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The Promises of Giants

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The Promises of Giants

Nicholas Brealey Publishing,

15 min read
9 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Workplaces need giants – savvy leaders with the power and drive to inspire, lift up and embolden others.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Eloquent
  • Engaging


John Amaechi OBE is an organizational psychologist and the first Briton to have a career in the National Basketball Association. He is aware of the effect his height has on others and adapts his behavior to counter the inevitable stereotypes. He regards everyone as a giant in his or her own right, regardless of size or status. As a giant, he says, you should be aware of the impact of your words and behavior, and be intentional in your conduct. Amaechi offers a framework for living and acting as a giant.


Those in authority or with power are “giants” in their spheres of influence.

You are almost certainly a giant to someone, especially if you are in a position of authority or power. Failing to acknowledge or remember your giant status may cause collateral damage. As a giant, every action you take or word you utter becomes fodder for scrutiny by those who want your respect, validation or admiration. This scrutiny increases in proportion to the power you wield.

The accumulation of small interactions over time rather than over a few pivotal moments affects other people positively or negatively. As a manager, you need to give your attention to those around you with focus and intent. They are not cogs in a machine, but human beings, each with a unique set of needs and characteristics. When you give people your attention, compassion and emotional reciprocity, they commit their entire selves to their work, support their teammates, share credit and acknowledge responsibility.

The following “promises” demonstrate a commitment to your personal development and to your work as a leader – a giant – who seeks to influence, elevate and motivate the people...

About the Author

In 2019, HR Magazine recognized organizational psychologist John Amaechi OBE as one of HR’s most influential thinkers. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller Man in the Middle, a sought after public speaker, executive coach and founder of APS Intelligence. Amaechi is the first Briton to have a career in the National Basketball Association. 

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