Responsive Leadership Testimonials

Book Reviews


“A breath of fresh air for the busy social services manager. This is a book that does a great job of being both practical and well-grounded in the evidence. Lots of take away ideas and plenty of case examples to make day to day work easier. de Groot is a dynamic speaker. That same energy comes through in his book.”

– Dr. Michael Ungar, Dalhousie University, Halifax Nova Scotia

“Responsive Leadership has enhanced our capacity more than any other approach undertaken…de Groot’s approach has improved employee and client outcomes.”

– Dr. John Colangeli, CEO, Lutherwood, Waterloo Ontario

“As a professor of Social Work for over 35 years I highly recommend this book to students aspiring to leadership roles, to instructors and trainers teaching leadership skills, and to leaders in workplaces interested in fostering an organizational culture and climate that encourages engagement and improved service outcomes. Never in the history of the human services has there been a greater need for leadership that can transform our work environments. de Groot draws on his own experiences in inspiring leaders to develop a leadership approach that focuses on building strengths rather than correcting weaknesses. Practical strategies are illustrated with examples to support application in real world situations. The benefits to both leaders and employees are self-evident but an even more important result is improved outcomes for service users”

–  Dr. Brad McKenzie, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg Canada

“Having worked as a Professor of Early Childhood Educators, and now the Founder of my own company, the practicality and relevancy of Responsive Leadership by Stephen de Groot is a must have for leaders (and those being led) in any setting. The writing is a breath of fresh air in the academia world, as the reader is an active participant. While written in an inviting craft, the expertise of de Groot shines through as readers will find tangible and empowering invitations and resources to meet Responsive Leaderships four-fold mission: 1) Providing practical strategies for Supervisors and Managers; 2) Improving Employee morale/performance and client outcomes/experiences; 3) Strengthen organizational culture and community; and 4) Creates an Employee wellness/Client wellness connection.”

–  Dr. Lydia Cryss Mays, Georgia State University, Atlanta Georgia, USA

“As I was reading Responsive Leadership I was able to implement some of the practical tools and strategies de Groot offers in his book. I was amazed how a negative situation can easily be turned into an opportunity to motivate and empower an employee.”

– Robert V. Program Director, Ray of Hope, Ontario Canada

“If you are looking for a practical approach to maximizing the potential of each and every person within your organization then this book is for you. By focusing on the needs, values and goals of your people, de Groot illustrates how to leverage employee strengths to deliver better outcomes for clients.”

– Jenn Hesson, Director of Operations, Lutherwood, Waterloo, Ontario Canada

Book Conference Reviews


“Stephen de Groot is to Human Services Leadership, as Gabor Mate is to Addictions. I would rank him as the absolute best trainer I have ever experienced. His Responsive Leadership Conference had a profound impact on me and the staff that attended. We refer to the book regularly and I find our members quoting Steve’s words and the material constantly in conversations. The paradigm shift and impact were immediate; we are making it a part of our culture and the way we practice.”

– Lisa Graham, Human Resources Manager, Enviros, Calgary Alberta, Canada

“The Responsive Leadership session exceeded mine and my team’s expectations! We were given a wealth of practical tools and examples of how to lead/coach and work with our people much better. Steve’s energy and style were so engaging that all members were riveted the entire time. Everyone left the day feeling more self-aware and hopeful that we were better equipped to support our teams and serve our clients.”

– Mala Sachdeva, Former Deputy Minister, Manitoba Housing

“The total experience with Stephen is beyond words. It is mind blowing! The training and the immediate, positive and profound impacts on staff and staff teams is like nothing I’ve experienced in more than 30 years in the field”.

– Gail Steeds, Retired Probation Manager, Youth Justice Services, Ottawa Ontario Canada

“The Responsive Conference was incredible! I’ve been to a lot of leadership development over the years; Zenger, Folkman, Linkages…and I can honestly say Stephen was hands down the most congruent and aligned with how I view leadership in our organization and the sector at large…It felt like a giant step forward from the “Why” conversation we’ve been having as an organization, giving a lot of practical “How’s” to actualize our very ambitious vision.”

– Jeff Couillard, Manager Base Camp and Wilderness Programming, Enviros, Calgary AB Canada

“I have never met anyone more strengths focused in my life. Stephen impacts his participants to impact the people they work with. What I have learned from Stephen makes me want to start my 39 year-career over again.”

–  Deb Fast, CYC & Child Welfare Supervisory Training Coordinator, Province of Manitoba, Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada

“An amazing learning experience! Demonstrating a wealth of knowledge and skills, there was not a tough realistic scenario that Stephen couldn’t take on. I was excited to get back to work and use the practical tools with my staff!  This approach is so simple and it works so well!”

–  Ian Bennett, Manager, Syl Apps Youth Centre, Oakville Ontario Canada

“I have never attended a training where participants were more engaged, or even thrilled to be there. Stephen was able to point out how we might see successes and build them. Stephen’s approach and the tools he has provided are having a positive impact on my professional relationship and my work overall”.

–  Colin Stokes, Health Projects Coordinator, y-Foundations, NSW Australia.