Gary and Ryan Heil’s book Choose Love Not Fear: How the Best Leaders Build Cultures of Engagement and Innovation that Unleash Human Potential is a direct guidebook for how those in leadership positions can get the best use out of their respective teams. It also, as all great books of this ilk do, reveal a great deal about the authors as well. Gary and Ryan Heil put an enormous amount of time into interviews scores of corporate and business leaders in order to arrive at a coherent vision of what constitutes forward-thinking leadership in the 21 st century. The book reflects their personal beliefs as much as their research and their experience as leadership, organizational culture, and management experts to a variety of five-star clients. Choose Love Not Fear incorporates equal parts insight, knowledge, and personality into a relatively brief book. It is a notable accomplishment.

There are enough fundamental truths about leadership contained within this text to give the book lasting relevance. It will, without question, read a little dated as the demands placed upon those in leadership positions evolves in coming years. The so-called civilized world is in the infancy of another paradigm shift. The increasing use and development of AI, artificial intelligence, ensures that leaders will meet challenges in coming years without precedence in human history. Posterity will have its way with the Heils’ Choose Love Not War, but it is sure to retain immediacy and significant value for some years to come.


Much of its positive impact on readers is thanks to its construction. Gary and Ryan Heil build Choose Love Not Fear in a coherent and straightforward manner that makes it ideas all the more comprehensible for readers. The writing style these co-authors utilize is a mix of the formal and informal. There is an ample amount of information woven through their writing, but the tone is likewise conversational and akin to a public speaking transcript. This isn’t a flaw, however, but instead makes what might be slow going subject matter in less authorial hands a brisk and enjoyable reading experience here.

The underlying humanity of their message is an important factor in the book’s success. It is no lie to say the ultimate success or failure of any business rests on the individuals involved and recognizing how to the best orchestrate the talents and weaknesses of a team member or co-worker. Gary and Ryan Heil write with a clear understanding of what drives people to often behave as they do, and this perspective is critical for Choose Love Not Fear.

This isn’t a book written for self-aggrandizement or a financial windfall. The authors have a clear desire to help readers rather than burnish their credentials. Choose Love Not Fear is written for a narrow audience, but anyone interested in modern takes on what makes for first rate leadership will find this book rewarding. Gary and Ryan Heil are working at a high level here and succeed in producing one of the best books on the subject in recent memory.   

Garth Thomas