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The Upstander Leader

How to develop a speak-up culture

The Upstander Leader from Jessica Hickman is a book which is long overdue, as it addresses the serious and costly issue of work place bullying; not just from an emotional standpoint but from the perspective of lost revenue and poor company performance, all serious issues in the cut throat world of business in the post COVID-19 pandemic world.

It is interesting to note that workplace bullying and toxic workplace culture is sadly on the rise rather than the decline, which Hickman puts down to some degree as leaders having risen to their position without having sufficient skill to handle their new role of people management.

This ‘workplace culture’ is also enhanced by the fear of speaking out by work colleges, ‘bystanders’, who not only are fearful of losing their jobs, but being placed sideways or being subjected to the same bullying they witness, often to extreme levels and on a daily basis.

Hickman came under severe bullying tactics from her superior while she was working at a scaffolding firm in Darwin; her first job in Australia and one she excelled at, winning many awards and one she loved. This eventually caused her to face a serious mental and health collapse which then challenged her to confront this fast increasing workplace culture. She made it a priority to learn more about bullying and the many ways this can be changed.

She now has her own company ‘Bullyology’ and her spends time working with Corporations and work places worldwide to train staff and help change toxic workplace culture.

As she says time and time again, the attitude to bullying within the workplace is slowly changing with more people braving the fear, beginning to call out not just companies and corporations but leaders as was the recent case of Sony Australia.

There is a much work yet to be done and over the course of The Upstander Leader, she sets out the reasons why this toxic culture is flourishing, or being allowed to flourish and what can be done, in a relative simple manner to change the situation by becoming an Upstander not a Bystander.

For anyone who has ever had to confront or live with workplace bullying this is a must read book; for anyone who is new to a leadership role Hickman’s story will be beneficial, as her journey encapsulates the serious damage bullying, if left uncheck, will do to any workplace.

The Upstander Leader will challenge your thinking, offer pointers as to what to look out for, how to handle a situation before it become toxic and help to create positive change within your workplace.

Author Jessica Hickman
Publisher Major Street Publishing
ISBN 9781922611468
Distributor Major Street Publishing
Released August 2022