Integrity. It is more than simple honesty. It's the key to success. A person with integrity has the -- often rare -- ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances.
Drawing on experiences from his work with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and individual leaders, Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist and nationally syndicated radio host, shows how our character can keep us from achieving all we want to (or could) be.
In Integrity, Dr. Cloud explores the six qualities of character that define integrity. He uses stories from well-known business leaders like Michael Dell and sports figures like Tiger Woods to illustrate each of these qualities. He shows us how people with integrity:
*Are able to connect with others and build trust
*Are oriented toward reality
*Embrace the negative
*Are oriented toward increase
*Have an understanding of the transcendent
Success is not related to only talent or brains. There are a lot of bright, talented people who are never successful. And the most successful are not only the ones with the most talent. The real factor, Cloud demonstrates, is the makeup of the person. All of us can grow in the kinds of real character that bring about fruitful relationships and achievement of purpose, mission, and goals. Integrity is not something that you either have or don't, but instead is an exciting growth path that all of us can engage in and enjoy.
For Cloud, an author, clinical psychologist and corporate consultant, integrity is more than just a person's ethics and morals. The French and Latin meanings of the word hint at its origins, "that the whole thing is working well, undivided, integrated, intact and uncorrupted." Achieving this "wholeness" requires the development of six character traits (creates trust, unafraid of reality, results-oriented, solves "negative realities," causes growth and finds meaning in life) which Cloud examines in great detail, using business stories like Proctor and Gamble's success in China and the experiences of his CEO friends and clients. What each of his stories has in common is how success, often wild success across multiple fields, is fueled by openness, honesty to one's self and to others and "true trust," which is borne out of someone's goodness not being "dependent on anything." Cloud's conversational writing style makes for an easy read, and much of his advice is sound if not groundbreaking, but some aphorisms come off as hokey. ("Things never work. When they don't, that is the time to make them work. Then, if you do, they work," or "Character = the ability to meet the demands of reality," which is not to be confused with integrity, the courage to meet those same demands.) This book is not for the person seeking a quick-fix; Cloud's breed of integrity is a lifestyle choice.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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May 31, 2009
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