Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality: How Six Essential Qualities Determine Your Success in Business
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Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality: How Six Essential Qualities Determine Your Success in Business

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4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  693 ratings  ·  83 reviews
Integrity--more than simple honesty, it's the key to success. A person with integrity has the ability to pull everything together, to make it all happen no matter how challenging the circumstances. Drawing on experiences from his work, Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, leadership coach, corporate consultant and nationally syndicated radio host, shows how our charac...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 2006)
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Jeff Bobin
This has been added to my list of must reads!

I find the integrity of so many people and organizations being questioned today that I found this book one of the most valuable I have read in a long time. The subtitle is the key to what makes this book so important in the culture we live in today. "the courage to meet the demands of reality" is a real challenge for many today.

Think about the many ways we use the word integrity when we are talking not just about people but about organizations, buil...more
Neesha
12/6/10 Ugh, who knows if I'll finish this...it started it as a seemingly realistic self-help book and now seems more like self-righteous...

12/26/10 I stand by the above, and that's why I just can't give this book a higher rating. Truly, there were parts of it that made great sense and that I will remember when I am "working on my character." There, I hate using even the slightest bit of psychobabble, see? I have things I want to improve on in life but I don't need to read them written 65 differ...more
Afua
Let me begin with what I didn't enjoy about this book: the overly simplistic and sometimes condescending writing style. It is my belief that if an author feels you need to explain a metaphor, idiom, or word, after using it, he should not use it at all; the reader is intelligent enough to look up the phrase should she for some reason not know what it means. Also, this is a book about business. Not about romantic relationships or Christianity. I enjoy both romantic relations and Christianity, but...more
Beth
This books includes information about character, character in business. Basically business relationships are no different that any other relationship. The ability to stand outside of oneself and see strengths and weaknesses is essential to growth and a healthy being whether as an individual or as a business. Most of us, contain a tragic flaw that can bring us down in life. Leaders often live out a flaw which can bring down their whole life as well as their business.
Kari Metzger
4.5 stars for me. I picked this one up because it was listed in a list of top books that top executives believe should be on every executive's bookshelf. Wasn't really expecting much, but honestly, ended up with it being one of the best books I've read from an executive point of view.

CAVEATS: I have been studying a lot of different books on psychology lately - in the workplace, around motivation, organizational physics, etc. This book made a lot of sense *after* I had read these other books. It...more
Ebony
Jul 15, 2014 Ebony rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ebony by: 38dded8a@opayq.com
I had mixed sentiments about this book, but I love Dr. Cloud's work in general, so I pressed ahead to the end. It was very repetitive, and at certain points the tone seemed condescending. I kept waiting for the solutions - the "how to get there" part, but compared to the rest of the book, only a small section was devoted to that. I got the impression that nature and nurture just gave some folks good character, and others, not so good. But he brought it all together at the end, presenting hope an...more
Christopher M.
Realistic, level-headed, practical, wise advice about developing one's integrity in a business context. The book stays close to the philosophies of relationships and personal development laid out in Cloud's other work. I believe I will take a lot of things from this book and apply them to my situation, filtered through my own worldview, which I believe is a bit different than Cloud's.

That leads me to my major critique of the book, which doesn't have as much to do with the content of the book (be...more
Cj Cruz
Great book with valuable lessons. This is definitely a keeper.

*spoilers below*

Some highlights of the book that I found to be valuable:

"Character = the ability to meet the demands of reality" (24).

This involves the ability to:
1. connect authentically;
2. be oriented toward truth;
3. get results;
4. embrace problems and failures and resolve them;
5. be oriented toward growth;
6. be transcendent.
(35)

In more depth, a person of character (is)...

1. Establishes trust
"True listening and understanding occurs...more
Michael
It may be helpful to note what this book is NOT about.

When people hear about "integrity" they often think "honesty". We tire of the politicians with illicit secrets and the bankers with crooked dealings, saying "we need some men of integrity around here!"

Yet integrity is far more than honesty, though certainly no less.
Dr. Cloud notes there are many good, honest people - that are not characters of integrity.

