Why I'm Reading a Book I Didn't Plan to Read (and Talking About it With You)

Water Ripple

I walked past my husband's night stand. Usually it is covered with gadgets, receipts, cuff links. I keep moving. Usually.

But a few days ago this book caught my eye: Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality. I wasn't inclined to pick it up. I know what integrity is, don't I? I know when I have it and when I fail to have it. I certainly don't need to read a book that makes me feel guilty about the don't-have times.

Still. I am a sucker for a cool book cover, so I stopped and opened the book.

Since that moment I've been reading it every day. I love it.

It's not like I'm unfamiliar with some of the precepts. It's just the way Henry Cloud talks me through it all. I seem to be able to hear him. It could be the easy tone. The compassionate approach. The clear eye. Or the fact that it's framed in business terms with, surprisingly, a subtle spiritual touch. No matter. Last night I told my husband that I'm actually learning something from this book. Enough that I want to do a series on it.

I hope you'll join me for the next few weeks, and maybe we can learn together. Here's what Cloud promises...

You'll learn about the kind of character that:

1. creates and maintains trust
2. is able to see and face reality
3. works in a way that brings results
4. embraces negative realities and solves them
5. causes growth and increase
6. achieves transcendence and meaning in life

Cloud maintains that these traits "supercede gifts, talents, and ability," allowing the people who have these traits to succeed. People who don't have them often flatline, even though they may have started well.

Are you ready to hear a more nuanced definition of integrity? One that will help you succeed in business, and maybe even at church and home? I am. Let's see where Cloud takes us.

Ripple Photo by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger Madame Rubies said...

Ah, and it is my week to do Integrity Time at David's school. They learn about a different aspect of integrity each friday. This week, I will teach his class about kindness. It is fun to hear my 6 year old spout off the definition of integrity.

3:04 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Cool! :)

Interestingly enough, Cloud talks about how kindness or "niceness" isn't really what it takes to be perceived as a person of integrity. Not that it hurts, but he opens the definition far beyond how we usually think of it. I've been intrigued.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the book. (it's being added to my ever growing list of must reads for the next year or 5)

3:22 PM  
Blogger Jerry said...

Well, ok then...make room on the Cloud for me.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Karl Edwards said...

I love this book! I use it extensively in my coaching practice.

If you want to grow in self-awareness (the number one weakness of most leaders in this country in my opinion is lack of self-awareness), then Cloud will take you on a journey you will never forget.

Can't wait to hear what you think.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I am always interested in learning something new, and I always enjoy your take on things L.L.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

Love all of Cloud and Townsend books. They are the real deal. If you ever have the chance to go to their Ultimate Leadership week - it is AMAZING. :)

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl Smith said...

Looking forward to learning vicariously. Too much on the plate, and too many unread books as it is. Thought it is tempting. Love Cloud's stuff.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Have been reading Byron Katie's Loving What Is. She so gently points out such flawed, suffering-inducing ways of thinking, teaching how self-awareness and acceptance of reality can bring freedom and happiness. Good stuff. Will have to check out Cloud's book when I'm done with Katie.

11:08 PM  

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