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Summary: One Bold Move a Day by Shanna Hocking

  • Shanna Hocking’s One Bold Move a Day provides a practical blueprint for making small daily changes that unlock greater confidence and transformation.
  • Read this book if you seek inspiration and manageable ways to boldly expand your comfort zone, one baby step at a time.


While women have made significant strides in the workplace, they still face unique challenges and more scrutiny than their male counterparts. In this helpful text, leadership consultant Shanna Hocking offers a practical, yet inspiring approach for women looking to gain confidence and achieve ambitious goals: make a Bold Move each day. A Bold Move is any action that propels you toward fulfilling your potential. By making Bold Moves in your mind-set, goal-setting and communication, you can discover your best self and become a leader who inspires others.


  • To make Bold Moves, focus on your strengths and believe in yourself.
  • Concentrate on progress rather than productivity.
  • Network to build your professional connections and find mentors who will help you advance your career.
  • Uplift others, especially other women.
  • Prioritize yourself.
  • Lead regardless of your position in your organization.
  • As you take on leadership roles, prepare to manage your peers and develop a strong relationship with your boss.
  • As a boss, strengthen your communication to support your team.
  • Cultivate strong personal and community relationships.

Summary: One Bold Move a Day: Meaningful Actions Women Can Take to Fulfill Their Leadership and Career Potential by Shanna Hocking

To make Bold Moves, focus on your strengths and believe in yourself.

Even small actions can lead to big things. A “Bold Move” can encompass whatever you do, intentionally, to push yourself to grow. It might mean anything from saying hello to a person on the street to negotiating a higher salary. Whether your actions look objectively huge or relatively minor to those around you, use Bold Moves to propel your career forward, cultivate your leadership skills and develop as a person.

“A Bold Move is one that challenges you to grow.”

Whitney Johnson, author of Disrupt Yourself, calls your unique, positive qualities your “superpowers.” Identify your superpowers by considering the compliments you frequently receive, which topics people seek your advice about and what skills come most easily to you. For example, author Shanna Hocking reports that her strengths include connecting with and supporting other ambitious women, helping others prepare for challenging work-related conversations and having a very good memory. It may take you some time to identify your superpowers – especially those that come to you so naturally you hardly notice them.

Let go of negative or limiting beliefs about yourself. Create a mantra to repeat when you feel insecure or rejected. You might try, “I will achieve things I didn’t know were possible.” Don’t let fear of failure hold you back. You may not overcome your fears, but acting while you feel afraid will make you stronger. Instead of focusing on worst-case scenarios, look for opportunities.

“Ask yourself, ‘What’s the best possible outcome that can happen?’.”

Build resilience by focusing your energy on what you can control. For example, since you control your perspective, you can reframe negative moments in order to see them as challenges you can solve or as opportunities to learn. Be kind to yourself when you struggle. Reach out for support from your colleagues, friends, family or medical professionals when you need it.

Concentrate on progress rather than productivity.

When goal-setting, consider the person you want to become, not just what you want to accomplish. Dominican University conducted a study showing that people are 42% more likely to achieve their goals if they write them down, so set aside time each day for a week to try keeping a journal. Ask, what’s most important to you? What do people commonly compliment you about? What type of work culture and projects do you find most fulfilling? What moments make you happiest?

In Start with Why, author Simon Sinek suggests that you should develop a “why” that illuminates what motivates you in both your personal and professional life. Hocking’s why is, “to help others achieve more than they thought possible, so that they can fulfill their potential and find joy.” Write down your why.

As you set goals, consider what you want to learn while working toward each goal, how long the goal might take to accomplish and how achieving this goal will help you on the path to becoming who you want to be. Also evaluate the sacrifices you might have to make, the external support you will have and whether you’re prepared for the challenges you will meet along the way.

Create habits that help you accomplish your goals. In Atomic Habits, James Clear recommends “habit stacking”: using current habits as cues for new ones. For example, to start a new habit, such as doing 10 push-ups a day, connect it to an old habit, like brushing your teeth. Every day after brushing your teeth, do 10 push-ups. Identify an accountability partner and check in with your partner regularly to stay on track.

“By shifting your focus from productivity to progress, you will begin to advance your work in a more meaningful way and honor how far you’ve come.”

Focus on progress rather than productivity. Don’t conflate progress with checking items off of your to-do list. Keep a journal where you record the progress you make each day. Write a letter to yourself to open one year from now outlining how you will make Bold Moves over the next year that will bring you closer to your goals.

