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Jim’s Top Book Picks – Don’t Leave Home Without One! The Fourfold Way

September 16, 2009

images I’ve read a huge number of books on leadership, teams and learning over the past 15 plus years. Many of these books have long fallen off my radar; their shelf lives were limited or they were overly faddish or their messages I realized later on were superficial. However, there are books that still provoke my thinking and inquiry – often years later – and that really are what I call ‘keepers.’

One book that left a profound impression on me almost 15 years ago is Angeles Arrien’s The Four-Fold Way: Walking the Paths of the Warrior, Teacher, Healer, and Visionary (1993). A cultural anthropologist and leadership consultant, Arrien’s approach to leadership development and personal growth is based on Native teachings. The Fourfold Way is based on an integrated approach to personal leadership.

Regardless of whether you work for a company, in the public sector or involved in community development work, this book is highly relevant. The challenge in following this personal leadership philosophy is to continually strive towards achieving balance among the four elements. For example, as Teacher this could include your involvement in a mentoring program at work with new recruits. In contrast, the Visionary element is vital for those seeking to enroll others in a change effort in their organization.

The Fourfold Way is an outstanding book that I still refer to, and in particular one quote that has helped guide me through personal change: “Be open to outcome, not attached to it.”

Check out this book and Arrien’s other work. You won’t be disappointed.

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