Review: Integrity by Dr. Henry Cloud

Down and Dirty: 4 out of 5

Sometimes a little long-winded, Dr. Cloud still offers very solid advice in a different more psychological approach to business.

Would you read it again? Yes I would, but given it was the second to last book on my list I’d say not very often. It’s not that Integrity isn’t a good book. It is. However Dr. Cloud has a way of melting my brain and making it difficult to completely absorb what he’s imparting.  This is a book probably far better read in small doses.

Regardless of that, Integrity has a lot of very good advice in it. You need to be able to be empathic and understand other people.  Not just listen but communicate that you’re listening and have put yourself in their position.  Integrity is about the make of a person’s character as it is suited to a task or job.  Much like how an engineer will consider several types of metal depending on the specs (speed, high temperatures, light weight, etc) the integrity of each optional material must be considered.

One has to keep themselves grounded in reality, able to see the Truth without getting too emotionally involved. The example given is a man who continually fires and rehires a new marketing firm because the sales aren’t increasing only to find out his product is of poor make and no one wants to buy it – good marketing or not.

Being able to control one’s emotions in the heat of things and consider the facts is important. Consider the one of a man who had been complained to about not offering enough benefits when he knew he was spending a lot more than other companies.  He could have just gotten angry. However, because he researched first, he found out that while he was paying more but wasn’t getting the best bang for his buck and the employees had been right too.

That leads into another important part of Integrity: Trust. Why? Because when the man got a much better benefits package for his employees he still had money left over which, despite the option of simply pocketing it into other budgets, he allocated to increase retirement benefits for the team.  The massive impact of this decision when explained to the team included: 1) They knew with confidence he would listen to them and take them seriously and 2) They knew he keeps their best interests at heart whether or not they’re watching over his shoulder. Talk about trust!

Finally, a personal favorite for me, Dr. Cloud talks about learning and constantly developing.  It’s ok to try things in one’s “Learning Mode” but you don’t really invest until you’ve gotten the information you need first. You should step out and do new things but as a logical progression of growing and developing into that new thing, rather than a wild leap.

There’s a ton more in this book including fully integrating and understanding there are some things that are bigger than us, but I’m just writing a review, not rewriting the whole book!

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