The Leader's Code
Mission, Character, Service, and Getting the Job Done
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What does it take to be a great leader? In a word: character. This unique book by decorated U.S. Marine Corps veteran Donovan Campbell, the New York Times bestselling author of Joker One, draws on his years of training and combat experience to reveal the specific virtues that underpin effective leadership—and how anyone can stand up, serve others, and make a difference in the world by bringing out the best in a team.
The Leader’s Code is a practical action plan that can be applied to any situation in which exemplary leadership is required, whether that be at home or in the workplace. Moreover, The Leader’s Code unpacks the military servant-leader model—a leader must take care of his mission first, his team second, and himself a distant third—and explains why this concept of self-sacrifice is so needed in today’s world. Focusing on the development of character as the foundation of servant-leadership, Campbell identifies character’s six key attributes: humility, excellence, kindness, discipline, courage, and wisdom. Then, drawing on lessons from his time in the Corps and stories from history, Scripture, and American business, he shows us how to develop those virtues in order to take the helm with confidence, conviction, and a passion to bring out the best in others.
Being a leader is about being worthy of being followed. True leaders, Campbell argues, foster compassion for others and they pursue excellence in all that they do. They are humble and know how to self-correct. Campbell’s exploration of these vital qualities is wide-ranging, as he takes us from the boardrooms of the world’s most successful companies to the Infantry Officer Course, the intense twelve-week training gauntlet that Marines use to prepare their leaders to sacrifice themselves for the welfare of others.
With faith in our political and business leaders at an all-time low, America is in the midst of a crisis of trust. Yet public opinion polls show that there is one institution that still commands widespread respect because of its commitment to character and sacrifice: the United States military. The Leader’s Code shows that this same servant-leader model can help us all become our best selves—and provide a way forward for our nation.
Advance praise for The Leader’s Code
“A refreshing model for leadership, offering convincing principles and motivating examples that are sure to make a difference in a leader’s personal and professional life. I can’t remember a leadership book that has had more influence on my thinking.”—Steve Reinemund, dean of business, Wake Forest University, and retired chairman and CEO, PepsiCo
“Donovan Campbell has written a superb, thoughtful, all-encompassing examination of leadership and leaders. His key lessons, easily understood and well articulated, are applicable at home, within the community, and to professionals in all walks of life. The Leader’s Code is an important book for anyone concerned about today’s leadership crisis in our country and in our communities.”—General Mike Hagee, USMC (Ret.), 33rd Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps
“Donovan Campbell nails it as he speaks to our country’s need for leadership at every level: at home, in the marketplace, in education, in government, and in the military. The Leader’s Code is a clear call to be focused on the right mission, in the right way, and at the right time. This is a thoughtful book that will keep you awake at night and challenge you to dream in the daytime!”—Dennis Rainey, president and CEO, FamilyLife
From the Hardcover edition.