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The 9 Virtues
of Exceptional Leaders

Everyone has the inborn capacity to lead – you just need to unlock that potential. Learn how to build on your natural ability to become the leader you were meant to be.

Visit the authors’ website for more information, excerpts, reviews, the 9 Virtues blog, and to purchase your copy of the book.
 

Author's Website

Book Overview

 

Effective leaders are not simply people who know a lot about good leadership; they are people who practice it every day. The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential offers guidance from leadership expert Dr. Karl Haden and noted education writer Rob Jenkins.

Everyone has the inborn capacity to lead – it is only a matter of unlocking that potential. This book enables you to do just that, building on your natural ability and nurturing your leadership habits through specific behaviors.

Please visit the 9 Virtues website for more details, excerpts, podcast, reviews, the 9 Virtues blog, ordering information, and more.

 
 

 

 

“In the end, we lead who we are and this pragmatic guidance will be a boon to anyone interested in becoming a fully human leader who can bring out the best in others. Neither abstract theory nor a simplistic "recipe" for success, this book provides clear behavioral descriptions and practical exercises for developing the habitual practice of the Nine Virtues essential for effective leadership. A book for rereading, reflecting, and gifting to aspiring leaders.”

Carol A. Aschenbrener, M.D., Former Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, Association of American Medical Colleges


The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders is a superb book for those of us who aspire to be better leaders. The authors very clearly lay out their view on what it takes to be a virtuous leader, complete with very detailed references for further consideration. It is always helpful to have a "roadmap" on how to get where you want to be. This book offers up a well-defined approach. I recommend that folks read this book, and follow the ideas presented. You'll be glad you did.”

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch, US Army (Retired)


“People seek positions of leadership for a variety of reasons; sometimes they don't pursue leadership but assume it when a need arises. In any case, people are often unprepared for its complexities and can end up damaging the department or organization they are leading and the organization's people—including the leader. It is important for people who are leaders or who aspire to be in a position of leadership to think deeply about leadership and to learn and practice leadership skills. While several authors have written about leadership and the competencies and skills required to be successful, none is as fundamental as The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders. Jenkins and Haden have described what is most important in any human interaction: virtue. I highly recommend The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders: Unlocking Your Leadership Potential to leaders and aspiring leaders at all levels in any organization.”

George R. Boggs, Ph.D., Duquesne University, Mylan School of Pharmacy


“Karl Haden and Rob Jenkins have written a wonderfully motivating book for people in all settings: business, home, school or community. I love the suggestions on how to develop each virtue at the end of the chapters. That changes this from a "just-read-me" book to a "read-and-practice-to-learn" experience. We've included The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders as a new resource in our international business etiquette and image development programs.”

Laura Cotton, Managing Director, Pearl Strategies, Ltd.


“I can't put it down. The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders is a lively text…on virtuous leadership that is both accessible and engaging (quite the page turner) and yet provides all the fodder and support that makes it an exceptional academic read and resource.

Within the first twenty words of Chapter 1, readers will notice the unique approach to the leadership conversation authors Haden and Jenkins invite us to in 9 Virtues. It is peppered with a plethora of metaphors, analogies, and quotes. Every reader will find something to relate to among the authors' images, examples, and ideas and therefore will feel worthy of inclusion and ready to partake in this conversation on leadership. Readers who haven't yet recognized their leadership potential, those who aspire to be leaders, those who are new to leadership, and those who are seasoned will find gems among the pages of this treasure.

Early in the discussion, the authors introduce us to self-awareness' importance to the development of each of the nine leadership virtues. Allowing for the natural leadership potential in all of us, albeit at different levels, the importance of self-awareness needs to be nurtured to develop leadership to its greater potential. Each virtue has a chapter devoted to understanding its meaning and dynamics. This is followed by invaluable exercises to practice as a means needed to nurture the natural potential in all of us. Of course, the outcome of practice has been taught to us from childhood: "Practice makes perfect."

Most important for the leader is to appear natural, comfortable, and knowledgeable. This indeed is the result of behaviors intentionally practiced to become habits. The authors have been masterful in demonstrating this, for example, in Chapter 5, Humility. They engaged the reader by meeting her where she lives, using common terms, identifying its component parts--listening, being teachable, empathy, selflessness, putting others first, service, and it's not about you. Then each was given specific steps to practice to begin the habit formation process. Key to success is recognizing the import of emotional intelligence in the process.

Haden and Jenkins support the reader's learning by using common language and by recounting, summarizing, and previewing new ideas from the beginning of the book to its end. Rarely, if at all, does a leadership text provide explicit exercise direction on how to develop a skill or talent. This is an outstanding strength of The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders, in addition to the attractiveness of a leadership text that is accessible, engaging, and well written.”

Jacquelyn Belcher, J.D., Former President of Georgia Perimeter College and the Board Chair of the American Association of Community Colleges


“Karl Haden and Rob Jenkins have written a highly important book that contributes to, and furthers our understanding of leadership in a unique, thoughtful, provocative, and clearly written manner. While the shelves are full of books describing the techniques that leaders use in the name of effectiveness, Haden and Jenkins seek to describe the foundation of effective leadership. The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders builds on Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Jim Collins's Good to Great, and other books which have sought to describe the principles of effectiveness in leadership.

