Leading Below The Surface

by LaTonya Wilkins

Real connections within teams can create a culture shift for an entire company. Leading Below the Surface illustrates this vision, taking a radical stance against the “surface-ness” of corporate culture and exploring how highly rewarded behaviors are actually destroying organizations, blocking us all from creating truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures of belonging.

This book is not a step-by-step instructional guide or dry academic theory. With a foreword by Amy Edmondson, author and Novartis Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School, this book is inspired by organizational culture research, social psychology and neuroscience frameworks. Leading Below the Surface is a compass for the purpose-driven and forward-thinking leader. It merges true stories from the lived experiences of culture leader LaTonya Wilkins with actionable insights backed by dynamic interdisciplinary research. Just like she has done for hundreds of coaching and organizational clients, LaTonya effectively coaches you through this transformation through each engaging chapter.

Leading Below the Surface disrupts the way we think about traditional leadership constructs and the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that have failed to make lasting change. The wisdom in these pages is powerful enough to not only change the way we think about corporate culture, but will instantly activate opportunities for the individual looking to advance their career while remaining authentic to who they are.


Founder of The Change Coaches, LaTonya Wilkins partners with executives, upwardly mobile professionals, and teams to build cultures of belonging through highly customized coaching and consulting services. She is a sought-after keynote speaker and has inspired audiences all over the world. She built her career working in HR, talent management and learning & development at Fortune 500 companies before teaching and taking on progressive leadership roles at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business. LaTonya is currently the President of the True Star Youth Foundation board. She gained industry recognition when she was featured on the peer-nominated list of most inclusive HR influencers in 2019. LaTonya developed her signature concept of Below the Surface Leadership based on her own experience climbing the corporate ladder and researching across disciplines while constantly being the “only one” on her teams. This revolutionary approach to leadership is about creating psychologically safe relationships across differences, empowering underrepresented employees to feel valued, heard, and engaged, and creating cultures of belonging in the workplace. LaTonya’s clients often describe her as approachable, non-judgmental, inspiring, creative, unique, and insightful. You may experience her the same way as you read through Leading Below the Surface

LaTonya Wilkins
LaTonya Wilkins

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Watch an interview with the author and PYP Founder and CEO Jenn T. Grace here:

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