A superb leadership book!
Many leaders in today’s world seem to have their leadership based on a foundation of sand, and we all know that a house built on sand simply sucks. No one wants to live in a structure with a weak foundation, just like no one wants to work in a shifting leadership environment. Often, operating on a foundation of sand leads to sliding ethical standards and serious toxicity. Not only is this hard for employees to handle, it does not produce the quality output customers demand. Dr. Bodden brings a fresh set of eyes to this age-old challenge of values-based leadership. He unapologetically tackles the hard issues facing leaders in the modern world and offers a prescription to solidifying the shifting sands and weak foundations many face. No matter how solid any of us thinks our foundation is, a careful and reflective read of this book will make it better. We owe this introspection to our employees and our customers, but more importantly . . . we owe it to ourselves.
The title and framing for Rickardo Bodden’s book is provocative, indeed. Its design helps leaders and aspiring leaders understand the elements of bad leadership in ways that make it clear that such behavior is not so much a product of bad people, but most often reasonably well-intentioned, yet flawed, people with “blind spots.” Fortunately, the good news is that by revealing areas that challenge leaders and as a result, those that they lead, people can be more equipped to build trusting, more resilient relationships based on the spiritual principles of love, compassion, empathy, and understanding made manifest. In an increasingly disrupted world where people are looking—often desperately—for answers from the most amplified voices or those with the most followers, the principles laid out by Bodden provide a roadmap to navigate these murky times to be the leader you want to—and that the world needs you—to be.
In this book, Dr. Rickardo Bodden addresses his concern relative to the toxic leadership environment that is plaguing our country. It is a serious concern that requires introspection, truthful and honest self-analysis, and a new and bold way forward. This book provides a roadmap for surgical introspection for not only leaders but for those who desire to look deeper into their souls and ascertain who and what they really are. “What is your trajectory?” he asks. What is your fundamental reasoning that influences the basis of your decision-making process? Simply stated, what is at your core? Dr. Bodden discusses the major pitfalls that befall leaders these days. Hubris comes to mind and gives sway to the age-old adage that “Power and greed blind the vision of men and drive sweet eyed Wisdom from Her Sacred Throne.” He offers the reader questions. And if answered honestly, you will come away with a good idea of where you stand not only at work but also in your personal life. His intent in this book is to assess the whole man or woman and provide a path that will most assuredly produce better fruit. Dr. Bodden assesses the managerial ecosystem that involves both leaders and followers, emphasizing the importance of the social aspect of this ecosystem. One cannot survive or thrive without the other. He also dissects the types of followers by assessing their level of engagement and the consequent impact they have on an organization. Dr. Bodden also discusses the importance of critical thinking, and how it enhances one’s understanding of the leadership phenomena. I would recommend this book be included in any seminar, class, or discussion group that is concerned with leadership.
Rickardo has written a classic masterpiece. It is clearly one of the most relevant, bold, thought-provoking, self-searching, self-discovering, soul-searching, well written, personally and professionally impactful, and highly researched leadership transformational books I have ever come across. Use it as a manual for life, and for for-profit and non-profit organizations. Get it and recommend it to others.
Rickardo Bodden has written an important book with a goal of educating and inspiring people to create healthy workplace cultures. Since everything rises and falls on leadership, it behooves churches and organizations to identify and rid themselves of toxic leadership styles. This book can help!
The very title of this book immediately grabbed my attention and struck my curiosity. Yet, while delving further into the pages and content my curiosity turned into a deeper thought-provoking process. I have to say that there are numerous books written and published on leadership. In fact, I’ve written and taught on it over the years. Rickardo Bodden has a list of credentials from being a former military officer, to having earned degrees on leadership, as well as being an author, and much more. Yet, what is refreshing to me is that this book is not written by some ivory tower theorist, but from one who has the personal experience and insights to go with it. Rickardo has truly taken on the challenge to address some very important and difficult aspects of what leadership is not and what leadership is or should be. If approached with an open heart it can be liberating to those who are willing to take a candid and honest read through the intensely thought-provoking pages. Of the many statements that caught my attention, this particular quote resonated: “Leadership is a social enterprise that involves other people. Leadership is not all about you as the leader.” So true. Too often, we think leadership is a title or some sort of hierarchal position of power. I appreciate how Rickardo confronts this, and redirects us to what leadership should actually be. I’m also encouraged by how he is unafraid to utilize timeless and proven examples in scripture to give us a plumb line for what true leadership should be. In the volatile world in which we live, when too many are swayed by every societal pendulum swing, we are in great need for unwavering stability and groundedness. I doubt that most leaders set out to willfully fail, yet life has many unexpected detours and challenges that can cause us to get off course. I encourage you to take time to read through this book, take some honest reflection, and recognize where we may have become untethered from our moorings.