Integrity is best understood by its opposite. Think "disintegration" - the breaking apart...more
Alexandra
I couldn't help getting skeeved out by this book. It all sounds so moral and wonderful, but upon closer examination Dr. Cloud seems to have a different idea of "integrity" than this apparently aw-shucks Midwestern ingenue.

Dr. Cloud believes that people who have integrity have the courage to "make the tough calls" such as mass layoffs and firing folks even if it's going to hurt individuals. Because, really, it's the business that counts, not the people, right? And you've gotta do what's right fo...more
Jennifer
Dr. Henry Cloud writes a very informative and challenging book about what integrity is and how to develop it. His audience is geared toward a businessman or businesswoman, but anyone who is interest in growing in their personal character traits will be interest. By reading this book, you will learn how to connect with others and build trust, become oriented toward reality, finish well, embrace the negative, become oriented toward increase, and gain an understanding of the transcendent. I like ho...more
Audrey
When we think of integrity, we generally think of character, morals and ethics, but it is more .. it is about wholeness and being unified and effective as a person in every area of our lives. Dr. Cloud says, "it's truly running on all cylinders." In his book, Dr. Cloud discusses character that (1) creates and maintains trust, (2) is able to see and face reality, (3) works in a way that brings results, (4) embraces negative realities and solves them, (5) causes growth and increase, (6) achieves t...more
Carol
Another "home run" by the best-selling author of "Boundaries," "Integrity" focuses on six key areas, including building trust, being oriented toward truth, getting results,embracing the negative, moving toward increase, and developing transcendence. An inspiring, nuanced book by one of the best of the self-help authors.
Rob
This is one of the best books on leadership I have ever read. It is not often I will reread a book and also get the audio version for listening while in the car...but that was the case with this book. If you are a leader or aspire to be one...read this book!
Dave Applegate
-Cloud makes a brilliant case for the importance of being grounded in reality and then discusses the various situations individuals fall short.
-A must read for entrepreneurs who fall in love with their ideas and fail to understand the reality that surrounds them.
Ashley
Great for identifying flaws in character and keeping mindful about integrity in everyday life. There are some interesting examples of good and bad character, but it lacks specific steps to improvement. Altogether, slightly vague.
Drew
The important point in this book as about "wake" as the wake of a boat.

It is about what you leave behind in your "wake" as you move through your life.

Is the wake you leave a good one or one of destruction?

Summary

*The ability to connect authentically (which leads to trust)
*The ability to be oriented towards the truth (which leads to finding and operating in reality)
*The ability to work in a way that gets results and finishes well (which leads to reaching goals, profits, or the mission)
*The abilit...more
Klaus
An extensive rethink of what integrity means, extending it to your character. If you are or intend to be a high performer read and put into practice what Dr Cloud talks about.
Richard Stephenson
I enjoyed this high-level, soft-skills, self-help piece of work. Dr. Cloud brings up some salient points, rolls around them with some anecdotal goodness, and then poses some questions to get the reader to marinate on the topic for a while. Nice touches.

Integrity is something everyone could use a little more of - I appreciate the method of teaching in this book as it glances by some deeper mental-study topics, makes them more palatable for the common person, and leaves enough crumbs for a really...more
Rebecca
In this book, the basic assumption here is that "integration" or "wholeness" of character is a necessary component in order to reach one's maximum potential both personally and professionally, and that character is not fixed or unchangeable. This book is extremely inspirational and informative. It is a roadmap to success and happiness.

