Book Review: Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud

If you are a leader, you have to love a book that offers the opportunity to be “ridiculously in charge.” Turns out that Boundaries for Leaders by Dr. Henry Cloud not only offers a great opportunity, but a great read with practical principles for enhancing one’s leadership.

The mantra for the book is: “You get what you create and what you accept.” That was a wake up call for me. I recognized the power of what one creates, I had underestimated the impact of what you accept. A leader is either building or allowing the culture he has.

The temptation for task oriented leaders is to pursue the plan. Henry provides a good balance with the reminder it’s also about the people. Results and relationships are more interrelated than most leaders would like to admit.

Boundaries for Leaders provides wise guidance for navigating and leveraging results and relationships, and all the while inviting leaders to be ridiculously in charge.

Throughout the book Henry deals with 7 boundaries that leaders need to do well to fulfill the vision and to be a place where people thrive. These 7 boundaries are:

1. Help people’s brains work better.

2. Build the emotional climate that fuels performance.

3. Facilitate connections that boost people’s functioning.

4. Facilitate thinking patterns that drive results.

5. Focus on what behaviors shape results.

6. Build high performance teams that achieve desired results.

7. Help you lead yourself in a manner that drives and protects the vision.

I had heard of the fight or flight response, but Henry showed there is a third option that people follow in overwhelming stress — they simply freeze. They do nothing. In some ways, the brain shuts down in taking any action, what he calls a “lizard brain”.

Boundaries for Leaders gave me some tools for dealing with leadership issues like developing language, building trust, and setting boundaries that not only achieve results but build relationships.

I give Boundaries for Leaders 5 out of 5 stars. I appreciated the insights Henry provided, even more as I read I realized I need to know this (and so do others). My thanks to Booksneeze for a free copy to review. I wasn’t required to give a positive review, I simply found the book to provide some needed tools in my leadership tool box.


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