BASIC Relationship and Leadership Strategies
BASIC Relationship and Leadership Strategies
Commonsense Ideas on How to Get Along Better with the Important People in Your Life
Perfect Bound Softcover
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“This book is an accurate synthesis of a treasure chest of scholarly work. It is written in an honest and conversational style. It is the product of significant insight. Paul Heacock is, indeed, a town father who will raise global well-being.” —Maria Hunt, PhD Professor of Psychology, Avila University

“Paul has a great memory for humorous anecdotes...they bring home the points.”—Paula Kay, W. Kay and Associates

“Very well written and extremely easy to understand and implement. To me, this is the BASIC training for life skills and reminds me in many ways of my experience in military basic training.  If we wanted to survive basic, all of the trainees in my flight had to work together or suffer the consequences, meaning we had to put our differences aside and make it work”.—Danny Walker, Chief Master Sergeant (retired), Air National Guard

“I enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me of concepts I had forgotten and I also learned some new things. I really liked the examples and good use of humor and anecdotes.”—Jim Temme, Author, Trainer, Speaker and Consultant

“It was a pleasure reading BASIC Leadership and Relationship Strategies and giving thought to the excellent content. The examples and stories really add clarity and color to the material.”—Dave Wine, President and CEO MutualAid eXchange

“This labor of love is very thought provoking and right on point. An excellent job capturing the core of leadership development.”—Bob Gibson, President and CEO (retired), Medical Protective

"This is a great summary of Paul's life, what he has learned, how he actually lives. Indeed, it's a great reflection on a life well lived. A good guide for all.”—Cary Phillips, President and Founder, CP1 Consulting, LCC

“Enjoy the read. If you’re young, applying these concepts can immediately better your life and relationships. If you are in the middle of your working life, application of these ideas will make the remainder of your career and relationships more fulfilling. Even if you’re “mature” like Paul and me, applying these great ideas to your relationships will significantly enhance the “golden years”.—Dale Hotze, Managing Director, AFM International

“A readily comprehensible how-to for managing others, but as importantly, managing oneself. Contains wisdom anyone can access, whether one plans on becoming a leader of industry or just a better counselor, teacher, or parent.” - US Review of Books

The BASIC Acronym

One day while I was on my daily walk, listening to my audiotapes, I began to think of an acronym to represent these common concepts. Over the next few months, I came up with the acronym of BASIC, composed of the following:

  • B (there are two Bs)—understanding behavior and keeping a balance in our personal and professional lives.
  • A is for begin each circumstance anew.
  • S means be situational.
  • I stands for watch the I.
  • C (there are three Cs)—improve communication, handle people with care, and use your common sense.

The “C” building blocks represent the need for a solid foundation based on the three Cs: communication, care, and common sense. The “B” blocks illustrate the primary need to understand some high-level truths about human behavior and the absolute significance of having a proper balance in our lives. The “A”, “S” and “I” blocks are where flexibility is needed when applying the BASIC strategies by assessing each circumstance anew, being situational, and staying properly mindful of our own abilities and shortcomings by watching the I.

The ultimate value of the BASIC strategy revolves around how we use this knowledge in a given situation. If we know all the theory but are unable to apply it at the right time—so what! We must keep these commonsense tools prominent in our thought process. Ideally, the BASIC acronym will help keep these strategies in the forefront of your mind. This book presents a BASIC approach to improved success in our professional and personal lives, specifically in our roles as leader, partner, or parent. These are some common thoughts of a common man based on proven leadership and relationship theories tempered with some common sense.

An Important Personal Disclaimer

Many times I have listened to a speaker, or especially a politician, and wondered, is that person real? Are they really that good? Can their life be that perfect? Experience has taught me that we are all human, and we all make mistakes and fail at times. As my friend Cary Phillips often says, “Life is hard, get a helmet.”

