Book Review Page 52-53
Lead With Purpose
Giving Your Organization a Reason to Believe in Itself
by John Baldoni, AMACOM, New York, N.Y., 2011, 224 pp. with index, $23 hardcover
Constancy of purpose is a guiding beacon for all successful school districts. Putting it to work is a challenge every school administrator faces.
In Lead with Purpose: Giving Your Organization a Reason to Believe in Itself, leadership coach John Baldoni guides readers through the myriad ways organizations can excel by focusing on purpose. Interviews with leadership experts provide ideas on how to renew commitment and teamwork while improving direction and focus.
Most employees find their own sense of purpose from their work or does it fall to the leader to provide it? Much of the book is intended to be a practical guide for the development of people. It points to leveraging the inner strength of employees by instilling a feeling of purpose that is sometimes overlooked by busy administrators. Baldoni stresses the duty of leaders to inculcate commitment in the workplace as a way to harness the talents of their staff. Purpose drives the creativity necessary for high performance, but it is up to the leader to give life to this purpose through his or her own behaviors and actions, thus inspiring followership.
I found Lead with Purpose to be enlightening with a singular and important focus. It has an intellectual appeal while providing practical, time-honored ideas for leaders of any organization. Baldoni backs up the concepts with real-life examples from well-known sports, business and industry leaders as well as from the military. He makes vivid the advice and insights of these successful leaders translating their experiences into everyday teachings about the workplace.
Reviewed by Jeff Smith, superintendent, Balsz School District, Phoenix, Ariz.