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Book Review – Boundaries for Leaders by Henry Cloud

June 17, 2013

bound4leaders cover

I read Dr Henry Cloud’s book Boundaries a few years ago and so was excited to see this title available for blog review.  My initial draft of this review was quite negative as the first nine chapters seem to be largely a restatement of Patrick Lencioni’s The Advantage (as well as previous Lencioni works). While there are interesting insights about the human brain functions that are not discussed significantly by Lencioni and additional stories that reinforce Cloud’s ideas (really Lencioni’s), it is not until chapter 10 that the book becomes unique and focuses on the topic. Certainly, Cloud’s perspective on applying boundaries intersects strongly with Lencioni’s principles, especially in regards to attending, inhibiting and working memory. Yet until chapter 10, it was frustratingly repetitive. (One can understand why Lencioni is one of the “jacket cover recommendations” included).

In chapter 10, Cloud addresses setting boundaries for yourself on outside inputs, thinking and fears, weaknesses, time and energy, and patterns. It is full of solid insights and practical examples and steps a person can take to set boundaries in these areas. The final conclusion is an inspirational challenge to be the kind of leader this book discusses.

For the leader who has read Lencioni’s books, this work will be a disappointment. However, for one who has never read Lencioni, Boundaries for Leaders  will be an excellent book that thoroughly covers significant leadership principles from that perspective and develops them within the larger framework of Cloud’s boundaries. In that vein, I would recommend the book highly.

I received this book free from the publisher through the 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.”

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