Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Boundaries for Leaders

Boundaries for Leaders is the second book on boundaries that I have read from Dr. Henry Cloud. Rather than focusing on our own individual boundaries, this book looks at leaders and the boundaries needed within leadership. Dr. Cloud examines seven leadership boundaries throughout the book, ranging from helping others focus on what is most important, to creating thought patterns that limit negativity and helplessness. Basically, Dr. Cloud asks leaders to understand that boundaries are structures that determine what is allowed to exist and what will not. Each leader needs to be aware of what they will accept within their organization and/or team of people, and what cannot be tolerated. These limits need to be addressed up front and need to be clear to all involved. The leader has to set the stage for everyone. A team needs clear limits to demonstrate where the boundaries are, so that there can be no question of what is acceptable. Leaders need to be willing to establish these structures and stand behind them. The leader sets these boundaries and they determine whether the vision and the people involved will thrive or fail. The leader needs to be willing to take this responsibility. Leaders have to be willing to assume the role of motivator. They determine whether their people are motivated or not. It is essential for leaders to understand that as a leader, they will always get what they create and what they allow. If something is not going the way a leader wants it to, then he needs to be willing to take responsibility for changing it. This book talks about ways the leader can move from vision to reality. A leader needs to establish the vision for the people, and then help provide support for them to make that vision a reality. Leaders need to invest in people, as they are the ones in charge of building an emotional climate. They are responsible for the overall context of their place of work. The book continues by explaining how to set boundaries and take responsibility for them. It gives details on things like nonverbal clues, a shared purpose, and ways to keep everyone aware of the boundaries and the vision of the team. The book is insightful and straight-forward. Dr. Cloud includes personal examples and stories that keep the reader's attention, while building on the role of the leader. The book includes personal questions to mull over about leadership styles and methods. It also gives practical step-by-step advice to help leaders build up the climate and vision of their company. Overall, I found the book easy to read and follow, and it motivated me to take responsibility for the leadership roles in my life. I would recommend this book to anyone who has any leadership role, whether big or small, in their workplace. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”