An inspirational perspective on an unusual leadership style.

AWAKENING A LEADER’S SOUL

LEARNINGS FROM IMMORTAL POEMS

Bhalla (The Curse and the Cup, 2014, etc.), delivers a multilayered guide to “soulful leadership.”

The author, a self-described “globally recognized thinker-doer” who works as a consultant, speaker, and leadership coach, believes that people are living in a “VUCA” world: “Volatile,” “Uncertain,” “Complex,” and “Ambiguous.” The only way to navigate this new world is through soulful leadership, he says, which he defines as “a conscious desire to use power and resources to increase the well-being and prosperity of the greater many, not just the privileged few.” A soulful leader is the opposite of an egotistical leader, he notes, as the latter is identifiable by a tendency to disrupt and distract, an insistent need for rewards and recognition, poor listening skills, impatience, and an intolerance of dissent. In contrast, soulful leaders have substance, are authentic, and have a clear vision. “Soulful leaders are neither timid nor squeamish,” Bhalla says. They don’t exist in a bubble, however; they must extend their “orbit” to employees, customers, and to the planet. Bhalla illustrates the parameters of soulful leadership through fictional scenarios and real-life situations faced by leaders like Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela. Each essay also includes “Think About It,” “Talk About It,” and “Act on It” suggestions to put esoteric ideas into practice. Although Bhalla’s prose is precise, it can be textbook-dry; when discussing psychotherapist Alfred Adler’s theory on success, for example, he writes, “For him, success is a purely competitive concept, a fixation that robs moment-to-moment living of all joy, since living is deferred to some uncertain time in the future after the individual feels fulfilled by success.” The author’s approach to the theories’ applications, however, is more playful. For instance, the author intersperses poems among the essays, he says, because poetry taps into the soul “in a way that can’t be accomplished by merely appealing to the mind.” Regarding the Emily Dickinson poem “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” he writes about establishing an “ ‘I am a nobody’ culture in your own organization and workplace.” Forward-thinking organizations will find these concepts to be timely and useful.

An inspirational perspective on an unusual leadership style.

Pub Date: July 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62865-421-9

Page Count: -

Publisher: Motivational Press

Review Posted Online: Aug. 10, 2017

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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DEAR MR. HENSHAW

Possibly inspired by the letters Cleary has received as a children's author, this begins with second-grader Leigh Botts' misspelled fan letter to Mr. Henshaw, whose fictitious book itself derives from the old take-off title Forty Ways W. Amuse a Dog. Soon Leigh is in sixth grade and bombarding his still-favorite author with a list of questions to be answered and returned by "next Friday," the day his author report is due. Leigh is disgruntled when Mr. Henshaw's answer comes late, and accompanied by a set of questions for Leigh to answer. He threatens not to, but as "Mom keeps nagging me about your dumb old questions" he finally gets the job done—and through his answers Mr. Henshaw and readers learn that Leigh considers himself "the mediumest boy in school," that his parents have split up, and that he dreams of his truck-driver dad driving him to school "hauling a forty-foot reefer, which would make his outfit add up to eighteen wheels altogether. . . . I guess I wouldn't seem so medium then." Soon Mr. Henshaw recommends keeping a diary (at least partly to get Leigh off his own back) and so the real letters to Mr. Henshaw taper off, with "pretend," unmailed letters (the diary) taking over. . . until Leigh can write "I don't have to pretend to write to Mr. Henshaw anymore. I have learned to say what I think on a piece of paper." Meanwhile Mr. Henshaw offers writing tips, and Leigh, struggling with a story for a school contest, concludes "I think you're right. Maybe I am not ready to write a story." Instead he writes a "true story" about a truck haul with his father in Leigh's real past, and this wins praise from "a real live author" Leigh meets through the school program. Mr. Henshaw has also advised that "a character in a story should solve a problem or change in some way," a standard juvenile-fiction dictum which Cleary herself applies modestly by having Leigh solve his disappearing lunch problem with a burglar-alarmed lunch box—and, more seriously, come to recognize and accept that his father can't be counted on. All of this, in Leigh's simple words, is capably and unobtrusively structured as well as valid and realistic. From the writing tips to the divorced-kid blues, however, it tends to substitute prevailing wisdom for the little jolts of recognition that made the Ramona books so rewarding.

Pub Date: Aug. 22, 1983

ISBN: 143511096X

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1983

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