Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Good Life

If you're looking for a last minute Christmas gift (I believe Amazon can still deliver in time) for someone trying to climb their way up the leadership ladder whether it be in politics, sports, or business, you should consider Alexandre Havard's Virtuous Leadership: An Agenda for Personal Excellence. It's not about winning friends and influencing people. Or effective habits or fromage rearranging or whatever the latest and greatest leadership fad of 2008 is. Instead, Havard harkens back to the traditional virtues that he believes are essential to leadership and personal development:

Virtuous Leadership defines each of the classical human virtues most essential to leadership magnanimity, humility, prudence, courage, self-control and justice. It demonstrates how these virtues promote personal transformation and the attainment of self-fulfillment. It also considers the Christian supernatural virtues of faith, hope and charity without which no study of leadership can be complete. The book's final section, "Towards Victory", offers a methodology for the achievement of interior growth tailored to the needs of busy, professional people intent on imbuing their lives with a transcendent purpose. Thus, the aim of Virtuous Leadership is ultimately practical. It is meant to be your guidebook in the quest for moral excellence.

Even if you're not aiming for anything higher than life than simply being a good person of moral integrity, Virtuous Leadership is worth a read. Havard sites examples throughout history of people who have lived lives that exemplified such leadership. It's not everyday that you come across a book that is meaningful for your work, religious, and personal lives and Virtuous Leadership is just such a rare gem.


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