Dr. Henry Cloud, a well-known clinical psychologist and leadership consultant, always gives practical, applicable guidance based both on experience and research. He continues to provide this type of information in Boundaries for Leaders: Results, Relationships, and Being Ridiculously in Charge.
Written for organizational leaders, Cloud challenges leaders to be “ridiculously in charge” by setting boundaries “that determine whether the vision and the people thrive or fail.” He defines a boundary as “a structure that determines what will exist and what will not.” A leader must step up and take complete responsibility about what will and what will not be allowed in an organization. He writes, “[A]s a leader, you always get what you create and what you allow.”
Cloud’s seven leadership boundaries are: help people’s brains work better; build the emotional climate that fuels performance, facilitate connections that boost people’s functioning; facilitate thinking patterns that drive results; focus on what behaviors shape results; build high-performance teams that achieve desired results; and lead yourself in a manner that drives and protects the vision.
As a leadership coach, I found Cloud’s last chapter on “Boundaries for Yourself” to be very helpful. He provides some great suggestions for self-leadership and personal development--being open to new insights and outside input, seeking feedback, embracing change and resisting fear.
The personal examples from his consulting help to clarify concepts and relieve the often repetitive and rather dense writing style. The basic ideas probably could have been communicated with fewer words and more examples.
Even though it is often a hard read, the book provides helpful leadership insights from an experienced and respected consultant that may be applied in a number of organizational settings for positive change and growth.
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