Thursday, February 25, 2010

U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within Book Review

How can you develop your leadership potential?  U.N.I.Q.U.E.: Growing the Leader Within, written by Debra Slover explains how to do so by introducing the concept of the Leadership Garden.

What is a Leadership Garden?  According to the Leadership Garden Legacy website, "A Leadership Garden is a metaphor for a way to pass your knowledge and wisdom on to future generations. Like a physical garden, a Leadership Garden can take many forms. However, it is you who must start the process by planting the leadership seeds you desire." 

Each chapter begins with a quote by Debra Slover that seems to sum up the chapter.  The first chapter introduces us to Leda, a gardener planting seeds at Leadership Farm.  Leda meets a stray sheep, named Hugh who has left his home.   Hugh tells her his story.  He sees himself as a coward and an outcast.  In subsequent chapters, Hugh will meet the "unique" farm animals that will help teach him lessons on how to grow his Leadership Garden.  

He will learn how to plant his seed of leadership, pluck his weeds, how to fertilize his leader behaviors, leader-friendly gardening practices, and what will erode his garden. By following the lessons he learns, you to can have a thriving Leadership Garden.

The author uses her own experiences to help illustrate the lessons that Hugh learns on his journey around the farmyard.  She also includes questions and activities at the conclusion of each chapter to help you define your purpose and aim as you develop your own Leadership Garden.

I loved the characters in this book, especially Annabelle who is Hugh's tour guide.  I actually kept flipping back through the chapter as I thought about the questions and activites.  It was a very thought provoking book.  This book emphasizes how we can all be leaders and how to cultivate leader worthy thoughts, behaviors, and actions.  I recommend this book for everyone.

There is also a version of the book available for 8-12 year olds called U.N.I. Q.U.E.  Kids: Growing My Leadership Garden.  The fable is similar and written for younger readers.  Each chapter also ends with a set of questions and activities for children to help them grow their Leadership Garden.  The book also is beautifully illustrated so it will certainly appeal to a younger audience.

Visit the Leadership Garden Legacy to obtain more information about Leadership Gardens and how to obtain a grant to implement the Leadership Garden Legacy Framework in your school or community.

I recieved copies of both of these books courtesy of Debra Slover through PR by the book in order to write an honest review.  No other compensation was or will be recieved. 


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