The Blueprint: 6 Practical Steps to Lift Your Leadership to New Heights

By Douglas Conant with Amy Federman

Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly Bestseller

Lift your leadership to new heights

Doug Conant, Founder of ConantLeadership, former CEO of Campbell Soup Company, and former President of Nabisco Foods, shares transformational insights in his new book, The Blueprint. Conant is the only former Fortune 500 CEO who is a New York Times bestselling author, a top 50 Leadership Innovator, a Top 100 Leadership Speaker, and a Top 100 Most Influential Author in the World. 

Get Unstuck

In 1984, Doug Conant was fired without warning and with barely an explanation. He felt hopeless and stuck but, surprisingly, this defeating turn of events turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to him. Doug began to consider what might be holding him back from realizing his potential, fulfilling his dreams, and making a bigger impact on the world around him.

Embarking on a journey of self-reflection and discovery, he forged a path to revolutionize his leadership and transform his career trajectory. Ultimately, Doug was able to condense his remarkable leadership story into six practical steps. It wasn’t until Doug worked through these six steps that he was able to lift his leadership to heights that ultimately brought him career success, joy, and fulfillment.

  1. Reach High – Envision
  2. Dig Deep – Reflect
  3. Lay the Groundwork – Study
  4. Design – Plan
  5. Build – Practice
  6. Reinforce – Improve

In The Blueprint, part leadership manifesto, part practical manual, Doug teaches leaders how to work through the same six steps that he used to transform his journey. The six steps are manageable and incremental, designed to fit practically within the pace of busy modern life. Knowing how daunting the prospect of change can be, Doug arms readers with exercises and practices to realistically bring their foundation to life in every situation. Now, today’s leaders who feel stuck and overwhelmed finally have a blueprint for lifting their leadership to make meaningful change in their organizations and in the world.

Doug Conant

Doug’s Recommended Reading List

Over the years, I’ve read hundreds of leadership books in the broad category of wisdom literature, many of which would nest under the study of leadership. I do have some favorites. While many authors have influenced my perspective, in the spirit of the saying, “when the student is ready, the master appears” the books listed below “appeared” to me at a time when they were uniquely helpful to my development. These ‘Foundational Favorites’ are listed in no particular order.


Douglas Conant & Mette Norgaard

Total Leadership

Stewart Friedman

The Speed of Trust

Stephen M.R. Covey

The Power Of Full Engagement

Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz

The Leadership Challenge

James M. Kouzes

The Definitive Drucker

Elizabeth Haas Edersheim

Teams At The Top

Jon R. Katzenbach

Talent Is Overrated

Geoff Colvin

Servant Leadership

Robert K. Greenleaf

Rumsfeld’s Rules

Donald Rumsfeld


Susan Cain

Living the 7 Habits

Stephen R. Covey

Leadership BS

Jeffrey Pfeffer

Insanely Simple

Ken Segall

Humble Inquiry

Edgar Schein

Higher Ambition

Michael Beer, Flemming Norgren, Russ Eisenstat, Nathaniel Foote, & Tobias Fredberg

High Commitment High Performance

Mike Beer, Russell Eisenstat, & Nathaniel Foote

Good To Great

Jim Collins

From Values to Action

Harry Kraemer

Every Business Is A Growth Business

Ram Charan & Noel M. Tichy


Daniel H. Pink

Closing the Engagement Gap

Julie Gebauer & Dan Lowman

Above the Line

Urban Meyer

A Whole New Mind

Daniel Pink

A Simpler Way

Margaret J. Wheatley & Myron Kellner-Rogers

A Force for Change

John P. Kotter