This week we’re celebrating the launch of The Courage Way, written by Shelly L. Francis on behalf of The Center for Courage & Renewal. It also happens to be our 100th book launch, which is a pretty exciting milestone!

We’ve enjoyed working with Shelly and catching her vision for living and leading with courage and integrity. We all have situations where we feel the urge to do the right thing, no matter how hard it is. The challenge is knowing how to tap into our courage in those moments when we need it most. How do we persevere, taking small steps day in and day out to create and sustain organizations where trust, integrity, and authenticity can flourish?

If we are to make this world a better place, we need a lot of leaders who are willing and able to walk this way for the long haul. That’s where this book comes in.

The Courage Way

Leadership demands courage. You have to make good decisions while balancing inevitable tensions and knowing when to take risks. You need to keep your values in sight regardless of the pressures around you. At its core, leadership is a daily, ongoing practice, a journey toward becoming your best self and inviting others to do the same.

And that’s where The Courage Way comes in. It’s a guide to leadership that shows how to access and draw upon courage in all that you do. It has its roots in the work of Parker J. Palmer, who in fifty years of teaching, speaking, and writing has explored the human spirit–what he has called “the inner landscape”–and its role in life and leadership.

Shelly L. Francis identifies key ingredients needed to cultivate courage, the most fundamental being trust–in ourselves and in each other. She describes how to build trust through the Center for Courage & Renewal’s Circle of Trust approach, centered around eleven “touchstones,” poetic and practical operating guidelines for holding the meaningful conversations vital to trust building. Each chapter features true stories of how leaders have overcome challenges and strengthened their organizations through touchstones such as “Extend invitation, not demand”; “No fixing, saving, advising, or correcting”; and “When the going gets rough, turn to wonder.”

This graceful and inspiring book is a guide to courageous leadership and a journey of self-discovery. As Francis writes:

Courage is not only in you—it is you. In your moments of courage, you meet your true self.

Meet the Author

Shelly L. Francis is the marketing and communications director at the Center for Courage & Renewal, a nonprofit organization that works to create a more just, compassionate, and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it. Founded in 1997 by author, activist, and educator Parker J. Palmer, the Center’s approach was initially created to renew and sustain educators, and today brings the Circle of Trust® approach to individuals, organizations, and communities across a range of professions. Through its network of nearly three hundred Courage & Renewal facilitators across the globe, the Center offers online resources and in-person retreats and programs, including facilitator-led retreats, workshops, team coaching, customized consulting, speaking presentations, and program series.

Before coming to the Center in 2012, Shelly directed trade marketing and publicity for multi-media publisher Sounds True, Inc. Her career has spanned international program management, web design, corporate communications, trade journals, and software manuals. The common thread throughout her career has been bringing to light best-kept secrets — technology, services, resources, ideas — while bringing people together to facilitate collective impact and good work.

Praise for the Book

“The Courage Way will nourish that part of you that cares deeply about the world. A soulful approach for helping you harness your inner strength to become the kind of leader the world needs now—in every dimension of your life.” 
—Jono Fisher, founder of

“This is the book that won’t claim to change your life, which is exactly why you can trust that it probably will. What you will find in these pages is no less than the technology to tune into your true self—your real intuitions and outrage and intelligence—and a sense of how to show up in community with that revitalized understanding of your own power.”
—Courtney E. Martin, author of The New Better Off

The Courage Way gives us a much-needed social technology for self-expression and authentic relationships. With intimate leadership stories, it shows how integrating purpose and cultivating community can be a powerful catalyst for change.”
—Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy and Fast Company’s Purposeful CEO series

“Everyone should read this book. The Courage Way is a powerful tonic for our challenging times. Keep it close at hand so you can savor its life-giving music again and again.”
—Dr. Gloria J. Burgess, author of Dare to Wear Your Soul on the Outside, Pass It On!, and Flawless Leadership

Learn More

  • Visit to learn more and download a sample chapter.
  • Buy your copy the book, or share a review of it, on Amazon.
  • Watch the webinar to learn more about accessing courage in every aspect of life.

P.S. If your book is among the 100 books we’ve launched over the past six years, THANK YOU for the privilege of partnering with you! If you haven’t launched a book with us but would like to, send us an email and we’ll be in touch!