More Human Than Otherwise:
Living & Leading with Humility

What are the characteristics of a leader you would willingly follow?

More Human Than Otherwise is an invitation to reset the responsibilities of modern leadership from competence and certainty to connection and adaptability.

In a 30-year career in business and higher education, David Berry has worked with leaders at all levels of organizational life. He draws on his thousands of hours of classroom and one-on-one leadership interactions to frame an approach to leading and living that is rooted in humility.

This human-centered approach is grounded in:

  • Deep self-awareness
  • The cultivation of a dynamic feedback loop
  • A commitment to continuous learning.

More Human Than Otherwise is a field guide for becoming a leader that you would willingly follow.

“More Human Than Otherwise is not a theoretical exercise, but a down-to-earth, brutally honest and highly applicable guide to the leadership we need now. To write about successes and failures with this much transparency takes guts – and a healthy dose of humility. I wish this book had been written years ago and that I would have read it much earlier in my own journey.”

Henrik Esbensen, Ph.D., Co-founder & CTO, DreamStart Labs

“David Berry writes with the same humble character he promotes. Those who journey with him toward true reflection will find synchronicity between their living and their leadership, and a purer capacity to reside ‘in their own (true) words.’”

Frank Shushok, Jr., President , Roanoke College

More Human Than Otherwise will make you a better leader, but far more importantly, a better person. There are enough brilliant insights in these pages to fill dozens of books, I highly recommend it.”

Zach Hoopes, Operations Manager, Virginia Tech College of Business, 2017

“Most of us live in proximity to the idea of being human, touching the edges. Yet there is no journey more worthwhile. David Berry leads us with exceptional expertise, humor and a shared journey, to the high rewards of the remarkable potentiality that is so much closer than we imagine.”

Marlena Laping, Ph.D.

“Whether you’re an aspiring or a seasoned leader, David’s perspective, thoughtfulness, and incredibly well-crafted questions serve as a wise and kind guide in traversing the marriage of competence and humility in the ever-changing landscape of vocation.  David has and continues to travel the path of heart-centered leadership.  He offers it here in clear, valuable insight, inviting us into the deeper conversations we need to have with ourselves, and with others. I firmly believe that we are each looking for a companion and a witness, this book is both. I suggest it be kept close at hand.”

Dane Anthony, Spiritual Director and Facilitator for the Center of Courage & Renewal

“As a workplace researcher, I’ve witnessed the damage to people and performance that comes from ungrounded, ego-driven, leadership, and I’ve documented the incredible benefits that come when leaders are truly human, connected, authentic, and loving. David Berry shows us that humility is truly the way to this leadership. I recommend his book to all who seek to lead and to those who are guiding the leaders of tomorrow.”

Renée Smith, MSOD, Founder and CEO of A Human Workplace

“David Berry is a man with a mission. His clarion call to invite humanity into our organizations and communities is deeply compelling. He creates the wonderful distinction of connection AND competence as core leadership qualities that are profoundly useful to both emerging and experienced leaders. What does it take to be worthy of being followed? This book takes a well-worn topic and peels back the layers into the purity of the human experience. David makes a poetic case for this ‘new way’ of leadership – a connective approach that starts with humility. I was constantly pausing and reflecting as I read this thought-provoking and cogent book from an author who has made it his craft to agitate for a better way.”

Kevin Liebenberg, CEO, The Actuate Group

“David Berry has trained many young leaders, and, in his teaching, humility underpins the multidimensional approach he promotes. As he states, humility and connection are the catalysts for the next generation of leaders well poised to influence and guide members of an organization.”

Jim Hamerly, Ph.D., Advisory Board member to early-stage companies, former Dean of the College of Business at California State University, San Marcos

“More Human Than Otherwise describes the difference between someone in a leadership position and someone who is a true leader; someone with emotional transparency who honestly wants the best for you and others. Prepare to be challenged as you go through this short, yet impactful guide! You can expect to come out with a better understanding of what made the memorable leaders in your life stand out and what you can do to start on that path.”

