A Practical Compass for the Forward-Thinking Leader

Order the book



Leading Below the Surface is a prolific compass for the forward-thinking leader. Inspired by organizational culture research, social psychology, neuroscience, and the real-life experiences of culture leader LaTonya Wilkins, this book disrupts the way we think about traditional leadership to achieve truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures of belonging in the workplace. No matter what level of an organization you are in, you will gain something valuable for your career in this book.

Foreword by Amy Edmondson, Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School and author of The Fearless Organization.

Free Tools & Resources to Help You Lead Below the Surface

Leading Below the Surface™️ Assessment

Check out the Change Coaches LEAD Assessment™️. Learn more and sign up to access a free sample today!

Leading Below the Surface™️ Discussion Guide

Use these discussion questions to help delve deeper into below the surface principles within your book club, group, or organization.

Leading Below the Surface™️ Podcast

The Leading Below the Surface Podcast is a leadership development podcast produced by Change Coaches. In this podcast, LaTonya goes beyond the book to provide perspective and tips to apply REAL leadership, empathy, and psychological safety into your daily lives so you can continue to improve relationships across differences. 

Below the Surface™️ 30-Day Leadership Challenge

This email-based challenge is designed to help you dig into what it means to lead below the surface. Upon successful completion of this challenge, you will be on your way to incorporating below the surface habits into your day-to-day work and life.

As Seen In....


What You Will Learn

Senior Leaders

You will learn how to create true cultures of belonging by leading below the surface and through building real relationships with people who are different from you. Think of it as DEI 2.0. We all want to get there.

Individual Contributors

You will learn how to advance your career while remaining authentic to who you are. You will also learn new ways to influence real personal and professional belonging in the workplace.


You will learn how to make meaningful shifts to foster real belonging within your teams.

HR, DEI Leaders, and Other Related Professionals

You will learn how to create real cultures of belonging so you can take all of your DEI efforts to the next level.

Below the Surface Leadership is a radically inclusive leadership archetype focused on replacing the toxic “surface-ness” of traditional corporate culture with cultures of belonging.

LaTonya speaks on Below the Surface Leadership at universities, corporations, and other organizations around the world.

About LaTonya

Founder of Change Coaches and author of Leading Below the Surface: How to Build Real (and Psychologically Safe) Relationships with People Who Are Different from You, LaTonya Wilkins specializes in coaching executives on leading “below the surface” to build psychologically safe relationships with their teams across differences. She is a sought-after coach and keynote speaker who has inspired audiences all over the world. Founder of Change Coaches and best-selling Author of Leading Below the Surface, LaTonya Wilkins coaches CEOs, senior executives, and teams around the world. Global leaders typically call LaTonya when they are facing the following challenges: creating psychologically safe teams, improving connections across differences, effectively coaching their team to create accountability and trust, and building sustainable cultures of belonging. 

LaTonya has coached leaders at many well-known companies including Google, Target, The New York Times, and several nonprofits. She built her career working in HR, talent management, and learning & development at Fortune 500 companies before teaching and taking on progressive leadership roles at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business. LaTonya has been recognized as an “excellent” teacher by her undergraduate and graduate business students. She is on the board (having previously served as the President) of the True Star Youth Foundation, which is a digital marketing social entrepreneurship company that recently received a Google Impact Award. LaTonya was also a member of the Advisory Board at Women of Color in the Workplace. LaTonya’s book Leading Below the Surface was named a top-10 book for executive leaders by seniorexecutive.com and a top psychological safety book of 2023 by Book Riot.

LaTonya has been featured in publications such as Fast Company, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, Well+Good, and Inc Magazine, and was named a LinkedIn Top Voice in 2024.  She is also currently an Adjunct MBA Lecturer for the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Change Coaches is a team of leadership development professionals who embody the principles written about by founder and CEO LaTonya Wilkins in Leading Below the Surface: REAL leadership, empathetic listening, and psychological safety. LaTonya and her team at Change Coaches are similarly committed to changing workplace culture at its core. 


A Note from LaTonya

I wrote this book as a self-coaching tool to share these revolutionary principles with underrepresented individuals and established leaders alike in all types of organizations, large and small. I am proud to see Leading Below the Surface being used to change leadership in business, non-profits, and higher education all while it’s being included on several top leadership book lists. I know it will create revolutionary change for you as well.