Book Review: The Upstander Leader by Jessica Hickman

The author of The Upstander Leader, Jessica Hickman, is a fellow Welsh woman who is paving the way to eradicate workplace bullying and her mission is to create a generation of upstanders ‘One person, one voice and one action at a time’.

Jessica created The Upstander Leader to offer practical strategies to help build ‘Upstanders’, whether you are in a leadership role or not. An informative book, posing questions which offer opportunities for reflection on current and previous workplace experiences, as well as thinking about what you would like from your self and future employers. You can probably tell from the continuous sticky notes attached, the amount of take aways, reflections and ‘aha’ moments I had whilst reading this stimulating book.

The information provided is backed by published research from various sources, strengthening the argument as to why ‘Upstanders’ are so important in today’s world. Now more than ever, workers (especially post pandemic) are challenging the status quo and navigating a work life balance that most suits them i.e. flexibility, positive workplace culture, support from colleagues.

Offering her personal story of workplace bullying and the catapult for creating her company ‘Bullyology’, the book also includes anecdotes and experiences about different upstanders and bystanders she has encountered throughout her life.

It also brought back my own memories of a time when in reflection I was in the midst of a workplace bullying experience, where I was a bystander in my own life and the experience is what sparked my passion towards positive workplace culture and has given me the courage to now advocate for myself and others when I realise an imbalance in the workplace and in my personal life.

If, in 2023, you are looking to develop your speak-up skills consider giving this book a read, there is a take away for everybody and should you find yourself in situation of work place bullying please reach out to trusted colleagues and HR.

Review by Aimee Wilson. Follow her at @connectwithaimee for more book reviews.

The Upstander Leader: How to develop a speak-up culture by Jessica Hickman is out now.

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