Famous leaders have long used solitude as means for inspiration. Eisenhower wrote memoranda to himself in order to think through complex problems. T.E. Lawrence devised our modern conception of insurgency while laid up with malaria in a tent. Jane Goodall used her intuition in the jungles of Central Africa when learning how to approach chimps. Solitude is as much a state of mind as it is an objective fact, and one of its key features is the absence of input from others, the space to productively work through problems with clarity and creativity. Yet with the introduction of smartphones, it is becoming more and more difficult to find the solitude necessary to challenge convention, hold to conviction, and to be, and become, great leaders.
Through gripping historical accounts and first-hand interviews with a wide range of contemporary leaders in politics, business, sports, and the military, leadership experts Raymond Kethledge and Michel Erwin show how solitude can improve clarity, bolster creativity, help with emotional balance, and strengthen a leader’s ability to make courageous decisions in the face of adversity and criticism. Leading Yourself First is a crucial and timely guide to the impact of solitude on effective leadership, and a program for how we can reclaim the gifts of solitude in today’s world. The book includes an introduction by Good to Great author Jim Collins.