One very important disclaimer. I want to make it very clear that I do not consider myself to be the perfect leader, partner, or parent! There are many people in my life who could tell you stories of me failing in each of my roles. I could make a long list of messes I’ve made, of people I have unintentionally hurt. However, what I do know is that when I remember and use the concepts discussed in this book, I am much better—a much better leader, a much better partner, a much better parent, and yes, even a much better grandparent.



Paul Heacock lives with his wife, Janis, in Overland Park, Kansas. He retired from full-time work on January 1, 2014, and now offers keynote presentations and facilitates training on financial literacy as well as BASIC leadership and relationship strategies.

"I believe most of us, when we reach adulthood, have and continually develop a BASIC tool kit for dealing with life... the key is to learn to pause, open up your thinking and reaction process, and let in some new or refreshed ideas for review."

The BASIC strategy of Paul E Heacock, a finance and leadership trainer, can be parsed like this: B - understand behavior and keep a balance, A - begin each situation anew, S - be situational, I: watch the "I" (ego), C - communication, care and common sense. Throughout his book he emphasizes that BASIC principles apply to leadership situations in business and industry, but also to occurrences in everyday life. For example, in the section on Balance he warns against worry and suggests the development of a good sense of humor, good ideas for anyone. In the "I" chapter, he speaks of maintaining poise between feeling like a strong positive person and "letting your ego run amok." He concludes with this BASIC advice: "If all else fails, trust your common sense."

Much of Heacock's book contains wisdom anyone can access, whether one plans on becoming a leader of industry or just a better counselor, teacher, or parent. With charts, text blocks, and bulleted sections for extra emphasis, this is a readily comprehensible how-to for managing others, but as importantly, managing oneself. Drawing from many sources (Dr. Morris Massey, Dr Michael LeBoeuf, Steven Covey), the author offers useful aphorisms to support his points about effective leadership, such as "Every job should be done at the lowest economic level consistent with the quality required." One of the most significant elements of the BASIC model is caring for other people, linked with active listening and avoiding dogmatic, overriding arguments.

Heacock doesn't propose anything radical, believing that his simple, BASIC truths are sufficient for most situations. His book will doubtlessly serve as a tool in his leadership training, and as he states, "the more tools you have, the more options you have."

reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott

After reading this book once, I have read and re-read sections of it many times over, I am convinced that this Author has read and retained the knowledge from every leadership and self-improvement book I have ever read. I find this book to contain a massive amount of knowledge boiled down into a very concise and easy to read format. I enjoyed every one of Pauls personal anecdotes and even found myself chuckling out loud as I could relate to his pains of checking his left butt cheek for a "missing" wallet, or making a mess out of a milkshake on the job. I hope that everyone I give this book to will read it and enjoy it as much as I have - I plan on referencing it often in the future as well as having my children read it.
Sean L Pitcher 
In this age of gimmicks and theory, I was pleasantly surprised to find a book that treats the BASIC concepts of success so simply and straightforwardly. The compact chapters get right to the point and spotlight key concepts that make ideas memorable. Behavior and communication are key in "leadership, partnership and parenthood," and this book offers tools for self improvement that I can use immediately.
Becky Blades 
Paul Heacock has a genuine and clearly crafted understanding of the nature of organizational dynamics He has deeply integrated and established a connection between a highly developed strategic focus and an equally important commitment in human dynamics which allow an organization to function out of trust, creativity and effectiveness---a "commonsense" approach to organizations and human interaction. In BASICS he intertwines the above threads in a way which can help a formal organization, a relationship with one other person, a family or any social network requiring structure and human interface to discover time tested themes to be considered and assimilated. The book is an easy read with clear and solid theory and practical ideas colored with quotations, witticisms and human anecdotes. A good read and a positive addition to the literature of the field.
Bentley Peters 
This is not another book written by an underachieving professor who teaches and writes after failing in the business world. The author is a guy who came from humble means and has been successful at every level. He shares experiences in both personal and professional life and prides himself in his ability to lead effectively. If you live with or work with others, you can benefit from the author's ideas on how to get along.
Steve Kettner 
We purchased two copies of Paul's books for our grown sons. Before giving them away I read the book and was so inspired by Paul's words of wisdom. Paul gives many practical examples of BASIC lessons to use in our work and personal relationships. It's a great gift for anyone you love.
Judy Oberkrom 
This book is full of nuggets that can be used in any walk of life. It is a practical common sense approach to all aspects of leadership in life. Very thought provoking, easy to read, and I wanted to finish the entire book before I put it down. Great book and I would recommend it to everyone.
The title of the book speaks for itself. It's about the BASIC things in life that we take for granted and not realizing that this makes a big difference. Direct to point and truly inspiring.
Cherry Williamson 
Paul Heacock,a leader who has "been there and done that," has written an excellent, very readable book on relationships and leadership strategies. He is a clear, concise, well-organized writer who gets to the heart of his matter quickly, without prevarication, through the use of a conversational, light, and smooth flowing style that often brings a smile to one's face. Paul introduces his BASIC acronym, the underlying construct to his leadership strategy, in his preface, and then in short, logically structured chapters, he effectively covers each letter, or principle, of the acronym. He sums up his key points in his "Final Thoughts." Nicely done--- a great tool for junior leaders/managers, military and civilian folks, those making the jump from technical positions to leadership roles, and also senior leaders who need to make adjustments to their style to help foster a more effective organization.
Norman D. Greczyn 
This is a book that will improve your life or career if a young executive or improve your relationships after retirement. It is an easy read and provides valuable life lessons that will help you focus on and appreciate the people around you. Although not my first exposure to the concepts discussed in the book, I know I will learn something each time I pick up this book. I will be sharing this book with both of my sons so that they can benefit from Paul's fine work.
We can all be better leaders in our personal and professional lives folowing the BASIIC precepts outlined in Paul's book. He offers sound advice for our everyday social interaction. It's a good reminder of the attributes of effective leadership.
G D Myers 
As a former employee, I watched Paul put his BASIC ideas to work daily. This simple mnemonic makes it easy to remember the ideals of a strong, caring leader. The principles outlined here will also be helpful in my high school classroom. Students need to see a model of great leadership in order to become great leaders themselves. The BASIC ideas and philosophy are applicable to all walks of life.
Joe Van Haecke 
I found the book to be very straight forward, down to earth, enlightening, and a refreshing reminder on how to get along and deal with the important people in my life. I can relate to some of Paul's experiences having known him as a friend and as a client over many years. I certainly will recommend this book to others.
Phillip K. Marblestone  
I thought so highly of Paul's book and the life's lessons it contains that I purchased a copy for each of my adult children ages 35 and 32. I know they will benefit from this valuable information as I have.
Kurt Seelbach 
A great book for the novice to the journeyman, whether young and older.

