Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts

Drop the Mask, Master Rigorous Authenticity, and Lead Like Your Life Depends on It


About The Book

Leaders are tired, stressed, and unfulfilled because they are unwittingly trapped in a cycle of inauthenticity. 

Inauthenticity is a career-breaking, soul-crushing addiction and it’s time for rehab. In our search to lead others, we have lost the ability to lead ourselves

This “cycle of inauthenticity” drives leaders to:

  • say “Yes” when they should say “No”
  • focus on things they can’t control at the expense of things they can
  • cover or hide their weaknesses
  • avoid difficult conversations that could be beneficial 
  • hold back their unique perspectives for fear of rocking the boat

Author Michael Brody-Waite shares three simple principles that will allow leaders to break free from an addiction they may not even know they have: inauthenticity. These three principles not only literally saved his life from addiction, but they set him apart as a leader.

When Michael was homeless and addicted to drugs, he was told that if he didn’t master these principles, he would die at the age of 23:


  • practice rigorous authenticity
  • surrender the outcome
  • do uncomfortable work

Armed with these principles and a new lease on life, Michael entered corporate America only to find a dynamic where professionals are conditioned to hide their authentic selves in order to succeed socially, professionally, and financially. This conditioning has infiltrated the way we all see ourselves, relate to our co-workers, friends, family, and how we conduct ourselves at work. 

Drawing on his twelve-step recovery Michael unpacks how these three principles saved him from death as an addict and set him apart as a leader and entrepreneur. In Great Leaders Live Like Drug Addicts, he teaches how anyleader can master his Authentic Leadership System in order to become more successful in work and life.






Authentic, authenticity, inauthentic, masks, hiding, imposter syndrome, faking it, fake, self-confidence, lack of self-confidence, drug addiction, drugs, failure, success, recovery, rehab, overcoming obstacles, win, lose, winning, losing, weak, weaknesses, Nashville, Entrepreneur, Ted Talk

About The Author

Now, Michael is an acclaimed speaker, and Inc. 500 Entrepreneur, an award-winning 3-time CEO, and leadership coach. Now, he is on a mission to redefine what it means to be a successful leader. But it didn’t start that way. Michael Brody-Waite was kicked out of college, kicked out of his job, and kicked out of his apartment. Every day at the age of 23, he drank a fifth of vodka, a 12-pack of beer, and smoked two packs of cigarettes and as much weed and various drugs as he could get his hands on. But Michael Brody-Waite transformed himself. His passion for this transformation has led him to build his Authentic Leadership System delivered to others via speaking engagements, workshops, coaching, an online course, and the authentic leader community. His “superpower” is guiding leaders and their companies to unlock the tremendous potential that inauthenticity traps inside every company, team, and individual. Michael’s TEDx Nashville YouTube video has been seen by nearly one million people in 25 countries and provides insight into his 16-year journey from near homelessness and addiction to successful entrepreneurship. Michael created the Authentic Leadership System built upon the three principles inspired by his recovery, to show leaders how to achieve balance, reclaim energy, and create more success in work and life. In 2010, Michael left a Fortune 50 company at the height of the recession to co-found and lead InQuicker, a healthcare SaaS company that allows patients to self-schedule appointments. Under his leadership, the organization grew to 20,000% revenue growth in less than 6 years. This exceptional growth landed InQuicker a spot on the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies. Additionally, InQuicker was named “Best Place to Work” four times and recognized as Healthcare Company of the Year. In 2015, InQuicker was sold to a publicly traded company. After selling his company, Michael served for 3 years as the CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, a 501c3 that helps more than 2,000 entrepreneurs every year start or grow a business. Brody-Waite’s accomplishments include being named Most Admired CEO and to the Top 40 Under 40 and being recognized by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce as Healthcare Entrepreneur of the Year. Today, Michael is on a mission to create a society of authentic leaders. In his personal time, he is focused on being the best husband, father, and recovering addict he can be. For more information, please visit to learn how the Authentic Leadership System can help you become more successful in work and life.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Forefront Books (May 5, 2020)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781948677318

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