Composed: The Heart and Science of Leading Under Pressure is a roadmap for standing firmly in who we are while staying connected to those who matter most to us – especially when high pressure moments come. It doesn’t matter whether you are a CEO, parent, manager, or student, none of us are immune to the possibility of losing it when the pressure is on. Our capacity to compose ourselves when the pressure is highest, to lead strong, and to lead with care in the most difficult situations of conflict and anxiety may have the single greatest impact on our families, our teams, our organizations, and the world that surrounds us. The stakes are too high for us and for those we love to wait any longer.

Composed: The Heart and Science of Leading Under Pressure, is based on our research on the developmental journey of thousands of leaders who have taken the Leading Under Pressure Inventory. This inventory is one of eight whole leader development tools in the WiLD Toolkit. To access the Leading Under Pressure Inventory or the entire suite of tools for yourself, your small group, team, organization, or coaching practice, visit

What others are saying about Composed:

“Close your eyes and imagine you are on the edge of your performance envelope with the possibility of highly visible failure and you have assumed the responsibility for the direction, success and well-being of other people.  Maybe even add to that; you are driving needed change and there are those who are disagreeing with you loudly.  If you can imagine this situation, you may just be a leader.  When the pressure increases people see who we are. To lead well, first we have to first learn how to lead ourselves.  Composed: The Art and Science of Leading Under Pressure is a required operating manual for any leader who wants to manage the pressure of leadership and maintain the presence of mind and body necessary to give their people confidence in any situation.”

– Alex Shootman, President & CEO, Workfront

“Dr. McKenna gives us a lifeline, a way out of sorts – or maybe, it’s a way to stay in the moments that matter, but Composed. This new paradigm has radically transformed the way I show up. Few books are real gifts, this one is. Take it.”

– Jason Pamer, Producer, The Heart of Man

“How I show up is important to me and Dr. Rob has outlined a great field guide that connects my head and my heart in practical ways… The strategies in this book are helping me plan for success in leading with both grace and purpose.”     

– Greg Hunter – President/Global Client Lead, Microsoft at Wunderman


The Whole Leader Guidebook connects who you are and what you do in a meaningful, rigorous, and action-oriented way. It is designed to be used in combination with the WiLD Toolkit (, a set of personalized online leadership development tools. Whether you are reluctantly considering taking on a leadership role or are a seasoned leadership veteran, these tools drive transformation and change to help you identify your next steps and become the leader you aspire to be.


Whether you find yourself in a season of success or failure as a leader, the underlying assumption of Dying to Lead is that your leading matters, and that most of the wrong turns taken by leaders and organizations come down to one thing: the fact that when you are dying to lead, your first step will be to consider the selfish parts of you that may need to die before you go and lead, and that process has to be repeated every day.

If you are in a formal or informal position of leadership—a manager, executive, pastor, parent, or volunteer leader—Dying to Lead was written for you. You have chosen to be responsible for the work and development of someone else. That’s an unbelievable responsibility, and defining leadership that way changes everything.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 3.21.58 PM

The 21st Century Executive

An essential resource for building and maintaining an effective leadership team, this book gives HR professionals and I/O practitioners a greater understanding of executive dynamics, development tools, and proven techniques for managing executives. Written by top-notch practitioners, this volume explores executive performance and documents unique to executive-level human resource applications. It shows how effective executive performance is qualitatively different from that of middle level managers. It also outlines today’s state-of-the-art corporate human resource practices, along with lessons learned, and provides guidelines and principles related to effective executive practices.

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 3.30.02 PM

Experience Driven Leader Development

Dr. McKenna co-authored two chapters in this highly anticipated book covering decades of best practices on how we develop leaders on the job. The first chapter, co-authored with Robleh Kirce, describes strategies for how to navigate the tension between the needs of the individual employee and the organization by focusing on systems that support performance management and leadership development processes. The second chapter, co-authored by Dr. McKenna, Dr. Mary Mannion Plunkett, and Kayode Adeuja, describes their efforts and specific strategies in launching a leadership development tool inside of Heineken that provides leaders with a holistic view of their developmental journey, and helps they learn right on the job.