Book Report on a Leadership Textbook

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Brief information and Background of the Author

Professor Joseph Badaraco is a business ethics professor at the Harvard School and has taught courses in general management, business ethics, strategy, and business-government relations in the School’s executive programs and MBA. Badaracco is a graduate of Oxford University and Harvard Business School whereby in the former he was a Rhodes Scholar while in the latter, he earned his MBA and DBA.  Professor Joseph has taught in executive programs in Japan, US, and several other states. He also has Witten books such as Loading the Dice, The Knowledge Link, and he is also a co-author of “Leadership and the Quest for Integrity.”  The more recent books written by Badaracco include the Business Ethics, Defining Moments, and Questions of Character that is being examined in this paper. Those books have been translated into about ten languages.

Summary of the Major Points

The main focus of the author is the aspects that make up the character of effective leaders.  Throughout the book, Badaracco offers pieces of classic literature that provide an understanding into the issues of character faced by leaders.  He offers useful questions that can be used to evaluate the self-knowledge and develop character.  These questions revolve around eight main questions of character whereby then first are about having a good dream, the second is about the flexibility of the moral code, the third asks if your role models are unsettling, and the fourth is about care. The fifth questions inquire about resistance to the flow of success; the sixth is about readiness to take responsibility; the seventh one is about how well the leader can combine the principles and the last one concerns pragmatism.  All these are the questions that help to understand the way one can judge character whether it is one’s character or the other’s character.

From the book, a dream is a leader’s cause, and it stems from the hopes as well as the innermost aspirations of an individual, and the characteristics of these dreams are that they are about the journey and not the destination, healthy dreams grow, evolve, and change and good dreams are concerned about listening to others.  The other point is that the leaders should have moral codes that varied, complex, and subtle in light of the situations in which the leaders find themselves, ensuring that they understand them both personally and emotionally. The leaders also should; always look to people around them and try to learn from them, even if they may seem not to be doing much.  The leaders should also care very much about their work, ensuring that they get things right and help others to do the same.  Also, leadership is about responsibility, and it is not about money, title, rank or privileges.  The author uses the philosophy of reflection to evaluate one’s and others’ character traits so that he/she can serve themselves and others the best way possible.

Implications for Leadership in Health and Human`S Sciences

While Barco’s book is focused on leadership in schools, his questions and principles can be directly applicable in the health and human settings.  In my area of respiratory care, the reflection will be a useful practice that will help me in gaining insight on how to build my character and make sure that it resonates well with the healthcare values and principles. The author’s principles and questions can be helpful in advancing the theory and practice of health and then human services both in the area of work-based as well as in the work placed learning.  The questions of self-reflection that the author puts forth will help me to reflect upon my character and practice as I carry out the respiratory care services. That will help me to make sure that I do what is best for myself and also for the people to whom I am offering the healthcare services.

The area of human sciences and healthcare concerns the other people. Especially the area of respiratory care emphasizes on the patient and the improvement of all the aspects of the care for the individuals affected by the respiratory disease. Thus, taking good care of them would require applying the principles of the author.  Abiding by these principles and good character by the health care professional will help in offering the best care to the patients.  The points highlighted by the author will also help in the area of tailoring the services to the needs of the people being served.  The practitioners know the services they should provide, but they do not know exactly how they should provide them. Hence the author’s principles and questions will help these practitioners to understand how to go in offering those services to the relevant people to whom the services are intended.

Opinions or Reactions to the Book

The book is well informing regarding how one can not only become a leader but also how they can gain insight into and build a valuable character. The practitioners that engage in reflection, this book is a valuable tool that can assist in self-betterment. I believe that understanding oneself is one of the most important aspects that make one become a successful leader as he/she also maintains a strong relationship with the followers.  Without having that intimate relationship with the people one is leading, then it will be impossible for the person to become an effective leader.  Followers often want those leaders that are continually reflecting on their characters so as to serve themselves and other in the best way possible.  One of the important components of effective relationships with the followers is establishing trust. Badaracco analyzes crucial questions concerning character, and he emphasizes on the innermost self that can help one to make better judgments about others.

The test has helped me to a great deal of how to become a successful leader. I am sure if I focus on the points laid out by the leader; I can become a great leader and improve my practice to a great deal.  According to me, the major points highlighted by the author are correct because they are accompanied by evidence of the way they can help in making one to become a successful leader.  Even the way the eight questions are arranged, it is very excellent because one question leads to the other and that helps one to evolve step-by-step to greatness.  The points are however not grounded in a good theory and practice because they are just general points on how to develop one’s character as a leader.  The author borrows from many practices and theories, thus, he does not base it on a solid theory or practice.  Nevertheless, it is a good work that can serve as the basis for delving into understanding the complexity of character which in turn builds morality, promotes responsibility, and caring.

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