Some of the book deals with a person's "professional" - or career life. But don't let that be daunting because there is enough information in this book to be mean...more
Troy Connor
I'm so glad that I picked up this book. This was a goodreads recommendation. I enjoyed reading this book. This book has simple principles that are overlooked because of emotion that when recognized you understand where you lacked "integrity." This book shows you how to grow up and things that contributed to it not happening. The growth one achieves is never done but you have to want to grow. Dr. Cloud did a great job explaining stories and examples of how not having integrated character can leav...more
Michael
I really enjoyed this book on Integrity. But it isn't about Integrity as we would traditionally think of integrity. His idea of integrity in this book is those things that make up who we are. He provides so many practical thoughts on how to meet the demands of your life. At times he does tell too many stories but the pieces of truth that are filled in this book are well worth it. Two of my favorite quotes from it are:

"Blame is the parking brake for improvement"

"The invisible world of character i...more
Stu Morgan
Full of great reminders about important core personal qualities that lead to both personal fullfillment and business success. Cloud explores six character dimensions;

Establishing Trust, Oriented Toward Truth, Getting Results, Embracing The Negative, Oriented Toward Increase, and Oriented Toward Trancendence

with practical examples. This is a must read for anyone in business who confruonts a struggle in their organization between maintaining high integrity and attaining success or financial surv...more
Shabana
I really liked this book for a number of reasons. Not only did it define Integrity, but it gave some very lucid and realistic examples of how a person can live out integrity, especially out in the world of "professionalism". I think a definite take away from this book is the importance of communication, and how that adds to integrity. In a world of sound bites, twitter feeds, FB updates, where we try to condense communication into a few words, this book was a breath of fresh air in communication...more
Sara Burt
A group of local ministers' wives and I went through this book together. With so many task or works driven books targeting ministers' wives, listing expectations of the "position", this book catapulted us back to the gospel even though it was void of Scripture. Cloud emphasizes a return to character and integrity, of which we as believers know is birthed out of the Holy Spirit's work inside of us, which will then lovingly compel us to serve. Highly recommend this book!
Rick
Feb 08, 2008 Rick rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
This is one of those books I'm working through in order to get all the juice out of it. Third time through. First pass: I underlined stuff I thought was important. Second pass: I highlighted those parts of the underlined stuff I thought were very important. Third pass: I'm copying down in my journal the underlined parts. I can't believe I've been working through this book since May, but even on the third pass I'm learning something new.
Gary
I cheated with this review as this book took too long to get a four-star review. Having listened to Dr Cloud for so many years, I know the book has fresh ideas, fresh prosepectives, and easily read. But I was never able to concentrate when reading and would drift off thinking about what he wrote, and then end up somewhere far away from book. My future plan is to re-read and capturing his thoughts and my thoughts in a journal.
Shirleenwong
Even though the title said something about business, but really, this book is all about developing personal integrity and character, because in any aspect of lives, no matter weather if it's business, personal, relationship, self-growth, putting values above all things is the most important. And how to become one whole self is the key to be success in anything that you do. Great book, worth reading again and again.
Jerry Fultz
This book pressed me and challenged me. The ideas that "reality is your friend" and that "integrity is what you're leaving in your wake" were were really convicting (and somewhat defeating) to me. I felt I had much work to do - far more than I hoped - in this area after completing this book. It does give a great view of what integrity looks like in the business and professional worlds.
Catheryn
If more of us asked ourselves and a close friend, "what's it like to be on the other side of me," I think the world would be a much kinder place. I try to be conscious of this concept when I interact with people. This book changed my life and the way I look at my life. I especially resonated with the "what kind of wake am I leaving in this world?" as well as, "what is my career legacy?"
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Dr. Cloud has written or co-written twenty-five books, including the two million-seller Boundaries. His most recent books are Boundaries for Leaders and Necessary Endings. He has earned three Gold Medallion awards, and was awarded the distinguished Retailers Choice award for God Will Make A Way.

As president of Cloud-Townsend Resources, Dr. Cloud has produced and conducted hundreds of public semina...more
More about Henry Cloud...
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life Boundaries in Dating Boundaries with Kids: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Help Your Children Gain Control of Their Lives Changes That Heal: How to Understand the Past to Ensure a Healthier Future Safe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't

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“If people are really narcissistic or have a need to be seen as more than they really are, or to be admired as having it all together, then they cannot be followed and trusted by others.” 8 likes
“Just as we leave the effects of our work behind in results, we leave the effects of our interactions with people in their hearts, minds, and souls.” 7 likes
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