The Book

Building High Performance Cultures through Empathy


When Joe Ferreira took over at Nevada Donor Network, the company was in complete disarray. A regulatory review revealed substandard performance, underreporting, governance and accountability shortfalls, and no substantive plan for the future. What most would view as a lost cause, Joe viewed as an opportunity. Because what he saw wasn’t a fundamentally flawed organization founded on a bad idea. Rather a toxic company culture that reverberated throughout the organization.

Leadership made decisions that didn’t make sense to employees and offered little explanation. Indifference was pervasive, even though some employees believed in the mission of their Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), there was no support system in place for them to affect change. The workforce was completely adrift, with no goals, no understanding of how their roles played into the bigger picture, and what the overall company strategy was. In short, the organization had a transparency crisis.

It was leading this transformation—and a lifetime of overcoming obstacles—that led to Joe Ferreira writing Uncomfortable Inclusion. Always a leader who’s worn his emotions on his sleeve, Joe’s proven principles start with a people-centric perspective on high performance. Ferreira’s system of transparency, employee engagement, accountability, and inclusion announces an end to the siloed days of top-down, need-to-know leadership.

Ferreira’s brand of uncomfortable inclusion relies on deep transparency. Going beyond sharing KPIs and reviewing OKRs, Joe’s challenge to leaders is to make themselves uncomfortable with maximum inclusion of the team and their colleagues at all levels. It won’t be easy, but your employees should know exactly where the business stands, where it’s headed, what strategies will be involved in getting there, and how their role contributes to the company’s overall success. What’s more, they should have a voice in defining those critical objectives.

With an engaged workforce that feels heard, informed, and clear on their contributions, it’s possible to change the future of any organization and build a high performance culture at work and in life.

Uncomfortable Inclusion book cover

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