The Character Edge

🐞 🐞 🐞 🐞


Lt. General Robert L Caslen, Jr. & Dr. Michael D. Matthews

St. Martin’s Press

October 13, 2020

352 Pages

This is a thoughtful, insightful book on becoming a better leader and person. Character isn’t just something you have, it’s something you do.

According to Caslen and Matthews, there are 24 moral virtues grouped into 6 main groups:

  1. wisdom and knowledge (creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective)
  2. courage (bravery, persistence, integrity, zest)
  3. justice (teamwork, fairness, leadership)
  4. humanity (capacity to love, kindness, social intelligence)
  5. temperance (forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-regulation)
  6. transcendence (appreciation of beauty, gratitude, hope/optimism, humor, spirituality)

The authors talk more about each group in detail, using examples from their extensive military backgrounds to illustrate each leadership lesson. If you visit, you can take a Personality Strengths test that will tell you how much of each virtue you have. It’s an illuminating jumping off point. My top four virtues are honesty, perseverance, open-mindedness, and love of learning.

The second half of the book is very business organization-heavy. Lots of advice on how to manage people and avoid lapses in judgment. It’s interesting info but not really applicable to my life. I think business leaders could get a lot from it, though. And the rest of the book was still informative and helpful to me overall.

Thanks to Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC.

Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Stall

2 thoughts

    1. That’s how I feel, too. And I think we all use these leadership qualities in day-to-day life—even if we aren’t technically “business leaders.” So I still get something out of books like this, too. 🙂


Let's talk about it! Leave a comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s