Network to build your professional connections and find mentors who will help you advance your career.

If you’re uncomfortable with networking, change your mind-set. Thinking about how you can support others, rather than what they can do for you, may help you feel more at ease. Practice active listening in conversations, and ask questions. Offer to help others, even more senior co-workers. Reach out to individuals you’d like to meet, asking politely for just 20 minutes of their time. In these networking conversations, ask questions tailored to what you’d like to learn, and stay in touch afterward.

“When you have the mind-set to serve others while networking, you shift to building a genuine connection with someone.”

Cultivate your own personal board of advisors to support your career advancement. Consider including advisors from different industries, with varied expertise – both people you look up to and your peers. Set reminders in your calendar to reach out and share updates with your board. In return, check in on them, and celebrate their successes.

Brainstorm a list of potential sponsors who will advocate for you at your current company and build connections with them. Ideally, you won’t need to ask them directly to be your sponsor; once they know your work, they will speak up on your behalf when you’re aiming to take a step forward in your career.

Connect members of your network with one another. When you spot a possible great connection, ask the individual’s permission first, and then put him or her in touch with other relevant people by sending an email that includes a brief introduction to each person. If someone does this for you, make sure to follow up promptly, especially if you’re the one who will benefit most from the connection.

Uplift others, especially other women.

Research studies show that connecting with and uplifting others will bring you joy. Hocking was surprised to find that a chance connection she made with another woman one day while waiting for the train led to a meaningful friendship. Start a conversation with a stranger, or reach out to someone you’ve been meaning to contact.

“Beyond bringing other women up with you, this is about building other women up around you. When another woman chooses to make her Bold Move, celebrate her.”

As you begin to act with Bold Moves, you will inspire and create pathways for the women around you. Cheer on other women as you pursue new and surprising directions and accomplishments. Amplify their voices, and draw attention to their accomplishments. Encourage salary transparency to help fight the wage gap. Join a professional women’s network. Advocate for working moms, even if you don’t have children.

Prioritize yourself.

In order to lead others, you must first invest in yourself. Make the best possible use of your time by organizing tasks into the following categories: “Urgent/Important,” “Not Urgent/Important,” “Urgent/Not Important” and “Not Urgent/Not Important.” Important refers to a task’s value, while Urgent refers to timing and any deadline pressure. Focus your time on tasks that are Urgent/Important or Not Urgent/Important – tasks of high value. Since it’s easy to put off tasks that are important but not urgent, set a firm date for finishing them and schedule time in your calendar to work on specific parts of any larger project.

“The most important investment you can make is in yourself.”

​​​​Prioritize activities that help you grow, bring you joy and improve your quality of life. Take time to learn new things, read more or listen to podcasts; people who prioritize learning progress more quickly in their careers. Take up a creative hobby which will give you energy. Exercise regularly; studies show that even ten minutes of exercise a day will make you happier. Get enough sleep and take vacations. Time away from your job will make you more effective when you return. Take care of yourself financially. Set monetary goals, talk about money with your partner, negotiate your salary and contribute to your retirement savings.

Lead regardless of your position in your organization.

Even if you don’t have a formal leadership position, you can lead by positively influencing others and moving projects forward. Investigate what your colleagues need. Learn about what other people do at your organization and consider how you can offer your expertise to others. Build collaborative relationships with your colleagues where you actively work together toward a common goal. Support them and their accomplishments.

“Leadership isn’t about title or authority. It’s the energy and purpose by which you lead yourself each day and how you serve others.”

Look for opportunities where you can use your superpowers to create value for your organization. Keep your superiors aware of your contributions by talking about what you’re doing outside of formal performance reviews. If you run into senior leaders in an informal situation, tell them about a project you’re working on or recently finished. Send “No Need to Respond” updates to your boss sharing your progress each week.

“It’s your responsibility to make sure your boss and other higher-ups know the value of your contributions.”

Reconsider any negative beliefs you have about office politics. Make proactive connections with important individuals. Consider how you can work simultaneously toward your goals and your organization’s goals. Share your accomplishments, so others know that you’re contributing positively to the organization.

As you take on leadership roles, prepare to manage your peers and develop a strong relationship with your boss.

When your organization promotes you to a leadership role, don’t let fear of failure hold you back. Coach yourself through decisions as you would a friend. Create at least three options to decide among whenever you have to make a difficult choice. Accept that you will, inevitably, make some mistakes, and be aware of how your emotions affect your decision-making.