Alfredo Aguirre Banderas, Financial Services Professional, CSUSM College of Business 2019

“David Berry has written a leadership book for our times as we slowly emerge into a post pandemic world. As a leadership educator and a passionate student of leadership all my life, this is exactly what I have been looking for at this time although it would have served us very well at any time. David draws on his vast experience as a leadership coach and a mentor of students and offers us lessons from his personal and professional life to become the kind of leaders that we would want to follow. In my role as a leadership educator, I have interviewed hundreds of leaders who talk about humility and leading from the heart. David’s book shows us the way with practical self-assessments and lessons that will enable each one of us to reach our fullest potential as leaders for the world in which the Great Resignation and Renegotiation has become a reality. It should be on every leader’s desk.”

Dr. Raj Pillai, Professor of Leadership and Executive Director, Center for Leadership and Mentorship Building (CLIMB), College of Business Administration, CSUSM

“In More Human Than Otherwise, David Berry has breathed fresh life into the often-challenging role of manager and leader.  With this new writing, David invites the reader to consider the frame of humility as being one closely tied to the ground and the mess of human life.  Not comfortable leaving the interested reader alone in the pursuit, he offers personal stories from his and others’ leadership journeys to exemplify the long view of leadership where connection is prized more than competence and the leader prioritizes the heart over the head. New leaders and early career professionals will find value in reading More Human as they set a strong foundation for their careers.”

Bennett Cherry, Ph.D., Professor of Management, College of Business Administration, CSUSM

More Human Than Otherwise explores leadership with a variety of lenses and an introspective approach. Not only do you learn about the author’s personal experiences and how it ties into leadership, but each chapter also provides a snapshot of additional insight from other professionals. This approach prompts the reader to reflect on one’s own encounters and examine what leadership qualities they tend to follow and want to possess themselves. Interesting read, highly recommend!”

Amanda Boudreault, Director of Research & Municipal Services, San Diego North Economic Development Council CSUSM College of Business, 2020

“David Berry gives developing leaders an introspective look into what the modern leader needs to succeed. His concept of humility from humiliation will help readers with turning their own failures into steppingstones to fulfill their aspirations.”

Parker Lunsford, CSUSM College of Business, 2022

“As schoolkids, most of us learn the wisdom from Alexander Pope that “to err is human.” And yet, as we grow into managers, leaders and executives, we seem to let this teaching leak out of our hearts. We’ve inherited a view of leadership that teaches us we somehow need to be infallible, flawless in our decision-making and perfect in our character. In his new book, David Berry asks us to consider leadership as growth – and growth isn’t linear. It comes in fits and starts, and often the setbacks and disappointments we experience are the most helpful teachers. More Human Than Otherwise is a call to have the courage to emerge into ourselves.”

Jeff Shuck, Founder & Co-CEO Plenty Consulting

A More Daring Life:
Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change

Within each of us, right now, is everything we need to thrive in the face of complexity and change. We just have to decide whether or not we are willing to do the work, whether or not we are willing to lead a more daring life.

In this collection, David Berry invites us to use his own emerging leadership story to imagine and inspire the evolution of our own. From getting lost in the woods, to gliding above the Pacific Ocean; from stumbling into Henry Kissinger to “interviewing” Bill Walton; from the tentative first steps of a new business to the fight to claim his own creative voice, David uses his own steps and mis-steps, and his evolving perspective along the way, to paint a compelling picture of the leadership we need now.

“A More Daring Life” is a call to deepen understanding, strengthen connection and commit to the exploration necessary to shake off the seduction of the status quo. It is a personal account of the bumpy ride that awaits all who choose to lead at the crossroads of change.

“A More Daring Life not only captures David’s passion to help others achieve, but also provides invaluable insights into leading change, challenging convention, and moving toward the unknown. This book paves the way to new thinking for driven leaders who aspire to make a difference in today’s dynamic world.”

David Abeles, CEO – TaylorMade Golf Co.

“David shares his own search for voice, and creates a map for others daring enough to do the same. Highly recommended.”

Jeff Shuck, CEO – Plenty Consulting

“David Berry possesses the unique ability to pull from life stories and experiences the big ideas and concepts that help leaders transform organizations into places of collaboration, fulfillment and innovation.”

Allen Carlisle, CEO – Padre Dam Municipal Water District