Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude

Raymond M. Kethledge and Michael S. Erwin. Bloomsbury, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-1-63286-631-8
This thoughtful self-improvement guide from Kethledge, a Sixth Circuit judge, and Erwin, founder of the nonprofit Positivity Project, is a must-read for leaders who take their leadership roles seriously. It is a book to digest slowly, a powerful narrative without the usual “follow these steps” construction, though the authors do include a few specific suggestions at the conclusion. The premise, per the title, is that solitude enhances the qualities most important in an effective leader. And yes, the authors do (briefly) discuss the now-familiar question of how to find solitude in our era of information overload. They describe many essential characteristics found in effective leaders, including creativity, “emotional balance,” humility, magnanimity, and moral courage. The authors provide examples of great leaders—from famous historical figures (e.g., Eisenhower and Marie Curie) to admired contemporaries (e.g., Jane Goodall and Doug Conant, formerly president and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company)—to effectively illustrate their points. In addition, the authors discuss perspective, gratitude, meditation, and the role of extreme adversity. This book is a rare gem, offering an optimistic message that there remain powerful leaders intent on being courageous and moral, and on finding “transcendent meaning” in their vocation. (June)
Reviewed on: 03/06/2017
Release date: 06/13/2017
Hardcover - 978-1-63286-633-2
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