The Book Designed to Change the Way You See Your Life

Year after year, the most frequent question Maria van Hekken gets asked is, “When are you going to write a book that takes people through your comprehensive system on leading with Your Extraordinary Story?”  Maria has spent the last 10  years testing  her concepts and crafting a book that answers this question and exceeds expectations.  The result is Leading with Y.E.S. It’s written in her inimitable personal style that makes the reader feel Maria is there with them offering encouraging ideas and advice.  Leading with Y.E.S. delivers a step-by step process to finding positive leader ship by uncovering and living your extraordinary story.  It’s a must for anyone who wants to lead well, love work and leave a lasting legacy.

2018 IPPY Award Medalist
Independent Publisher Book Awards

Maria Talks with Extraordinary Leaders

Hear Her Conversations

Maria is frequently invited to speak to leaders around the country about Leading with Y.E.S. She especially enjoys appearing on podcasts and is excited to share two of her favorites.

Finding Your Extraordinary Story
The Eblin Group

Scott Eblin speaks with Maria on how to articulate your story and the impact it has on your leadership along with practical advice on getting started.

Listen to Scott and Maria:

Scott Eblin
Scott Eblin
Maria van Hekken
Maria van Hekken

Leading with Y.E.S.
The Peter Bregman Leadership Podcast

Peter chats with Maria on the power of the many negative and positive stories we tell ourselves. And he gets Maria to share the essential steps to uncover your extraordinary story including her thoughts on the importance of thinking about your legacy.

Listen to Peter and Maria:

Peter Bregman
Peter Bregman
Maria van Hekken
Maria van Hekken

Insight from Maria

“Part of my extraordinary story is that I see very little difference between my work and life.  It all blends together in a comfortable synergy.  Everything I do inspires my coaching practice from having a comfortable office with  window on nature to being a loyal fan of the NBA.  I discover leadership lessons in the most surprising places.  My goal is to make a real difference by faithfully bringing passion, creativity and humor to coaching and to my life every day.”

What’s Your Extraordinary Story?

Maria Wants To Hear Your Story

Your Story

Your Story



What People Have to Say about Leading with Y.E.S.

  • “Transformative!  Leading with Y.E.S. takes us through a process of transformation. Maria draws on her decades of experience working with leaders to help us articulate the story we tell ourselves about the kind of leader — and person — we are. She then guides us, step by step, in discovering and living a new, more powerful and genuinely optimistic story that emerges from our old one like a flower growing from a seed."

    Bill Joiner, CEO of ChangeWise, co-author of Leadership Agility
  • “Every great leader has a great story… but so many still struggle to find theirs. This is leadership coaching in workbook form — a set of simple, powerful exercises that can help you identify and share your story."

    Adam Grant, Wharton professor and The New York Times bestselling author of Originals, Give and Take and Option B
  • “Maria is really on to something.  This is my story; this is my song.” Maria is masterful in showing you why it is important and how to do it. And she makes it easy. I will tell my story! Kudos to Y.E.S."

    Wendella Fox, Director, Office of Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education (Philadelphia)
  • “An inspiring and important work.  This wise, gentle and yet provocative book takes the reader through an examination of how the stories that we tell ourselves generate the reality in which we find ourselves. And then, with a sure hand and clear, thoughtful instructions, invites us to author a new story that opens us up to greater possibilities and a more meaningful and fulfilling experience of life.

    Striking just the right balance between challenge and support, and in a style that is both conversational and reassuring, Maria dares us to play a bigger game and shows us the path toward making that a reality. Leading with Y.E.S. is recommended to everyone who yearns to live an extraordinary story."

    Steve Heller, Program Director, Leadership Coaching Certificate Program, Institute for Transformational Leadership, Georgetown University
  • "Highly recommended.  The power of language is never more clearly evident than in the impact of leaders’ stories about themselves, their organizations and their future. Leading with Y.E.S. provides a practical roadmap for harnessing this power and optimizing real-world results."

    Chalmers Brothers, author of Language and the Pursuit of Happiness and Language and the Pursuit of Leadership Excellence
  • "Y.E.S. is for anyone who wants to grow.  Leading with Y.E.S. holds a very special place in leadership literature. It’s actionable. It helps you see with new eyes and act in new ways through its practical exercises and insights into how we change. After working with Maria’s Y.E.S., you will know yourself better, feel braver and see opportunities you didn’t know you had."

    Dr. Susanne Cook-Greuter, Cook-Greuter & Associates
  • "We think of ourselves in stories.  And whatever we do needs to fit those stories in some satisfying way. … Are you aware of how much your experience of life is impacted by the stories you tell? After reading this book, you will be.”

    From the Introduction by Peter Bregman
  • "Powerful stuff. Use it.  Leading with Y.E.S. works. I’ve used it. And I now think much bigger than ever before about my own leadership and my life. I’m thrilled to have brought it into my associations and my company."

    Laura C. Antal, Senior Manager, Office of Diversity, Sodexo
  • "An inspiring and important work.  This is a wise, gentle and yet provocative book … recommended to everyone who yearns to live an extraordinary story … Maria dares us to play a bigger game and shows us the path toward making that a reality."

    Steve Heller, Program Director, Leadership Coaching Certificate Program, Institute for Transformational Leadership, Georgetown University


Any Y.E.S.