If you’re looking for a good book on leadership that’s easy to read and not too long, then Dr. Henry Cloud’s 9 Things A Leader Must Do is for you.  It’s written in a simple, straightforward manner, but manages to remain personal at the same time.  Dr. Cloud gives enough life stories to explain his point, but not too much.

I’ve always loved reading leadership books by John Maxwell, but sometimes his books are just too long and could not be really considered “light reading.”  Over the Holy Week break, I read Dr. Cloud’s book and liked it a lot.  I found myself relating to his 9 principles/things to do.

I’m sharing just a few insights I learned from this book.

On Handling Difficult People

  • Take responsibility for your own reactions and how you let difficult people get to you.  There is always a better way to react to a particular situation or person.
  • Manage your expectations.  This is so true! I always expect too much from myself and put the same expectations on others – hence I always get disappointed.
  • Do not depend on them for things they cannot give – approval, love and validation. This is related to the previous point.  I expect others to like me, love me, validate me, give me their approval.  But maybe they are not the people from whom I should be looking for these things.
On Achieving our Dreams
  • We can achieve big goals by taking small steps over time.  This is actually common sense, but many people still find this very hard to do.  Dr. Cloud explains why:  “Wanting it all right now keeps you from having any.”
  • Do not take any action without considering its future implications.  We need to see not just the good that may happen in the future, but also the bad so that we can prepare ahead.
Although the title says “9 Things A Leader Must Do,”  this book isn’t just for people who are in a leadership position already.  It’s for everyone who wants to take hold of their life and lead it in the direction they wish to.  After all, you don’t need to be “Senior Manager,” “Director,” or “Head” in order to be a leader.