The best leaders in business, politics, education, community life or any human endeavour usually possess a mix of talents. They understand the field they're working in and its relation to the larger world; they have a sense of purpose and priorities. And they also have a good understanding of people, including themselves. Of all the life skills, that final one may be the most important and the most difficult to attain. There are accountants to keep track of a company's cash flow, but who else can read the profit-&-loss statement when a close personal relationship goes sour? Electricians can install an Uninterruptable Power Source in a plant or office, but who can help when your own life feels like it's lost its charge? A manager can hire people to open and close a store, but "what opens and closes you?" http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/national/local-national-888457.mp3
That question is one of hundreds among the scores of exercises in "This Hungry Spirit: Your Need for Basic Goodness". It is a book that aims to make its readers more self-assured, purposeful and simply happy by clearing away the detrius of negativity that can conceal their positive virtues. The author is C. Clinton Sidle, who guides aspiring business leaders and others as director of the Roy H. Park Leadership Fellows Program in the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Sidle is a graduate of Cornell and was director of strategic planning at the university for ten years. He was a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, is a consultant on leadership to many companies including Corning, Inc. and Kellogg's and also writes a blog for the Huffington Post.