Order Now

You Belong Here

How to Make People Feel Safe to Be Their Best, Take Bold Risks, and Win

Mike Lipkin & Dr. Diane McIntosh

You Belong Here

“You Belong Here underscores the criticality of a sense of belonging and will prove to be a useful tool for leaders in creating environments where people feel safe and valued and, thus, are able to thrive and realize their full potential.”

DARREN ENTWISTLE, president and CEO, Telus

You Belong Here Book Cover

“A beautifully humane, accessible and practical set of considerations for bonding people when so many feel anxious and alone.”

Roger S. McIntyre
MD, FRCP, professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology, University of Toronto

“You Belong Here” is one of the greatest compliments we can receive. It means we are part of a community that celebrates us as one of their own.

In a peri-pandemic world filled with shocks and surprises, people need leaders who make them feel safe to be their best and take bold risks to win. Safety and risk are not opposites. They depend on each other. People will only swing for the fences if they know they will be rewarded for their courage.

In this trailblazing partnership between a renowned professional coach and an acclaimed psychiatrist, Mike Lipkin and Dr. Diane McIntosh take you on a step-by-step journey to becoming a Keeper of the Safety Flame—someone who creates belonging in a hybrid world, grows enriching relationships, owns their power, wins on the brink, and shows the way. You Belong Here will give you the neuroscience, the tools, and the strategies to create an environment where others flourish so you will too.

Until someone feels connected by a common bond or purpose, they won’t feel safe. They’ll be afraid of messing up and being embarrassed or humiliated, and all of their energy will go into preventing that from happening. It’s only when they feel part of the clan that they’ll be able to fully express their gifts and maximize their contribution.

Preview The Book Roadmap

Book Roadmap

Speak the language of “You Belong Here” (YBH). The language of YBH is the vocabulary of connection. It’s a direct route to rapport and personal harmony. It ladders you up through the 5 Levels of Belonging: Unwelcome. Discomfort. Tolerance. Acceptance. Belonging. In every interaction, your mission should be to move people to the level of Belonging.

There are 7 core components of YBH:

1. Make others feel welcome.

2. Listen with intention.

3. Be cognizant of the context of the conversation.

4. Be authentic, vulnerable, and self-effacing.

5. Build rapport by demonstrating your love of others.

6. Declare your absolute support for others-and follow through.

7. Work to avoid Microaggressions.


We are not judged by our feelings but by our actions. Develop your Multiple Personality Agility. Be the Keeper of The Safety Flame. Leadership is not a title – it’s a responsibility to each other.


There are 8 proven guidelines for creating belonging in a hybrid reality:

1. Repeat your raison d’etre relentlessly.

2. Commit to optimizing communication.

3. Be an authentic actor.

4. Master the technology.

5. Tell a great story.

6. Animate your style.

7. Listen like you’re all-in.

8. Recover quickly

Change your rules for Relatedness. Build the strength of weak ties.


The 6 rules for relationship health:

1. Treat yourself the way you want others to treat you.

2. Bring people joy.

3. Give much more than you receive.

4. Fight fair.

5. Clarify and contractualize mutual commitments.

6. Own everyone’s success but accept their failures.


Understand the art and neuroscience of conflict resolution. Ask: what’s the win here? Mike and Diane’s intentional steps to resolving conflict. Know that without the yin, the yang will crash and burn. 10 things that can help navigate the differences between men and women.

Accept that the only person you can control is you. Be brave. Make the invisible visible. Realize that you have a remarkable capacity for change. The good neuroplasticity versus bad neuroplasticity. Keep body and soul together. Inflammation is how the body heals itself, but chronic inflammation makes it sick. Remake your memories to enrich your future. Wow, I never thought of it that way before. Redefine your relationship to risk. Create your inner shield.


5 ways to create your own predictability:

1. Believe in your ability to surmount any difficulty.

2. Accept that you might need to endure temporary confusion or uncertainty.

3. Commit to finding new mental models to master the new realities.

4. Find people to support you through crises.

5. Build your strategy and then take action.

Understand that pressure is the price you pay for success. Feel scared and safe at the same time. Don’t beat yourself up, build yourself up. Failure is a sign that you’re winning. The road back from burnout. Accept that living on the brink is the cost of creating breakthroughs. We need others’ perspective and caring. Social support is critical. Recognize that stress attacks us all – even the champions. Pressure and panic are conjoined twins. 11 Stress relief techniques. Make others feel safe when you are scared. Drink the FGA (Forgiveness, Gratitude, Agency) Tonic. Know that trust is the most valuable thing you can give. Trust always means risk. Build belonging by being whole in a splintered reality. The naked you versus the dressed you. Silence isn’t golden – it can be toxic.


