Book Review: Courage. The backbone of leadership by Gus Lee

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities…because it is the quality which guarantees all others.- Winston Churchill

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Courage The Backbone of leadership by Gus Lee and Diane Elliott-Lee.  Using case studies from Whirlpool, Kaiser Permanente, and Worldcom among others Lee ably demonstrates why most corporate values (implicit or explicit) leave leaders in a dilemma and potentially allow for unethical acts and behaviors.
skyeteam leadership development book review

Lee demonstrates that courageous leaders are those that inspire their organizations to sustained success. He identifies three main causes of relationship crashes:

  1. Failure to honor and respect all
  2. Failure to encourage and support others
  3. Failure to challenge wrongs

So what is to be done? Lee outlines three high core values that will stand the test of time, even in the most tense situation these three values will simply become stronger:

  • Integrity
  • Courage
  • Character

These three values are more than the corporate posters that many organizations display and provide a solid, stable core from which ethical behavior stems.

I would highly recommend this book for leaders at all stages of their career.

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SkyeTeam is the brainchild of Morag Barrett (nee McLeod). Morag’s experience ranges from senior executive coaching to developing high impact teams across Europe, America and Asia. She is a highly effective speaker, trainer and executive coach. Morag draws from a deep and unique operational skill set. Her corporate career started in retail banking with Royal Bank of Scotland Group in the UK. With 15 years experience in the finance industry, Morag understands the challenges of running a business as well as the complexities of leading and managing the people that are part of that business. Prior to launching Skye in 2007, Morag was responsible for global leadership and executive development in a US Telecoms company. Since launching SkyeTeam she has had the opportunity to work with clients in a range of industries including: Healthcare, Telecoms, Mining, Manufacturing, Engineering, and Technology.

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