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Book Review: Leaving Prisons: Release Your Trapped Value! by David McCleary

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Don't expect me to respond favorably to fear and intimidation.  I'll take the offensive and retaliate.  Instead, give me a goal. Give me the resources to achieve it. Then get out of my way.  Don't micromanage me.   Be the head cheerleader for my team and help me keep the herd headed roughly West.  
 
Over the 30-plus years of my career as a pharmacist I've had to train several new supervisors.  In almost every case, we've become friends and enjoyed working together with a healthy respect for each other.  Every relationship began with the above-mentioned opening statement.  I have always felt that in order to be a good follower, it helped to be a good leader as well.  Everybody has a boss and everybody has a mission.  We all have a higher cause (a greater good) that requires our submission , devotion and loyalty.  

In the same way that we see only a small portion of an iceberg, most of us only develop 10 to 15 per cent of our potential  to be great (flawless) leaders.  Don't expect to learn the skills to achieve that level of leadership simply by reading a book.  You cannot learn to ride a bicycle by reading a book or listening to a podcast. You've got to experience some skinned knees and elbows.  

David McCleary's first book guides the aspiring leader through a series of informative and inspirational episodes designed to help learn thinking and questioning skills and habits. These will inspire the student to try new behaviors  that will unleash that hidden reservoir of  worth.  

Twenty-five chapters laid out in workbook form make this book a versatile tool that can be used either as random periodic lessons or chronologically in a workshop setting.  In each lesson, McCleary details a feature along the journey to better leadership skills. He clarifies his point with inspiring stories and then challenges the reader with questions and examples to promote action.  Space is provided for notes with each chapter.  

Mr. McCleary has chosen a niche in an already crowded field and is off to a commanding positioning in the genre.  I have experienced in-house programs at Eckerd Drugs and New York Life, nationally available programs like Dale Carnegie Courses, and any number of local pharmacy-oriented seminars and lectures.  Choosing to use this book would be a great preparation for any skills training program. It would also be a valuable resource to complement such programs.  

Leadership training is a field rife with shallow slogans, aphorisms, anecdotes, adages, cliches, platitudes, axioms, and expressions.  Thankfully, McCleary spares us the tedium of such prattle.  Instead, we are inspired by his stories and enriched by his poetry.  Sure, he includes a few quotations and excerpts from the classics and they are always on-point and relevant.  

Multi-level marketers, retailers, professional sales people, managers, teachers, coaches, and anyone who intends to develop his/her skills to escape the past, embrace personal change,  and make a difference will enjoy and grow with their investment in McCleary's methods.  This book belongs in the hands and on the desk of every person who gets work done through others.  It is truly a workbook and should not be hidden in a bookshelf.  Several avenues to continue your experience of leaving prisons are available at the author's website: TheFlawlessLeaderPapers.

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