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Leading with Character: Stories of Valor and Virtue and the Principles They Teach

By: John J. Sosik;

2006 / Information Age Publishing / 9781607525752


What kind of character strengths must leaders develop in themselves and others to create and sustain extraordinary organizational growth and performance? The author, John J. Sosik, answers this question by reviewing what is known about the connection between authentic transformational leadership and positive psychology. He summarizes a wealth of leadership knowledge in a unique collection of captivating stories about 25 famous leaders from business, history and pop culture: Condoleezza Rice, John F. Kennedy, Maya Angelou, Bill Gates, Brian Wilson, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., Joe Namath, Pat Tillman, Mother Teresa, Lady Diana, Pope John Paul II, Shirley Chisholm, Governor James Hunt, Andy Griffith, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Warren Buffet, Andy Grove, Eleanor Roosevelt, Herb Kelleher, Anita Roddick, Johnny Cash, and Fred Rogers. What do these leaders have in common? Each possesses virtues of wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance, and transcendence and their associated character strengths that form the foundation of their outstanding leadership. Besides generating astonishing results for their organizations, these leaders reaped numerous physical, mental, social and spiritual benefits from their strong character. Their stories teach readers leadership principles that they too can apply to achieve sustainable growth and excellence. The author includes dozens of interesting examples, vivid anecdotes, and clear guidelines to offer readers an in-depth look at how character and virtue forms the moral fiber of authentic transformational leadership. Individuals currently in leadership positions as well as aspiring leaders will find the book's conversational style, fascinating stories, and practical guidelines both useful and inspiring.


  • Contents
  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Ch 1: Making the Case for Authentic Transformational Leadership
  • Ch 2: Authentic Transformational Leadership
  • Ch 3: Virtues and Character Strengths
  • Ch 4: Wisdom and Knowledge: Strengths for Stimulating Vision and Ideas
  • Ch 5: Courage: Strengths for Weaving Moral Fiber
  • Ch 6: Humanity: Strengths for Developing Others
  • Ch 7: Justice: Strengths for Role Modeling
  • Ch 8: Temperance: Strengths for Keeping the Ego in Check
  • Ch 9: Transcendence: Strengths for Inspiring Greatness
  • Ch 10: Reaching a Higher Level of Leadership and Prosperity
  • Ch 11: Leaders of Character Among Us
  • About the Author
  • Index