The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Dave Bruno


Author of numerous books, his lates: Boundaries For Leaders (2013)

President, Cloud-Townsend Resources

Co-host, New Life Radio, heard in 180+ markets

BS, psycholog, SMU

PhD, clinical psychology, Biola University

Married, two daughters

Web Site


Dr. Henry Cloud: Leading with Boundaries

By The 700 Club

To get results, leadership matters. Henry says leaders, in the home, church or workplace, lead people and it’s the people who actually get the job done.  However, the people must be led in a way that they can actually perform.  When Henry began practice as a clinician, his first job was in a leadership consulting firm.  The firm wanted a clinician who would work with leaders to help them with their personal and interpersonal leadership style to become more effective in leading people.  “I fell in love with the topic of leadership,” says Henry.  “For three decades, that has been a major focus of my hands-on work: listening to and working with leaders, their teams and their organizations.”

So, why do some leaders get results and others don’t?  Henry says leadership is about turning a vision into reality.  “It’s about producing real results in a real world,” he says.  When leaders lead in ways that people’s brains can follow, good results follow as well.  The leaders who get results are helping people to get their brains to work the way in which God intended.  He says it the boundaries of a leader that define and shape what is going to be and what isn’t.  “In the end, as a leader, you are always going to get a combination of two things: what you create and what you allow,” says Dr. Cloud. 

Leaders define boundaries and successful leaders in key areas:

  1. The vision, focus, attention and activities that create forward movement are define by leaders;
  2. The emotional climate of the organization and its culture are created and sustained by leaders;
  3. The unity and connectedness of the organization and the teams are built or fragmented by leaders;
  4. The thinking and beliefs of the organization are sown and grown by leaders;
  5. The amount and kinds of control and empowerment that people have, are given and required by leaders;
  6. The performance and development of their teams and direct reports are stewarded by leaders; and,
  7. The leadership of oneself, which entails establishing one’s own boundaries, is required by leaders.

“Leaders are ridiculously in charge of all these elements,” says Dr. Cloud.  A CEO client of Henry’s was talking about the culture and problems of his company.  When Henry asked him why, the CEO didn’t understand.  Finally the CEO admitted, he, as the CEO, was ridiculously in charge (basically totally responsible).  “The big wake up call is that whatever results you are getting, you are doing something to create or allow it,” says Henry.

Leaders have to pay attention to the beliefs, experiences and emotions of the people who work for you or live in your home.  The position of leader carries more emotional and psychological weight than you can imagine.  Whenever a leader threatens with anger or guilt, it shuts down the parts of the brain to perform.  It activates the reactive fight or flight.  “People will push against you and fight or move away.  Neither is what you want,” says Henry.  Yelling at kids to get something done or scare them won’t work.  “Your kid’s brain is shutting down,” he says. You can have clear expectations without being harsh, critical or demeaning. 

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