Leader’s love to learn new things. While it is a common phrase that I am sure you have heard before, I believe it is worth repeating, I know what kind of person you will be in 5 years based upon the books you are reading and the people you surround yourself with. Since this is a reality, we must understand that we don’t know what we don’t know. Therefore, to know something, we have to ingest it. There is no better way to ingest leadership materials than having a constant diet of reading good materials. For this reason, I would like to share with my readers from time to time books that I am reading or have read that have impacted me greatly in the arena of leadership. My hope is that you would pick the book up and read it and allow the content to impact you as significantly as it did me.
One such book that has recently impacted me is Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud. Dr. Cloud makes the assertion that “who a person is will ultimately determine if their brains, talents, competencies, energy, effort, deal-making abilities, and opportunities will succeed (Integrity, p. 8).” Who we are will ultimately determine what we do. Skill and competency can never replace character. We have all known individuals from time to time that have an incredible ability to generate excitement and cast vision, but at the end of the day we do not desire to work with them because we understand a simple truth – If vision is the target we aim for, character is the fuel that will get us there. Quite honestly, a grand vision without the integrity to achieve it causes more harm than good. Dr. Cloud identifies 6 dimensions of Character that are essential for leaders of integrity. These 6 characteristics are as follows 1) Establish Trust 2) Oriented Toward Truth 3) Get Results 4)Embrace the Negative 5) Oriented Toward Increase 6)Oriented Toward Transcendence. Each one of these characteristics are not only explained in detail, but they are also communicated in an effective way that leaves the reader feeling as though they have the knowledge and practical tools as to how to incorporate and start living these characteristics out in their lives immediately. I personally recommend this book for every leader! In my opinion it should be a book that is revisited frequently and readily accessible on the leaders bookshelf.