Leading With Soul

Leading with Soul

An Uncommon Journey of Spirit

By Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal
Reviewed by Uma Outka

If you’re like most networkers, the notion that corporate America can distort “success” into an unrewarding stress endurance test is axiomatic. You’ve probably wondered more than once why the people you know in corporate careers can’t seem to get it.

You’re not alone: authors Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal agree. Although Leading with Soul has nothing directly to do with networking, it is about the basic re-orientation that networking asks of its practitioners: away from a focus on the bottom line and toward a purpose that’s bigger than the dollar. Not to say that the bottom line isn’t happily ensconced in the networking culture; but a great many networkers consider it a verb, not a noun—more means than end.

Bolman and Deal have chosen the fable, rather than the more common how-to format, to get their message across. (For those of you who “grew up” on John Milton Fogg’s The Greatest Networker in the World, the style and approach of Leading with Soul is bound to feel like a homecoming.) They tell us the story of a business executive named Steve.

Despite the fact that he’s achieving success by traditional standards, Steve is plagued by the strong feeling that something is missing. In the course of the book, Steve slowly comes to understand how he can bring “soul” back into his life and work for his own sake, as well as for the betterment of those he comes in contact with. Some of the values he becomes implicitly aware of include: being present in the moment, appreciation of small things, and leadership as service.

Leading with Soul speaks with surprising facility to exactly what people tend most to fall in love with about network marketing: the genuine connections with others and the chance to put to rest the painful battle between your life and your living. If your commitment’s been flagging, or if your goals have gone from meaningful to ho-hum abstract, this book provides a gentle and refreshing reminder of the “big picture.”

Hardcover, 215 pages
$22.95; Jossey-Bass, Inc.