The 5 facets of Faithworthiness:

1. Live your code of values.

2. Be whole.

3. Be consistent across your roles and mediums of communication.

4. Say it, then do it.

5. Be in service to others.

Understand that resilience can be reproduced. Grief is the price we pay for love. Just own it. Make deposits into your and others’ health and well-being accounts. It’s not about chasing happiness, it’s about being happy while chasing. Build on Your Maturity Factor: be intentional. Build intentional relationships.


7 steps to building the future:

1. Focus on achieving the best outcome.

2. Map out the steps required to reach your destination.

3. Build your team.

4. Celebrate your wins – size doesn’t count.

5. Confront your negative thoughts.

6. Prepare for the breakdown.

7. Keep the faith. Ask where you’re going next.


The 3 fundamentals of planning:

1. Declare your purpose.

2. Declare your goals.

3. Declare your strategy.


Know that the ultimate safety zone is courageous creativity. Commit to the vision that you have of yourself. The Own- Your-Brain test. Every story has beginning, a middle, and an end.


“We want our readers to say within the first few pages, ‘Finally, here is a book that is going to help me, and my people, live our best life, whatever the circumstances. It’s going to help us create our future so we can achieve the dream.'” ~ Mike Lipkin and Dr Diane McIntosh.

“The phrase we most like to hear from others is, ‘I never thought of it that way.’ Sometimes a mere nuance can make a massive difference. Often all it takes is a slight shift in your direction to discover a whole new vista of opportunity.


That’s how we want you to read this book. Don’t agree immediately with what we say. Just don’t immediately disagree with it. Resist the temptation to state, ‘that’s impossible.’ Be open to the possibility that a single sentence can endow you with the superpower to change someone’s life, including your own. Ask yourself a simple question: ‘How can this insight help me give others exactly what they need in this moment – including myself?’


Every breakthrough has a gestation period. Sometimes it’s as short as a second and sometimes it can take almost forever. Take all the time you need. When the student is ready, the breakthrough happens. There is a reason why you’re reading this. Find it.

Just as a recipe has both ingredients and sequence, there is a specific flow to You Belong Here. Go with it. It’s a fast moving, accessible, practical read. It’s designed for people who don’t have time to read. We want you to ‘get it’ quickly and intuitively.


In every chapter, we assign you specific exercises to master each milestone. We call them “Quick Wins” because they are actions you can take as part of your everyday routine to expand your mastery. Stop and ponder each one. Then do something, even if it seems awkward or out of character with who you believe yourself to be. You’ll discover things about yourself that could redefine those beliefs. Every action is a deposit on the person you want to become.


There are mind-blowing stories and breakthroughs that await you in this book. You have to read them to believe them. Don’t worry if you’re ready. Don’t even worry about getting ready. Just get started. Let’s go.

What Readers Are Saying

“You Belong Here is a totally fresh take on how to create a culture of psychological safety that liberates people to fully express their talents.”

MD, chief energy and sustainability officer, Prologis

“Mike Lipkin and Dr. Diane McIntosh have pulled off a remarkable feat. They combine brain science with practical leadership techniques to create a breakthrough guide that will change the way you live and work.”

founder and managing partner, Maverix Private Equity

“You Belong Here expresses Mike Lipkin and Dr. Diane McIntosh’s best insights in ways that are immediately actionable— especially in the current environment.”

CEO, Canada Goose

“You Belong Here is a guide to a brighter future . . . one built on optimism, connection, and deliberate action.”

president, Speakers Spotlight Speakers Bureau

“Many of us operate below our potential, especially when we navigate higher degrees of uncertainty, insecurity, and fear. Mike and Diane inspire us to empower our people by making it safe to be bold. Great read and grounding!”

head, BMO Wealth Digitech Transformation, and president, BMO Investorline at BMO Financial Group

“You’ve heard of Good to Great? Well, consider this your Guide to Great: Great insights. Great writing. Great ideas. Great victories.”

author of Think. Do. Say. and Everyone’s an Artist

“Mike and Diane have written a book that expresses the core of leadership effectiveness: making it safe to be great. On top of it all, it’s a highly enjoyable read.”