I worked for [with] Paul in the past, a great mind and business personality. His book shares many obvious and conventional wisdoms that oh so often forgotten. I also learned a couple new thoughts and much more about Paul as a first-class human being. He uses interesting stories to emphasize key points. The book is a comfortable and pleasurable read. It reads with confident acumen, humble wisdom, good pace, and a great tone; neither preachy nor haughty. GREAT work by a good man! I hope to stay in touch.--scott
Scott Fausset 
I’m impressed by the clarity and understandability of your writing. I relearned a lot of BASIC information I used during my 35 years as an Administrative Assistant. I was very blessed to have several bosses that used your BASIC principles. They made my work environment enjoyable and rewarding. The information in your book is very pertinent and I pray many people read and use the knowledge they learn in all aspects of their lives. Thanks for putting these BASIC truths into writing.
Gwen Hampton-Braniecki 
Paul Heacock has written a cogent and concise discussion on the fundamentals of good leadership that will serve both as a great primer for young leaders developing their skills and a reminder to more seasoned leaders that such skills are not as complex as they sometimes seem - leadership is BASIC.
Tom Dials 
It is always valuable to reinforce the foundation from which you manage. Paul's book is a great handbook for doing that. I'll keep it nearby for an instant refresher!
George Zock 
I have known Paul a LONG time and have always been amazed at his detailed approach to everything he is involved in. Paul has captured key values to leadership qualities. It was good to be reminded again of how simple some of the strategies really are. Good reading for all especially those aspiring "new" leaders.
Kent Osborn 
Paul has compiled an invaluable, comprehensive collection of great ideas and rules of thumb about living a good life. BASIC Relationships and Leadership Strategies brings together proven leadership and management theories in one book. When these easy to understand principles are put into practice they can improve our relationships with the people who are important to us in our personal and professional lives.—Richard Kline, Executive Vice President (retired), Cameron Insurance Companies
Richard Kline 
Basic Relationship and Leadership Strategies is a simple, down to earth read, and power packed. It keeps you focused on what is important and how to handle the important which is basically relationships whether casual or working relationships. The applications that Paul presents can be used in every area of your life and they are simple to apply. A very enjoyable read.
Faye Otto 
Paul has written this book in a way that makes it easy to remember the BASIC strategies. The illustrations and personal experiences are what make this book enjoyable to read. I would highly recommend reading BASIC Relationship and Leadership Strategies.
Becky Turnbull 
Paul's managed to assemble some of the best practices in developing and maintaining healthy relationships. His style comes from a place of caring where everyone, regardless of a specific station life, will surely benefit from learning something new while recharging resident good habits. I'm thankful for his experiences and highly recommend this insightful read!
Samuel T Broomer 
I found this book to be a very interesting and quick read. The author has done an excellent job in presenting a comprehensive list of traits and skills that we all have, but for various reasons do not use them effectively. I know we can't 'teach old dogs new tricks' but the author certainly presented them and hopefully readers pick up on those unused and sealed away skills - Doug Lang - Vice President Human Resources (Ret.), Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada
Doug Lang 
An educational and entertaining read. Many of Paul's life experiences we can all relate to, and he ties them into valuable points we can use in our lives and businesses. Bob Cummings, CPA, RMMC CPA's
Bob Cummings  
This is a concise roadmap for any leadership team regardless of the field. A wonderful afternoon with my Deans and Vice-president as we prepared for strategic planning using this book.
Dr. Neil Nuttall 
Mr. Heacock’s book is subtitled “Commonsense Ideas on How to Get Along Better with the Important People in Your Life”. To me, this is the strength and driving force of the book.
While Mr. Heacock focuses on BASIC (Behavior & Balance; Anew; Situational; Watch the I; and Communication, Care and Commonsense), it is the truisms used as subheadings which bring the depth and understanding to those reading the book.
For example, “Be the Senior Partner in a Relationship” emphasizes the need to lead or be lead as well as to lead differently in each situation. Do we all know this? Certainly but we forget and let being consistent be the primary driver. The examples given highlight the importance of using all your management tools.
Mr. Heacock’s book is a wonderful refresher for those who have grown stale in their management duties but is equally beneficial to those new to leadership roles. Whether you use this solely for work situations or incorporate into everyday life, there is something to be learned.
Dianne Priest 
Basic Relationship and Leadership Strategies, is a great book and the author did an excellent job. I feel the title of the book was very appropriate as well. There are many areas of our life, that we need to find a way to get back to “The Basics”. This book was easy to read, simple, to the point and definitely an “eye-opener”. The author also shared some insight regarding his personal life, which I find interesting, as it’s always nice to know what’s really behind the author. In summary, it was great and I look forward to the release of his next book.
Deana Richardson 
Paul Heacock's "BASIC Relationship and Leadership Strategies" reminds readers of the importance of authentic and connected human interactions that should be at the center of any career. It is too easy in the heated environments of hyper-competitive fields to lose sight of the simple truths in Heacock's book that allow organizations, groups and teams to thrive. A self-described "commoner" -- not a typical description of someone with as many years of business success as he has -- Heacock shares his "common sense" guidance with humble generosity.
Dr. Janet S. Rose 


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