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Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude

Raymond M. Kethledge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has co-authored Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude.  Judge Kethledge and Michael S. Earwin penned this as a guide to the role of solitude in good leadership; they included profiles of historical and contemporary figures that have used solitude to lead.

In its review of the book, The Wall Street Journal addresses some of the authors’ findings:

What they are discovering, as Raymond M. Kethledge and Michael S. Erwin report in “Lead Yourself First,” is solitude, a vitally necessary but all too scarce commodity for organizational leaders. It’s scarce because, even more than the rest of us, leaders get bombarded 24/7 by attention-demanding memos, tweets, texts, emails, phone calls, videoconferences and hallway button-holings. It’s necessary because only with some alone-time can leaders hope to gain a “sense of control” over all that incoming information, as communications officer Jaya Vadlamudi tells the authors. Only by herself, she says, can she hope to “whittle” such stimuli down to the essentials and reach clarity. Or as the Schwab executive Peter Crawford puts it: Solitude makes it possible to engage in the mental equivalent of “stripping away all the cookies on a computer. Once they’re cleared, my mind works better.”

Read the full Wall Street Journal review (subscription required).

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