CEO, Europe, DHL Express

“In a world that seems to be getting more dangerous and increasingly stressful, you wonder how to complete your projects and be a leader. Start with this collaboration between Canada’s coach Mike Lipkin and leading psychiatrist of depression Dr. Diane McIntosh. Their combined wisdom will show you how to feel safe to take risks and prevail in chaotic times.”

chairman, Environics Research Group

“Mike Lipkin and Dr. Diane McIntosh have taken it to the next level in You Belong Here. I’m inspired about creating my next breakthrough moment. After reading this book, you will be too.”

CPA, CA, CBV vice chair, Global Leader Valuations & Modeling, Deloitte LLP

“Through thought-provoking storytelling and insightful observations, this book takes readers on a journey of self-discovery.”

SVP and chief information officer, Corporate Business Technology at Johnson & Johnson

“Mike Lipkin and Dr. Diane McIntosh highlight the power of belonging and the resulting feeling of emotional safety in unblocking people’s potential . . . You can read this book to be a better leader, however, I’m certain reading it will help you be a better person.”

CEO, Hammond Power Solutions

“In a world where technology is creating increasing isolation, You Belong Here warms the heart and connects the reader with a renewed sense of belonging and purpose . . . This is a great book for leaders who want to empower their teams to make a positive impact on the world.”

president and CEO, WCD on-demand print and information solutions

“With Mike and Diane’s sincere encouragement and energy, the words ‘You Belong Here’ succinctly describe the many road signs on a fruitful journey to becoming worthy leaders . . . A wonderful read.”

president, Freson Bros.

“You Belong Here . . . is a great win for readers. Every chapter of this book checked each of my boxes, covering past experiences, present knowing, and future action. I was left completely inspired to make some new moves.”

founder and CEO, Introduction Capital

“The authors have masterfully laid out a detailed framework of why ‘You Belong Here’ (YBH). If a leader embraces the 7 Core Components of YBH, and utilizes them to their fullest, they will create a culture of safety and belonging, allowing people to do their best work and look out for others!”

general manager, WD-40 Company Canada

“This book was written for me and my team. . . The collaboration between Mike Lipkin and Dr. Diane McIntosh generously shares some of their personal and professional insights that helped me validate my own perspectives on key topics explored in the book . . . You Belong Here will be a reference for me as I continue my career and personal relationships.”

vice president, sales, Palliser Furniture Upholstery Ltd.


You Belong Here is available in multiple formats and is available from multiple sources.
Below are the recommended options.

Print / Digital Book

Purchase At Amazon

Kobo Book

Purchase At Kobo

Audio Book

Download Via Audible.com

Bulk Orders

Bulk Order Discounts



Mike Lipkin

Mike Lipkin is president of Environics/Lipkin, a global research and motivation company based in Toronto. He is also an international strategic coach, guide and Potentiator to leaders everywhere. His passion is creating breakthroughs with others by any means possible. He combines his personal experience of having talked to over a million people in 67 countries with his rigorous research on extraordinary performance. Mike was raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. He immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in 2001, where he now lives with his wife, Hilary. This is his eighth book.

Dr Diane McIntosh


Dr. McIntosh is a widely respected psychiatrist, author, educator, mental health advocate, and authority on the diagnosis and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to 25 years’ of direct experience providing psychiatric care to patients, Diane’s career-long focus has been on improving access to psychiatric knowledge and expertise through technology and education. She co-founded SwitchRx, an online psychotropic switching tool used by over 90,000 healthcare professionals worldwide, and PsychedUp, a continuing medical education program developed to encourage appropriate and rational prescribing of psychiatric medications. She is the author of This is Depression, a comprehensive and evidence-based guide to one of the most common psychiatric disorders. Diane is the Founder and CEO of an innovative mental health solution, RAPIDS, which was developed to support clinicians by providing them with rapid access to personalized, evidence-based psychiatric guidance. 

Start a conversation with mike

Talk to Mike about how he can empower you and your team to become Potentiators through his customized live keynotes, seminars and workshops.

33 Bloor Street East, Suite 1020
Toronto ON Canada M4W 3H1