Thought leadership in print

Constance is the author of High-Stakes Leadership: Leading through crisis with courage, judgment and fortitude, her first book published in September 2017.

Her follow-up, The Merger Mindset: How leaders get value from mergers, acquisitions and divestitures co-authored by Dr. Linda Henman, was released in the fall of 2018 by Taylor & Francis.



In Meta Leadership, Dierickx draws on a vast body of research from psychology and business to show how great leaders can think differently and improve their judgment, for stronger, more profitable results. Incorporating leading-edge data and research on the science of thinking, emotional regulation, and behavior, Meta Leadership offers fascinating stories, incisive insights, and useful takeaways for better leadership and better outcomes.

Dierickx reveals typical patterns of thinking and behavior that trip leaders up, and how you can avoid making potentially costly, sometimes disastrous, decisions. You’ll discover how, in split-second decisions, to effectively use a dose of uncertainty to counterbalance overconfidence; how to show courage without being reckless in a crisis; how to demonstrate that different situations call for different types of action; and more. You’ll learn how to be a better judge of other people to lead more effectively and empathetically. And just imagine what a 20-percent improvement in decisions on investments could be worth.

The Merger Mindset

This unique book helps decision-makers learn how to cope with the powerful undercurrents and interpersonal dynamics at play in the high-stakes realm of deals.

Never before has a book focused on the mindset leaders must have to make the right decisions and described the domains in which decisions are critical.

When you read The Merger Mindset, you will come away with tools to help you deepen your understanding of what it takes to make deals succeed.

  • See the whole without getting lost
  • Improve critical thinking
  • Make tough calls
  • Keep and attract your ideal customers
  • Avoid invisible traps
  • Evaluate your own mindset

“Constance Dierickx has produced an insightful, pragmatic book examining the human tendency to use black-and-white thinking, even when we shouldn’t. This book shines a needed light on leadership from the inside out.”

Dorie Clark

Wall Street Journal-bestselling author of The Long Game and executive education faculty at Duke University Fuqua School of Business

High-Stakes Leadership

Why are some leaders in high-stakes and crisis highly effective while others disappoint and some utterly fail? What is the difference?

Why are some able to not only survive but thrive, even in tumult?

High-stakes leadership has three critical aspects

  • Courage to make difficult decisions.
  • Judgment and discernment to distinguish information from falsehoods.
  • Fortitude to remain true to the mission.

High-stakes leadership does not require superhuman talent or unnatural powers. Indeed, failure to understand normal, human limitations is antithetical to good leadership under any circumstance.

“Constance Dierickx illustrates High-Stakes Leadership with stories of leaders who exemplify her key leadership qualities of courage, judgment, and fortitude. I’d add another quality to this list: Her leaders show a degree of grace that is uncommon in the business world. These examples, backed by research, show what makes a great leader during turbulent times’’.

Daniel Pink, author of Drive and To Sell is Human

The elements of high-stakes leadership enable leaders to perform well in a crisis. They also stand any leader, in any situation, in good stead. These qualities can be strengthened, taught and honed in those who have a thirst to learn.

This book shows how to use the lessons from research and practice to become a high-stakes leader. In so doing, leaders will realize just how high the stakes really are, even when they are in calm waters, perhaps the highest-stake belief of all.

“High-stakes leadership is the alchemy that creates that combination of smarts, guts, and courage that produce brilliance, a quality not in great abundance in business today.”

Alan Weiss, PhD

Author of Million Dollar Consulting, Lifestorming (with Marshall Goldsmith), and over 60 other books.

Here’s a deep dive into Constance’s first book, High-Stakes Leadership! She joins Jeff Brown on the Read to Lead Podcast to talk about it.

Read to Lead Podcast

#190: High-Stakes Leadership with Constance Dierickx

Learn why some leader are so effective when the stakes are high while others fall apart. Why some are able to not only survive, but to lead their organizations to new heights even in risky, fast-changing times. more


Constance’s merger and acquisition clients succeed 400% more often than the average.

Constance Dierickx was a college dropout when she joined Merrill Lynch as a stockbroker. Over several years she observed irrational decision-making, extreme overconfidence and a drive for short-term gain in both her clients and colleagues. Her curiosity about this led her to study psychology and decision-making.

After finishing her PhD in clinical psychology, where she focused on crisis intervention with individuals and organizations, she turned to consulting.

Constance has worked with organizations in over 20 countries on six continents in an array of industries.

Her impressive client list includes:

AT&T, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, IBM, Johnson Controls, NextGear Capital, Reckitt-Benckiser, Schnabel Engineering and Westinghouse.

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