Summary of The Power of the Other

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  • Applicable
  • Well Structured
  • Concrete Examples


Clinical psychologist Henry Cloud argues that no great leader succeeds alone. Everyone needs a trustworthy community of people who will listen to problems; sympathize; offer honest feedback; and provide support, respect and accountability. Cloud offers practical advice on how to use the “Four Corners” behavior patterns to avoid negative relationships and develop supportive “Corner Four” relationships. Although he occasionally refers to neuroscience research, his presentation and his very apt illustrative anecdotes largely depend on Cloud’s extensive leadership coaching experience. Though at times a bit redundant, Cloud emphasizes the importance of overcoming isolationist self-reliance in favor of developing supportive, positive relationships that contribute to your well-being and success. getAbstract recommends his approach to executives who want to develop strong working relationships and leaders who hope to instill a team-oriented culture.

About the Author

Clinical psychologist Henry Cloud has written 20 books, including several bestsellers. He is a Fortune 500 leadership consultant and coaches CEOs and executive teams.



Crucial Connection

Phrases like “Change your thinking, change your life!” or “Find the ‘power within’” misleadingly suggest that personal growth occurs in isolation from relationships. To the contrary, your overall well-being depends on your connections with other people. The family, friends, colleagues and mentors who surround you can reinforce your path to success or undermine it.

Three factors – physical well-being, relationships and mind-set – work together to produce high-level performance. Your ability to make the best choices depends on your physical brain working at peak capacity and not reacting to chemical imbalances. Your mind provides the “software” that regulates your choices. You can make positive decisions or self-defeating ones based in part on the feedback that you receive from your family and your upbringing and the reactions you cultivate through friendships and mentors. Good relationships encourage you; bad ones demean or distract you and deplete the energy you need to become a great leader. Good relationships improve your mental software, enabling you to make more finely attuned choices.

The “Four Corners” of Connection

Too often, ...

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