Book Review: ‘Pause’ by Karen Mason: Leadership Skills & Culture

Pause: About The Book

Pause, a thoughtful title for a book, and great advice for leaders in today’s hectic society. Author, Karen Mason has produced a contemporary book for leaders with more than a nod to tested management models. As a result, Karen has produced a book that collates theories into a readable book which can be put into practice.

Pause considers a view of today’s organisational challenges and how we can purposefully meet them utilising theory and activities. This approach enables the reader to consider leadership challenges and reflect upon solutions.

This is an opportunity for leaders to rethink and review their own practice.  Part one of the book considers toxic cultures through narrative and storytelling.  Because of this, there is a genuine feel about the book.  This is a refreshing way to approach cultural issues and works as there are several iterations of experiences.

Theory To Practical

Karen provides good instruction on how this book should be used.  Enabling the reader to follow a good structure and know what is coming.  Throughout the book, Karen considers tried and tested management theories, putting them back through their paces with a contemporary twist.  This is useful for two types of groups; busy leaders and new leaders.  Thus, it provides a view of the past, what the original author stated, and how to practically use it now.

Pause can be seen as a valid connection to academic thinking.  Its approach from theory to practical works well and offers an opportunity to personalise issues.  An example is ‘appreciative enquiry’ accredited to David Cooperrider.  Karen explains this through an activity allowing readers to apply their own situation.  This saves valuable time, yet allows the essence of the theory to flow.

Book Cover of Pause by Karen Mason
Pause: Rethinking Leadership To Cultivate Healthy Workplace Cultures by Karen Mason

Pause – Cultivating a Healthy Workplace Culture

Karen’s book is split into three parts, beginning with toxic cultures and building to a purposeful close on cultivating a healthy workplace culture.  This is a positive way to present the snapshot of the here and now, and the aspirational future.  Sections on leadership and leading change ensure that there are real practicalities within.  This assumes equal positioning with ‘soft skills’, allowing the reader to look within and appreciate the overall culture.

Final Thoughts

Pause offers the opportunity to work through it at your own pace, yet achieve good reflection and action.  This book considers the many elements that tie into contemporary leadership to help mitigate a toxic culture.  Consequently, will find aspects within that will help you with the current challenges you face.

Furthermore, it is a useful long-term resource to help build for the future.  Elements such as coaching, change and communication provide a variety of reading ensuring there is something for everyone.
Pause could easily sit on your bookshelf, it is a perfect resource to dip into when needed.  Equally, it can be a tool for leading change towards a positive culture and personal leadership.

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