Summary of Leading with Character

Stories of Valor and Virtue and the Principles They Teach

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Leading with Character book summary
Inspiring examples of exceptional, transformational leaders and their most important qualities.


7 Overall

4 Applicability

6 Innovation

7 Style


The literature of leadership would fill a rather crowded library, but no one can learn how to be a great leader by simply reading about it. But since almost every organization has a strong need for leadership, reading about it may be a start. John Sosik studies how really great leaders succeed in the face of adversity, and he does an excellent job of categorizing the most important qualities leaders must have. A few of his 25 profiles of exceptional leaders lack the specificity needed to be truly instructive. Overall, however, getAbstract finds that while this book may not teach you how to be a great leader, it may inspire you to become one.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What qualities truly great leaders share;
  • Which virtues you need to develop to lead others;
  • Why charisma alone is not enough to make you an excellent leader; and
  • Why showing your humanity is essential to being a good leader.


A Leadership Crisis
Two out of every three Americans think their country is in the midst of a leadership crisis, according to a 2005 Harvard University study. Moreover, respondents indicate that most leaders lack key qualities across the board, including integrity, honesty, skills, knowledge...
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About the Author

Dr. John J. Sosik is a professor at Pennsylvania State University, where he heads the Master of Leadership Development program, and teaches behavioral science and leadership. He co-authored The Dream Weavers: Strategy-Focused Leadership in Technology-Driven Organizations.

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