light a fire in their hearts.

What a joy it was reading this book, and what magical ride you too will have. Happy reading.

—Joanna Barclay, CEO, Culture Leadership Group, author of Conscious Culture; How to Build a High Performing Workplace through Values, Ethics, and Leadership; thought-leader and equine facilitator on conscious leadership and cultural transformation

More Praise for Light a Fire in Their Hearts

“Light a Fire in Their Hearts provides a living resource for those considering leadership for the first time, as well as for those seeking to expand their leadership potential. Lisa Anna Palmer masterfully tells the stories of a huge cast of characters spanning generations. The stories possess a spark that represents the fire we carry within us, and share with one another, to do better as leaders.”
— Annette Dillon, National Director, Affordable Housing, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation

“Leadership is more than just about engaging your employees and serving your clients; it’s about creating a lasting legacy for future generations. If you are like many managers and directors being left to figure out leadership on your own, I highly recommend this book so that you can learn from Lisa Anna and over thirty virtual mentors in this guide to igniting engagement.” 
— Magdalene Cooman, inspirational speaker, author of Mags Magazine, Director of Employer Engagement, World Skills Employment Centre, Ottawa

“A must read! Many struggle as they haven’t made the shift from subject matter expert to people leader. It takes more than the traditional training course, and Lisa Anna Palmer provides the roadmap to ensure that true leaders are better equipped to create healthier workplaces!” 
— Jill Sullivan, M.Sc., Certified Human Resources Leader, Senior Consultant in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, HR Survivalist

“Every once in a while, one is blessed to cross paths with a human being as exceptional as Lisa Anna Palmer. This book that is an absolute must have for any current or aspiring leader committed to making the world a better workplace. Kudos to Lisa for having the courage to tackle this pressing and pervasive issue and for providing leaders with insights and practical tools to help them become better leaders and, by virtue of doing so, creating better workplaces.” 
— Linda Caron, M.Ed., Certified Human Resources Leader, HR Warrior

“Light a Fire in Their Hearts is an easy to understand, practical manual for today’s complex workplaces—a book that should be read by leaders who truly want to make a difference in this day and age where wellness, compassion and engagement are craved and sorely amiss. This book is invaluable and inspiring with its meaningful guide to improving bottom line results and aligned engagement. This, through a game-changing approach that puts compassion and wellness into authentic action—with winning results that serve all.” 
— Maria R. Nebres, author, Love and the Highly Engaged Team

“I have worked with leaders at all levels for over twenty years. Now, as an executive myself, I often see very high performing individuals step into people leadership roles for the wrong reasons while some new and existing people leaders struggle with the same challenges that are typically not addressed through the more traditional leadership books. Light a Fire in Their Hearts is the book I wish I would have had when I was first starting out on my leadership journey.” 
— Caterina Dattilo-Caron, Certified Human Resources Leader, Director, Leadership & Culture, Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation

“Lisa Anna Palmer is shifting the way to engage as a leader in an era where we must evolve beyond technology and ensure people are rightfully valued and provided opportunities to be the best version of themselves in a fast-changing workforce. Leaders, for amazing results, use your matches wisely, aim them at their hearts instead of their tush.” 
— Johanne G. Gagnon, Assistant Director, Field Policies, Systems and Services with a Federal employer

“As the founder of the Expert Speaker Institute as well as the #1 global Trainer for Learning Tree International, I have trained thousands of leaders at all levels to enhance their communication skills and to engage with their employees so that they want to give and perform their very best. I highly recommend this book to both existing and aspiring leaders so that they can be well equipped to connect with their employees at the human level and watch their success and productivity soar!” 
— Majeed Mogharreban, Founder of expertspeaker.com and author of Expert Speaker: 5 Steps to Grow Your Business with Public Speaking

GoFundMe Campaign Contributors

VIP Donors

Emily Cattelan
Roger Cattelan
Annette Dillon
Arthur Lacroix
Brett and Wanda Christensen
Paolo Cattelan

And a big thank you to:
(in alphabetical order)

Ariadni Athanassiadis
Oscar Avellaneda
Renzo Benocci
Linda Caron
Javier Clavelo
Suzanne Clement
Philippe Cloutier
Magdalene Cooman
Erin Crotty
Caterina Dattilo-Caron

Davide Degano 
Nives Tonini Degano 
Deb Dew 
Deanne Dillon 
Patricia Doyle 
Andrea Dubin
Issam Elhaje 
Tim Elliot 
Johanne Gagnon 
Julie Guindon 
M Shannon Hernandez 
Sandra and Randy Joyce 
Mireille Lavallee 

Stefania Maggi 
Danielle McCann 
Majeed Mogharreban 
Ariana Passudetti 
Phebe Pegg Palmer 
Lora Ricci 
Jan Riopelle 
Ledianis Rivero-Sosa 
Joanne Savoie-Malone 
Marc Andre Sirois 
Jill Sullivan

Free Downloadable Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries

In chapter 17 of Light a Fire in Their Hearts there is a section entitled "Beware of Boundary Pushers,” which states that there are people at work (both leaders and non-leaders) who have a talent for getting others to work way more than is reasonable or healthy. I call these “Boundary-Pushing Archetypes.” They employ many different tactics and approaches to manipulate you into working to meet unreasonable deadlines.  

You can download the Guide to Setting Healthy Boundaries for a tongue-in-cheek look, along with accompanying worksheets. In it you will learn more about “The Sugar-Sweet Complimenter,’ “The Buddy,” “The Chicken,” “The Victim,” and “The Bossy-Boss,” who are among the cast of Boundary-Pushing Archetypes that can make your life as a manager miserable at work. By the same token, ask yourself whether you are behaving like any of these with your colleagues and employees.

Order Your Copy of Light a Fire in Their Hearts at Your Favorite Online Bookstore

Lisa Anna Palmer author Light a Fire in Their Hearts barnes and noble
Lisa Anna Palmer author Light a Fire in Their Hearts Chapters-indigo
Lisa Anna Palmer author Light a Fire in Their Hearts books-a-million
Lisa Anna Palmer author Light a Fire in Their Hearts powells books
Lisa Anna Palmer author Light a Fire in Their Hearts indie-bound
Lisa Anna Palmer author Light a Fire in Their Hearts Amazon

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