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 into the psychology of leadership. In fact, he literally redefines the word in the process.
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.
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 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.”
It’s A Science!
Dr. Cloud, with his clinical psychology background, is well-qualified to leverage his expertise of human behavior, neuroscience, and business leadership.
In his book, he explains that leaders have a natural tendency to work without boundaries for themselves and their employees. The most effective leaders set those boundaries and hold themselves accountable for staying within them. The results are staggering.
It’s harder than it sounds, but the book doesn’t hold back on tips to accomplish it.
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 — ones that produce freedom without control.
What Not To Do
Boundaries for Leaders explicitly condemns cultures that promote negative stress, fear, or depression. Stress literally leads to a “fight or flight” response, neither of which is conducive to thinking. Conversely, in a positive environment, people are free to be productive and efficient.
Here at The Newsletter Pro, we’ve been reading Boundaries for Leaders and applying the knowledge within its pages to improve our own company. As we get bigger and more leadership positions open up, it’s important for all of our team members to know how to support the culture.
We highly recommend Boundaries for Leaders to any company or business owner looking to expand their leadership skills and improve company culture!