[January 4, 2019] I couldn’t help it. Just like my attraction toward the study of grand strategy, I’m drawn to the study of the individual. More often, I find myself looking for ways to better understand people; usually through direct interaction but also through formal book study. Creating good habits, knowing what makes up great leadership, what leaders are thinking when they make important decisions, etc. … all are part of my goal of being a better leader. Each day, I am sworn to make some improvement in my ability to be a better leader (however small or seemingly insignificant). This is why I have this leadership blog, this reading list, and why I continue to write about it. As I’ve outlined below, Jordan Peterson’s new book on life fits that goal of getting my understanding of the individual on target.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, Jordan B. Peterson, 2018.
Psychologist Jordan Peterson makes life interesting. While that is certainly not a booming recommendation to read this book, it does get to the heart of why I like listening to his public comments (which can be found on YouTube) and enjoy his ability to simplify the complexities of the psychology of people. I also read his latest book. Right up front I must note that this is not a self-help book like so many of my friends suggested it might be. What Peterson is doing here is NOT trying to make you more successful; a chore that I usually insist upon when reviewing books. What I like is Peterson’s willingness to simply proclaim that people need to learn to be ready to deal with adversity.
His 12 Rules provide us with suggestions and guidelines to move toward making us a better people. Peterson believes that the basic building block of society is the individual and that the solution to improve our overall condition starts within each of us. Thus, the effort to make small, incrementally good changes in ourselves is the beginning. Such a book ought to be required study at the High School today; not to check a box but to offer up pragmatic changes to help those young folks in their journey toward personal fulfillment. A little understanding of the human mind is good for those of us who also want to understand ‘why’.
Professor Peterson also gives us a lesson on how easy it is for peaceful folks with good intentions to blindly follow destructive ideologies and behaviors. Everyone wants the world to be a better place; more honest, fair, less dangerous, and enlightening. Yet, as Peterson notes, we fail to improve our own mind, body, and relationships. The result is chaos. What that means is that those who are the most dishonest, most brutal, and most thuggish will become more powerful and richer. The 12 Rules helps avoid such a terrible outcome.
Overall, an exceptional book and highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map