Gibson Law Group - December 2017

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The Art of Saying No

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A New Look at Leadership

‘BOUNDARIES FOR LEADERS’ Redefining Leadership With

Have you been approaching leadership all wrong? Whether you’re an executive or an aspiring leader, Dr. Henry Cloud, author of the groundbreaking book “Boundaries for Leaders,” might have something to say about it. Marrying the fields of clinical psychology and leadership consulting, Dr. Cloud delves deep into the mind to find rich insights about the psychology of leadership. In fact, he literally redefines the word in the process. Redefining Leadership Dr. Cloud defines leadership as simply “the process of turning a vision into a reality.” Sounds simple, right? It’s also completely accurate. Whether your vision is a successful business or a successful family, you need leadership skills to achieve your goals. But you can’t do it alone. You need to achieve your dreams with people and through people. The most worthwhile dreams are only possible with the help of others who can take your ideas and make them actionable. Plus, they tend to make the journey more enjoyable if you hire the right people and set the right boundaries. That’s why leaders need to invest time and energy into creating teams and workplace cultures that support productivity while maintaining employee satisfaction. It doesn’t take a clinical psychologist to tell you that unhappy

people don’t stay productive for long. Without a sense of ownership — with you stepping over boundaries onto projects they should own for themselves — they won’t have that motivation. Believe it or not, you can maintain that culture while remaining, as Dr. Cloud puts it, “ridiculously in charge.”

What to Do The best leaders set boundaries that empower people and teams to reach goals, while rooting out bad behavior proactively. They have to do this in a way that works with people’s brain functions of attention, inhibition, and working memory. If you’ve never approached leadership from this psychological point of view, it’s a refreshing take that can work wonders on the efficiency and effectiveness of any team. Ultimately, the book encourages you to view leadership as creating the conditions that allow people to use their brains to realize visions in the absence of distraction. That means creating the right boundaries — boundaries that produce freedom without control.

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