Don't Judge a Book (or a leader) by it's Cover

I love to read. As a kid that was not the case. But one thing I learned early on about books still rings true today. "Don't judge a book by its cover."

In that regard, leaders are no different than books. You can't judge them by their covers.

There is a difference in a great leader and a leader who looks great.

Do you look great or do you lead great?

Great leaders focus on integrity rather than reputation. Great leaders work on their character as much as they do their competency. Great leaders resist the urge to be all show and no go.

If you want to live up to your leadership potential, perhaps it's time to stop worrying about the cover and start focusing on the middle of your book.

Leadership Begins at Home,


What happens when leaders are more focused on their reputation than they are their integrity?

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Mike "Coach" Brown

8 years ago

Good point, but as an author and avid reader too, there is a lot of emphasis on the cover design for books. The cover is what draws someone to select your book from the shelf of books to consider the contents. Of course we can be disappointed in the content that does not live up to the cover too! And that happens far too often, but then some really good books fail because they never invested in an appealing cover and just collected dust on the shelf and their value never tapped. I believe that is important for us too! Who we are in the inside must complement what people see on the outside to be effective contributors in life. When our content fails to match up to our cover "hypocrisy" results.
As for the worn and old book - its condition speaks volumes of its ageless value! One must invest with great curiosity the contents of a well traveled and oft read, dog-eared, cherished volume of wisdom. Unfortunately many Bibles remain as sanctimonious symbols of who we think we are - selected for its cover's value, placed in full view for others to see but chaste, unopened, and pristine. The least valuable book is not the poorly written one, but the unread masterpiece!


8 years ago

Great thought, Coach!

Julius "Juice" Nagy

8 years ago

A leader who "chooses" to lead based on worries of his/her reputation not only tends to, but will, only care about their own future; their own goals; their own success; their own, their own, their own ...
Simply, they focus on themselves, period. They will be the type who is "controlling and stifling" to the team members. Sure, they will achieve company goals, profits, and such, but there is far more to lose . Not just integrity, but so much more.
I am a firm believer in "the servant leadership" philosophy. A leader who is altruistic, doesn't have to worry about his/her reputation, because, they will be focused on the moral obligation towards the good of their team members. In turn, this approach will set the pace and provide positive examples, positive experiences for them to follow, which leads to empowering them to more than they could normally accomplish.
Involving the entire team, leading by energizing others, helping others to achieve their personal goals, can not only achieve a quicker turnaround for a team/company, but provide results that now have come from a cultural augmentation, team building, taught goal and vision setting accomplishments, that has helped nurture a well developed team, that ultimately will result in yielding more impressive results. They help create a vision, set expectations, and make the team more passionate about their work.
So, we always have a choice on how we want to lead. Which type of leader will you choose ... ???


8 years ago

Good comments, Juice. Thanks!


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