Thomas W. Leo
5.0 out of 5 stars
Review of: Becoming a LEADER of Character
Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2017
Review of: Becoming a LEADER of Character – 6 habits that Make or Break a Leader at Work and at Home.
By James L. Anderson West Point ‘56
Dave Anderson West Point ‘88
The authors recognize that there have already been a plethora of books on Leadership, so why write another one?
They have read many of the works that they refer to and acknowledge that what they have determined to be a crisis of leadership – we treat the symptoms of the problems in our culture while the disease continues to grow.
West Point has long been recognized as the crucible of leadership throughout the world and as such numerous works have been authored by graduates, each having different perspectives.
The authors postulate that what is missing is an emphasis on CHARACTER, an addition by a prior Superintendent at West Point – Lt. Gen(R) Dave Palmer - and immediately adopted into the lexicon.
Character is difficult to define – everyone has a different definition. The authors are of the opinion that our character starts with our thoughts, which influence our words, which leads us to our actions, which over time become our habits, which form our character.
They also venture into the subject of Management vs. Leadership, subjects that continue to confound the uninitiated. Leaders grow, lead people; Managers maintain processes and manage resources.
The authors are of the opinion that there are six habits of character that must be developed in order for a person to become a ‘Leader of Character’. They are: Courage Humility, Integrity, Selfness, Duty and Positivity.
The two graduates devote a section of their work to each of the ‘habits’, asking readers some difficult questions in order to get them thinking, and then let us have their own thoughts on the subject matter.
At the end of each character-chapter is a list of exercises – one need not go to the gym, these can be performed anywhere – designed to solidify the lesson, the information contained in that chapter.
There is also a link to the authors’ website where the reader can participate in a self-evaluation – the reviewer took it - to determine where improvement is needed.
This is an excellent, unique book, very highly recommended, almost a textbook but more of a guide, a very readable one which could almost be described as ‘homespun’ but that would be doing the authors a major disservice.
It is a ‘Must Read’ for anyone in a leadership position, or contemplating entering the arena.
The reviewer, Thomas W. Leo, CPP, is a Graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point.