Heart First Boook

With stories from more than 30 leaders,

explore the impacts of an unprecedented year of change and what it means for anyone looking to lead and make an impact now.

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About the Book

For more than three decades,

award-winning leadership and communication expert David Grossman has helped scores of leaders become great leader communicators who drive impressive results for their organizations.

Man on Mountain Peak


the global pandemic and mounting racial unrest of 2020 handed leaders one of their biggest challenges yet, with a level of social and economic tumult not seen in more than a century.

Doctor interviewing patient Zoom Call post-it note the year that changed everything
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Despite the


many leaders rose to the occasion, often by drawing not just from experience and wise counsel, but from being human as they led – what Grossman calls Heart First leadership. In Heart First, Grossman explores the many aspects of being more authentic in leadership and how that can profoundly inspire a team and move them to achieve remarkable things, especially in times of change or crisis.

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Heart F1rst

also features interviews with CEOs and guest columns from senior leaders inside a variety of organizations, each of whom share extraordinarily candid insights and unique lessons learned from a year that changed everything.

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Praise for Heart First

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During the pandemic, I was searching for a playbook to help leaders, and undoubtedly, this is it!
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David does a beautiful job capturing real-life lessons learned from the frontlines of pandemic and social change related communications.”
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If you want to lead effectively through significant crisis or change, consider Heart First  your playbook to do it right.”
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David has captured the essence of what it takes to lead and succeed through the most demanding of circumstances.”
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The knowledge and teachings in Heart First  have never been more important or urgent.”
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Inspired and inspiring — that is what Heart First  is for leaders.”
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His simple yet profound message about the power of kindness, authenticity and caring will inform…and dare I say, transform…even the most skeptical of leaders.”
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If you read only one leadership book this year, make it this one.

About the Author


David Grossman


David helps leaders drive productivity and get the results they want through authentic and courageous leadership and communication.

David is both a teacher and student of effective leadership and communication. He is one of America’s foremost authorities on communication and leadership inside organizations, and a sought‑after advisor to Fortune 500 leaders.

By acting as an advocate for employees and as a thoughtpartner™ to senior management, David helps organizations unleash the power of communication to engage employees and drive performance.

David is Founder and CEO of The Grossman Group, an award‑winning Chicago‑based communications consultancy focused on organizational consulting, strategic leadership development and internal communications. Clients include Abbott, Amsted, Form Technologies, Hillrom, KeHE, Lockheed Martin, SC Johnson, Southern New Hampshire University and Tecomet, among others.

David is often quoted in media, providing expert commentary and analysis on how leaders and companies can build trust and keep employees engaged through crisis and change, communicating with remote teams and more. He’s been featured on “NBC Nightly News,” CBS MoneyWatch, in Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, World Economic Forum and the LA Times.

Leaders, communication professionals, and educators applaud David’s books — “You Can’t NOT Communicate: Proven Communication Solutions That Power the Fortune 100,” and its follow up, “You Can’t NOT Communicate 2” and “No Cape Needed” — which continue to receive accolades and praise for reminding leaders — everywhere and at all levels — on the value of getting leadership and communication right. David’s leadercommunicator™ blog has been ranked the number one blog on communications by Feedspot six years in a row. 

Twice named PR Week’s “Boutique Agency of the Year” and The Holmes Report’s “Employee Communication Agency of the Year,” The Grossman Group’s work has won all the “Oscars” of communication. The Grossman Group is a certified diversity supplier.

Prior to founding The Grossman Group in 2000, David was director of communications for McDonald’s.



Heart First sums up what David Grossman believes is the key to inspired – and effective – leadership. Now more than ever, leaders play a pivotal role in connecting, calming and inspiring their teams. A big part of that is leading with Heart First.


Many leaders said the key to effective leadership boiled down to leading with greater empathy and understanding, which naturally involves being a better listener. However, there were many other sub-themes, which are detailed in the following chapters:

  • Lead Yourself First
  • Know Your Audience and their Needs
  • Show Your Human Side
  • Communicate Regularly
  • Frame the Context and Make it Relevant
  • Talk Openly About What’s Happening
  • Be Respectfully Authentic
  • Be Ready to Answer Questions
  • Use the Right Channels to Communicate with Impact

David’s message here is that change is constant in leadership, now more than ever. This can be especially challenging for leaders who are now required to respond and evolve at a faster pace than ever before. The book offers practical insights and guidance to help leaders understand what they can do on a daily basis to navigate this type of business environment. The many leaders he interviewed from various industries were also candid in their advice on this topic.


Employees and leaders at every level of experience – from those aspiring to be leaders on up to the CEO – will find real value in Heart First. The insights from David as well as a variety of leaders in a range of prominent positions will help anyone who wants to excel at inspiring and motivating themselves and their teams to achieve great things.


Currently, Heart First ships via Amazon to the U.S. If you live outside of the U.S. and want to place a bulk book order, please submit your inquiry here.


David is one of America’s foremost authorities on communication and leadership inside organizations, and the team of experts at The Grossman Group regularly deliver leadership and communication trainings and keynotes both virtually and in-person. Hundreds of organizations of all sizes have turned to The Grossman Group to provide inspiration, practical guidance and trainings on a wide variety of leadership and communication topics. If you’d like to learn more about the organizations we’ve helped and book a custom communication or leadership training, let us know here.


Amazon Prime members are eligible for free 2-day shipping. Shipping for non-members depends on your selected shipping option. Shipping to Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico can take up to 7-10 business days.


Heart First isn’t your typical business book in content – or design. It’s best consumed in its condensed, easy-to-read paperback format.


The Grossman Group has worked with companies and organizations of all types and sizes, including Abbott, Amsted, Form Technologies, Hillrom, KeHE, Lockheed Martin, Novartis, SC Johnson, Southern New Hampshire University and Tecomet, among hundreds of others. Twice-named Boutique Agency of the Year by PRWeek and Employee Communication Agency of the Year by PRvoke (formerly The Holmes Report), The Grossman Group’s work has won all the “Oscars” of communication. Prior to founding The Grossman Group in 2000, David was the director of communications for McDonalds.

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