The premise of The 9 Virtues is that virtuous leadership is a habit. Quoting Aristotle, they point out, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence (or virtue) is then not an act, but a habit." While the Nine Virtues can be discussed individually – humility, honesty, courage, perseverance, hope, charity, balance, wisdom and justice – the truly virtuous leader practices each of the virtues in all aspects of their life at all times. From the chapter, "The Virtuous Leader", they state, "Courage without charity is merely ruthlessness, just as wisdom without humility is arrogance, perseverance without hope is fanaticism, and honesty without justice is cruelty. An individual who appears to display one virtue—or even several of them—without displaying them all, in the end, really has none of them. That person is not virtuous, whatever redeeming qualities he or she may possess."

In their discussion, Haden and Jenkins draw upon philosophy, personal anecdote, collective wisdom, and strong examples of virtuous leaders. For example, Martin Luther King's "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" effectively illustrates the virtue of humility and Viktor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning helps provide depth to the discussion of balance (and other virtues). Each of the chapter's discussion of the Nine Virtues concludes with recommendations on how to practice that specific virtue in order to bring it to the level of habit.

In conclusion, The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders contributes to, and expands upon, the conversation of effective leadership by highlighting the habits – virtues – that lie at the core of effective leadership. This is not a "how to" book; rather, it is a deep, yet accessible, exploration of the DNA of leadership – the factors that truly separate the leader from the pretender.”


Hershey S. Bell, M.D., M.S., FAAFP, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, School of Pharmacy


“The value of leadership in all realms of civilized society is becoming ever more critical. Haden and Jenkins will make you rethink the essentials of being a leader. Their book guides you on a journey of self-discovery as you learn to practice each of the Nine Virtues.”

Richard W. Valachovic, D.M.D., M.P.H., President and CEO, American Dental Education Association


N. Karl Haden

Ph.D.

President & CEO

Rob Jenkins

M.A.

Senior Fellow

CLOSE

 

Imagine if all your leaders — from first-line supervisors to senior-level executives — had the opportunity to learn the life-changing principles revealed in this book. What kind of difference would that make in the daily operation and long-term success of your organization? The Academy for Academic Leadership (AAL) offers a broad spectrum of virtues-based development options tailored to meet your specific needs.

AAL began in 2005 with a focus on higher education, but has since expanded to work with for-profit companies as well as not-for-profits. AAL's highly qualified experts come from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, and are ready to help your organization unlock its leadership potential. We specialize in empowering current as well as aspiring leaders to grow and develop professionally and personally.

Below are some of the popular options for virtues-based development. Please keep in mind that AAL also can customize a program especially for your organization.

 

AAL also offers its three-day executive leadership program in a relaxing retreat location. This program is aimed specifically at upper-level organizational leaders and is open to executives from any organization, although the number of participants is limited to ensure intensive attention to each person's development goals. In addition to the curriculum outlined in the first bullet above, attendees (and their guests, if they desire) will have the opportunity to socialize, play golf, hike, or visit some of the area's other attractions.
AAL also offers its three-day executive leadership program in a relaxing retreat location. This program is aimed specifically at upper-level organizational leaders and is open to executives from any organization, although the number of participants is limited to ensure intensive attention to each person's development goals. In addition to the curriculum outlined in the first bullet above, attendees (and their guests, if they desire) will have the opportunity to socialize, play golf, hike, or visit some of the area's other attractions.
To best serve its clients, AAL also offers the three-day leadership program in the executive retreat format for individual organizations, at an offsite location of their choosing. The organization, in this case, will choose how many people may attend, restricted only by the site selected and the availability of accommodations.
This experience is designed to accomplish some of the goals of the three-day program in a shorter time frame. Though the presenters will not be able to go into as much depth, the full-day program will take attendees well beyond the book to a deeper understanding of the 9 Virtues, showing them how they can develop the Virtues and incorporate them into their daily lives as leaders. Attendees will receive a copy of the book in advance.
The half-day program is designed to introduce organizational leaders to the fundamentals of virtues-based leadership. It will cover the 9 Virtues, the importance of lifelong learning, and the leader's role in promoting a virtuous organizational culture. This program is designed for upper-level managers, to introduce them to concepts they may wish AAL to share with the rest of their organization later, in a full-day or three-day training. Attendees will receive a copy of the book on the day of the session.
An AAL consultant will come to your site and deliver a 60-90 minute presentation on the 9 Virtues and related concepts from the book. This option is ideal for organizations that wish to incorporate virtues-based leadership development into a larger program, such as a staff development day. Books can be purchased at a discount for attendees prior to the event, or they can be made available for individuals to purchase on the day of the program.
The authors of The 9 Virtues, Dr. Karl Haden and Rob Jenkins, are available to deliver a 20-30 minute keynote address at meetings, conferences, and other functions. If logistics allow, copies of the book can be made available for purchase on the day of the event. Book signings also can be arranged.

To schedule a program for your organization, obtain pricing information, or receive answers to any questions you might have, please Contact Us. or call AAL at 404-350-2098

Testimonials

Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch

US Army (Retired)

"The 9 Virtues of Exceptional Leaders is a superb book for those of us who aspire to be better leaders. The authors very clearly lay out their view on what it takes to be a virtuous leader, complete with very detailed references for further consideration. I recommend that folks read this book, and follow the ideas presented."