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

SkyeTeam Leadership Development Best Business Books

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

We are often asked what are the best business books that we have read. Here is our latest addition, 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.

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.