Lead Yourself First

Narrated by: Michael Quinlan
Length: 7 hrs and 11 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (228 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Throughout history, leaders have used solitude as a matter of course. Eisenhower wrote memoranda to himself during World War II as a way to think through complex problems. Martin Luther King found moral courage while sitting alone at his kitchen table one night during the Montgomery bus boycott. Jane Goodall used her intuition in the jungles of Central Africa while learning how to approach chimps. Solitude is a state of mind, a space where you can focus on your own thoughts without distraction, with a power to bring mind and soul together in clear-eyed conviction. Like a great wave that saturates everything in its path, however, handheld devices and other media now leave us awash with the thoughts of others. We are losing solitude without even realizing it.

To find solitude today, a leader must make a conscious effort. This book explains why the effort is worthwhile and how to make it. Through gripping historical accounts and firsthand interviews with a wide range of contemporary leaders, Raymond Kethledge (a federal court of appeals judge) and Michael Erwin (a West Pointer and three-tour combat veteran) show how solitude can enhance clarity, spur creativity, sustain emotional balance, and generate the moral courage necessary to overcome adversity and criticism. Anyone who leads anyone - including oneself - can benefit from solitude.

With a foreword by Jim Collins (author of the best seller Good to Great), Lead Yourself First is a rallying cry to reclaim solitude - and all the benefits, both practical and sublime, that come with it.

©2017 Raymond M. Kethledge, Michael S. Erwin (P)2017 Audible, Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Just not for me

RETURNED: for me, there’s too much extra content with each story. I would benefit most from a summary of this book.

3 people found this helpful

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A Must Listen For All Leaders

This is a powerful book about the importance of quieting the noise that surrounds us by finding time to stop, think and process before making crucial decisions. By sharing stories of a variety of real people - some famous, some not, the authors use artful story telling to give examples of how mindfulness lead to great moments. The last chapter also includes suggestions for real world applications. Whether you are a leader in business, politics, education, or your own family, this book will be a powerful tool!

2 people found this helpful

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Pertinent in the Age of COVID-19

This book has been on my to read list for a minute. Having worked with one of the authors, I've been able to observe Mike Erwin's style of leadership both up close and from a distance since 2012. Lead Yourself First was not only a great peek behind the curtain but also reinforced common traits among historical leaders regarding their use of solitude to build personal resiliency, empathy for others through reflection, and determination to accomplish the mission. In this moment of time, where we may be required to be physically distant from others, Lead Yourself First is a great primer for maximizing this moment in time to become the best version of ourselves.

1 person found this helpful

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The importance of solitude and powerful anecdotes

Describes the important of solitude for leaders to reflect and solve hard problem paired with powerful anecdotes regarding world leaders throughout time that used solitude to come to important history changing decisions.

1 person found this helpful

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Informative Read

Having been a part of several CEO round tables, I know that many leaders, particularly of small businesses, share similar problems. It's also apparent that those leaders make time for themselves, in various ways. This book underscores and rationalizes having time alone to 'work on the business, not in the business'. Not dissimilar to Stephen Covey's habit of 'sharpening the saw' and Cal Newport's ideas of/in 'Deep Work'. I'll encourage our senior management team to read/listen to this book.

1 person found this helpful

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A few salient points

A few salient points in this book, but nothing earth shattering or revolutionary. Can summarize the book by saying “leaders of all types need to make space for reflection.”

3 people found this helpful

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amazing

great insight on a simple task. many great leadership examples and how they applied these

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highly recommended

great listen, especially for leaders and managers trying to find an edge, break out of a rut, or finding a way where one doesn't seem to exist.

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Good Message

Good message but I feel some of the stories are drug out more than they needed to be.

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too many military stories

I learned more about what it takes to attack a village in Africa as compared to isolation and leadership. Too many over detailed stories about military.

3 people found this helpful