Skip to main content
Cover for Step Up

Step Up

How to Live with Courage and Become an Everyday Leader

Ash Beckham


List Price: 18.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
CD-Audio (6/2/2020)


A New Vision of Inclusive Leadership

What makes someone a leader? Someone you vote for, work for, or listen to for their expertise? With Step Up, equality advocate Ash Beckham challenges us to embrace a different vision of leadership—to stop focusing on external authorities and start reclaiming our own ability to create change. “What we need most are everyday leaders,” she writes. “We need people to step up and be the change they wish to see in the world. Anyone can do it. You can do it.”

Whether your path involves activism, political engagement, or simply being a positive voice in your workplace, home, and community, Beckham’s Step Up provides essential guidance on cultivating the eight pillars of everyday leadership:

- Empathy—the art of relating to others with compassion for our shared humanity, regardless of whether we agree
- Responsibility—how we can raise our awareness and consciously choose to behave in ways that heal instead of harm
- Courage—understanding the nature of fear so we can move beyond our comfort zone one step at a time
- Grace—how keeping our higher purpose always in sight helps us stop reacting with fear or anger
- Individuality—learning to value and celebrate our uniqueness, including the parts of ourselves we often reject
- Humility—ways to keep the ego in check and open the door to honest, collaborative relationships
- Patience—guidance for disarming our tendency to rush ahead so we can act with greater deliberation and forethought
- Authenticity—how we can embody our deepest truths and lead by example in any situation

For each pillar, Beckham shares engaging stories of her own journey from isolation and anger to a place of greater openness and connection—supported by scientific research and everyday practices to mindfully change the way you relate to yourself and the people in your life. Step Up is a powerful call to action—to speak when it feels easier to be silent, to do good without being self-righteous, and to create a world of inclusion where everyone has a voice and everyone belongs.

Praise For Step Up: How to Live with Courage and Become an Everyday Leader

Step Up is an empowering and mobilizing call to action, full of emotional and incredibly relevant storytelling. With a compelling blend of innovative research and personal stories, Ash Beckham has created an artful and visionary guide to stepping up in all areas of your life and becoming a more inclusive, active, and confident version of yourself. Through the foundational eight pillars of leadership, Step Up shows readers that everyone has the potential (and responsibility) to speak up for themselves and others, and that we all have the capabilities and stories necessary to become better leaders.” —Jennifer Brown, founder, president, and CEO of Jennifer Brown Consulting; author of Inclusion and How to Be an Inclusive Leader

“This book is every bit as impactful as watching Ash Beckham share her story onstage in a packed auditorium. There, as here, her vibrant, wide-open heart shines through. Step Up is more valuable than any ‘inclusion workshop’ I’ve ever attended. Ash knows firsthand that the way to broaden our perspective about difference and unseat our unconscious habits is not by top-down command but by grassroots understanding. Step Up not only imparts that understanding by blending storytelling, inspiration, and science, it also offers actionable homework. It’s a book. It’s a workshop. It’s a motivational ideal for all of us who aspire to be better, kinder versions of ourselves.” —Sue Heilbronner, CEO of MergeLane Fund

“Ash’s insights jump off the pages of this incredibly compelling read! Her personal stories made me laugh, cry, and, most importantly, relate. I would recommend this book to interns, CEOs, and everyone in between. Ash’s one-of-a-kind take on leadership is the fresh perspective we need in today’s world.” —Erin Uritus, CEO of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

“Ash Beckham somehow created a self-improvement book that is neither boring nor pretentious! She took on a topic that people can relate to in everyday life—how to become a better leader—and infused it with humor, emotion, and practical tips I will actually use because they’re not overly complicated or annoying. I often forget that leadership transcends the workplace, and the more I can include this mind-set in my everyday life, the better person I will be for myself, others, and the world around me. My favorite (and toughest) challenge is to practice patience as it relates to leadership. Ash reminds us that sometimes being a leader is to do the opposite of what you think you should. Thank you, Ash, for sharing yourself and this gift with the world!” —Nicole DeBoom, founder and CEO of Skirt Sports, Inc.

Sounds True, 9781683642787, 168pp.

Publication Date: March 24, 2020

About the Author

Ash Beckham is an inclusion activist whose TEDx Talk “Coming Out of Your Closet" became a viral sensation. Her talk shares how coming out as a lesbian helped her appreciate our common humanity and the secrets that we all keep. Her intrepid, relatable, and intrinsically comical style has made her an in-demand speaker and trainer for companies including Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Bank of America, and more. She was the keynote for the first LBGTQ Conference at Harvard University. For more, visit