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THE CHARACTER EDGE
Lt. General Robert L Caslen, Jr. & Dr. Michael D. Matthews
St. Martin’s Press
October 13, 2020
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:
- wisdom and knowledge (creativity, curiosity, open-mindedness, love of learning, perspective)
- courage (bravery, persistence, integrity, zest)
- justice (teamwork, fairness, leadership)
- humanity (capacity to love, kindness, social intelligence)
- temperance (forgiveness, humility, prudence, self-regulation)
- 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 authentichappiness.com, 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.