Dr. Henry Cloud is a clinical psychologist who focuses on leadership coaching, consulting and development, with an emphasis on strengthening executive teams, and focusing organizational cultures. This book on leadership brings the focus down to the ground. That is, it is not about mission, vision, and charisma; it is about how leadership effectiveness often occurs in the space between people, in the words said or left unsaid, and in the decision to move ahead or wait one more day for new insight. Cloud says that a boundary is a “structure that determines what will exist and what will not.” This volume is not written specifically for congregations or from a faith perspective. However, the ideas can easily be applied to congregational leadership. The book provides examples of creating positive workplace structures such as trust and accountability. One theme the book returns to is that you as a leader have control (and responsibility) over what you create and what you allow. The book will help you think about what is your responsibility as a leader, and what you need to help others own. The focus of the book is the role you play as steward of the day to day work of your congregation. This is not a book for one looking for ideas about setting strategic direction; it is a book for a lead pastor or for a congregational staff team to learn how to be responsible overseers of the leadership responsibilities they’ve been given. Its content keeps the subject of leadership focus on real day to day actions you can do something about. The alternative is to float too high in the atmosphere and lose track of where you are and where you are going.
Reviewed by Tim Shapiro