Cloud (Boundaries) argues that the personal and interpersonal side of leadership is every bit as important as vision and execution. Leaders, he shows, set the stage and either propel or derail, and most of the time these issues have little to do with a leader’s business acumen and more to do with how they lead people and the culture they foster. To that end, Cloud puts forth the principles of boundaries—”[structures] that determine what will exist”—as a key component of effective leadership. He identifies seven leadership boundaries that make everything else work (or not) and shows how they set the tone and climate for performance. Leaders, Cloud suggests, are what they create and what they allow: the vision they invite, goals employees pursue, and behavior that is and isn’t allowed. Leaders set the agenda and make the rules and therefore own the culture and the boundaries, which includes allowing for employee brains to work. Cloud also considers leaders to be the gatekeepers of organizational thinking, stressing the connection between control and results. For all leaders who have had less-than-hoped-for outcomes, Cloud offers an insightful and fresh approach to managing people to get the desired results. Agent: Shannon Marven, Dupree Miller & Associates. (Apr.)
This review originally appeared on PublishersWeekly.com on Monday, February 25, 2013.