Rickardo Bodden is immersed in the world of leadership formation, and is profoundly adept in mentoring and coaching emerging leaders. His graduate work in Leadership Studies has provided him the opportunity to explore leadership in depth, and help us all to navigate the current turbulent waters that leaders find themselves having to sail in. His observations, insights, and concerns about the current crisis in leadership and the state of leadership are clear, concise, and compelling. In this book he endeavors to make us aware of the ways in which toxicity is ever a challenge for leaders in an age of transition and chaos. He painstakingly takes us as readers through a process to invite us both to self-awareness and self-examination, so that from a deep place of self-reflection, we might, with sobriety, approach the nature of and sources of toxicity, so that we can place needed boundaries in our lives to cause us to lead from a circumspect place of integrity and honor.
Dr. Rickardo Bodden brilliantly captures everything on leadership for personal, professional, and spiritual development. It is a great deal of information which will serve as the perfect guide as you encounter leadership challenges throughout life. This book really hit home for me. As I strive to become a better leader and help my team reach their own personal leadership goals, Dr. Bodden has given me practical steps to inspire and challenge myself and others to become effective leaders. Read this book, put this wisdom into practice, and you will be transformed into a genuine leader of people and self.
This book is about more than just toxic leadership. The author’s goal is to inspire reflection and develop self-awareness so that we can recognize and combat toxicity in every area of our lives—from parenting to our male/femaleness, even to our very souls and worldviews. His core idea is that the unaddressed inner life leads to toxicity; that we are all wounded and in need of healing. Of course, the stakes are higher the more influence you have, so it makes sense that leaders, even more than most people, should be working hard to combat toxicity at every level. Warning: you are entering into challenging territory and this book will definitely challenge you. I felt like Dr. Bodden had his finger in my chest for most of our journey together. When one is in crisis mode, there’s no time to be gentle. Seeing how rampant toxicity is in leadership these days, and how painful the consequences are for us as individuals and as a society, his tone is warranted! There is a lot that this book has to offer as he draws from a wide variety of sources. The best part of the book, I think, is in chapter 5 where he describes how to grow in self-awareness. In this chapter, he also talks about why people continue to follow toxic leaders. Great stuff. Also, one of the best outcomes of Dr. Bodden’s work is where he equips us to consider what we as followers and organizations might be doing to enable toxic leaders to continue in their toxic ways. Some of his best insights are in both chapter 5 and chapter 12 where he covers the topic of followership in some detail. Overall, there’s a lot here to recommend. This book is a worthy contribution to the leadership community! It should be read slowly, with a humble openness to being challenged, and reflecting deeply on one’s life and leadership. Dr. Bodden is passionate, pointed, and very informative in his efforts to combat the toxic leadership that seems to be around every corner these days. Bring it!
Healthy, godly leadership is needed now more than ever! Dr. Bodden exposes the multifaceted faces of toxic leadership while skillfully integrating how healthy leadership with a biblical approach should look. Dr. Bodden covers not only the professional life but also the personal, at times taking an in-your-face approach to help people be honest with themselves. In this book, one can expect to find research-based characteristics of toxic leaders and their behaviors. Just as important are the reflective questions Dr. Bodden has provided for the readers. This book is for both victims of a toxic leader as well as for toxic leaders who need to find a way into greater personal and leadership health. If you are looking for hope out of your current situation, this is a must-read!
Finally, a book that addresses the question, “As a leader, do I conduct myself in a manner that is destructive to those I lead, those I influence, and even myself?” In End the Reign of Pain: Identifying and Treating Toxic Leadership, Dr. Bodden powerfully explores the truth of why some leaders continue to inflict harm on their followers, families, and friends, even more so in these times of great temptations. Knowing oneself is critical to being an effective leader. This book takes the leader on a journey of spiritual and pragmatic self-reflection. After reading this book, the reader will clearly understand how to confront their inner darkness and understand what it means to lead people with dignity, respect, and honor and unlock one’s true potential as a leader.
End the Reign of Pain: Identifying and Treating Toxic Leadership is a frank, straight-shooting, and comprehensive resource that hits a uniquely important issue facing too many churches today: toxic leadership. But the problem of toxic leadership in Christian communities and ministries is one that is complex, with many factors at play, including not just the leaders themselves, but also the system surrounding the leader that looks for such leaders. Too many Christians today (for reasons both spiritual as well as psychological) are vulnerable to toxic leadership. Rickardo offers a clear, thorough, Scripture-grounded guide to identify many forms of toxic leadership, challenging many unhealthy belief patterns such as toxic masculinity along the way and encouraging leaders to develop skills and traits that are not only great for leadership, but also supportive of our spiritual maturity as well—traits such as empathy, character, self-awareness, and even physical health. I especially appreciated his encouragement for leaders to consider counseling or psychotherapy if needed. Overall, a very practical and challenging resource.