If you are looking for a way to bring virtue to the workplace, without coming across as a “Holy Roller,” then Virtuous Leadership, by Alexandre Havard is the book for you! Right from the book’s introduction you learn that “leadership is character” (Introduction xi). Havard tells us that people obtain good character as a the result of perseverance toward personal excellence. So, how do we achieve personal excellence? We do so through the practice of virtue. Havard is a man after my own heart! He speaks my language; the language of virtue.
We perceive and interpret things through the lens of character. By strengthening our character – i.e., by growing in virtue – we improve our ability to deliberate in the light of reason (p. 70).
In Virtuous Leadership, the author deftly covers the major components of virtuous leadership; magnanimity and humility. Without these two virtues, interwoven into our daily lives, leadership would be hollow, and greatness would be non-existent. Yet, Havard does not stop there. He digs deeper, by telling us that magnanimity and humility alone will not bring one to the status of virtuous leader. One must also possess and practice the cardinal virtues: Prudence, Courage (Fortitude), Self-Control (Temperance) and Justice. Havard discusses each of these virtues in depth, helping the reader identify where to best employ them in the course of business and in life.
Havard also informs the reader about the science of virtues, (comprising the intellectual and ethical virtues). In addition, he discusses the moral profile of a leader, where a true leader deals with realism, and the immature leader resorts to skepticism. Havard offers many comparisons of mature, virtuous leadership, contrasted against immature leadership, throughout the book; peppered with stories and quotes of notable figures in history – all meant to guide the reader toward virtuous leadership.
Embrace Virtuous Leadership
Virtuous Leadership is easy to read and easy to understand. I consider this book a must read for anyone wanting to succeed in business and in life. In addition, I think this book would be a great resource for use in corporate training seminars. If you would like to get a copy for yourself, or a friend, click here.