When Hocking began working in her first leadership position, she struggled to understand how to manage co-workers who had, previously, been her peers and friends. When you shift from peer to boss, meet with each member of your team to acknowledge the transition and discuss how you will work together in your new roles. Remember that your job as a manager is not to fix every issue, but, rather, to help your team members find the answers themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your boss, a colleague or an executive coach.

“The leader’s role is not to solve problems, but to help their team become better problem-solvers.”

Establish feedback as a team value and openly discuss its importance. When giving critical or “redirecting” feedback, be thoughtful about your timing and emphasize that you care about the team member’s development by asking questions while outlining your expectations. Also provide frequent positive feedback.

To create an effective relationship with your higher-ups, study their expectations, management styles and what matters most to them. Give feedback by asking if they would be open to alternative ideas, while also deferring to their authority. Get to know your immediate boss as a person through casual conversations when you can ask about his or her life outside work.

As a boss, strengthen your communication to support your team.

Promote effective communication with your employees by creating an “About Me” document to share when you are assigned to lead a new team. Include an explanation of how you approach leadership and your leadership values. Offer tips on the best ways to communicate with you. Clearly describe your preferences, like how often you would like project updates. Ask your team members to create their own About Me documents to share with you in return. Work with them to find learning experiences that will further their goals. Actively recognize their accomplishments and wins.

“Your job as a leader is to manage your team members the way they want to be managed – and stretch them to fulfill their potential.”

Improve communication and problem-solving by asking open-ended questions that start with “how,” “what” or “when.” Ask such questions as, “How can we develop a new process together to streamline our work outcomes?” rather than telling someone, “I’ve created a new process to help you streamline your work.” Use a “yes, and” structure in conversations to show that you value the other person’s ideas and aim to build on them. For example, if a coworker suggests a new strategy, you might respond, “Yes, and we can use this strategy to help reach the goal we talked about in our annual planning process.” Admit mistakes and be transparent when you don’t have all the answers. Acknowledging people’s unique backgrounds enables you to provide an environment where they feel safe offering perspectives that differ from yours.

Cultivate strong personal and community relationships.

Social connections are important for your health, goals and success. Make a list of the people in your support networks and their superpowers. Connect to new people through the communities around you. Joining a women-specific community can be especially valuable.

“Nurturing relationships with people within your community is a Bold Move.”

Pay attention to your personal relationships – with your family, your friends, and your spouse or partner. Consistently maintain important friendships, even if you can’t see your friends often. Establish clear communication with your partner about your expectations and goals and meet regularly to coordinate your calendars. Being part of a dual-career couple can be challenging; proactively communicate with one another about household responsibilities and designate time just for the two of you.

About the Author

Shanna Hocking is a leadership consultant with 20 years of experience leading large fundraising teams at major organizations. She is host of the podcast One Bold Move a Day.


Self-help, Personal growth, Self-improvement, Daily habits, Lifestyle advice, Positive psychology, Inspiration, Self-esteem, Confidence


One Bold Move a Day is a self-help book centered around making small, daily changes to create larger transformation in one’s life. The author, life coach Shanna Hocking, advocates starting with tiny steps outside one’s comfort zone which she refers to as “bold moves.” Examples of bold moves include talking to strangers at a coffee shop, waking up 30 minutes earlier, or trying a new restaurant. While the bold moves themselves may be small, Hocking emphasizes the power of compounding these actions day after day in order to push past barriers.

Hocking structures the book around 52 different bold move prompts to encourage the reader to action. The moves build in difficulty ranging from simple conversation starters to planning a solo trip abroad. The key is consistency. By boldly taking one small step forward for 52 days straight, the thesis is that confidence grows exponentially. Habits form, fears slowly subside, and the voice of self-doubt diminishes. While Hocking acknowledges real transformation takes longer than 52 days, she convincingly outlines how a daily bold move ritual provides an accessible starting point.

Backed by positive psychology research, the book convincingly outlines the pathway from small, courageous steps to enormous inner breakthrough. While light on concrete planning tools, One Bold Move a Day nonetheless provides inspiration and tactical tips for those feeling stuck in patterns of isolation, procrastination or perfectionism. The bold move concept has appeal for seasoned self-help readers and newcomers alike.

Nina Norman is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. She has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Nina has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. She is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Nina lives in London, England with her husband and two children. You can contact her at [email protected] or follow her on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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