Book Review: The Upstander Leader

What a journey… Jessica shares her personal story of systemic bullying, harassment and workplace trauma, which eventually landed her in hospital. It caused a huge amount of harm yet was also the inspiration for founding Bullyology and why she leads the Upstander Movement.

What Jess experienced at work is uncomfortable and unbelievable at times – having folders thrown at her, being yelled at publicly and reporting the bullying 32 times, while no one took action to make it stop.

It shows the impact of the bystander effect and explains why good people stand by and do nothing. It also shows how the system and workplace culture can completely ignore the victim, sweep the issue under the rug and highlights why this behaviour is allowed to continue..

All new managers need this book in their toolkit.

However, as Jess says, everyone is a leader, no matter what their position in the workplace is. We can challenge negative stereotypes, stand up to bullying and champion cultural change in any position in an organisation.

Some of my favourite quotes from the book include:

  • ‘bystanders allow toxic cultures to be dismissed’
  • ‘the bystander effect is a disease’
  • ‘not all bystanders are bad people, so please be kind to yourself’
  • ‘fear causes good leaders to become bad leaders’

Jess gives the 5 steps to become an Upstander and how to develop a speak-up culture. Get your copy here.

I spoke with Jess about the harm bystanders cause themselves and others on my podcast Under The Rug at Work. Take a listen here

Connect with Jess

You can find out more about Jess, the Upstand Academy and how to create a speak up culture at work on her website