Book Review: Grounded

by Bob Rosen
by Bob Rosen

The status quo for leaders in many organizations today is a never-ending chase to guarantee short-term results on a playing field that can have seismic changes in the span of an afternoon. If you are the leader standing on that unsteady surface, it’s easy to see how what begins as frustration can become a perpetual state of anxiety and, eventually, burnout. CEO advisor, organizational psychologist and best-selling author Bob Rosen attempts to give leaders a firm grip, rather than a mere foothold, on their own health as well as the health of their companies. In Grounded: How Leaders Stay Rooted in an Uncertain World, Rosen provides leaders with the Healthy Leader model. This book is now available as a Soundview Executive Book Summary.

Rosen begins by having leaders confront the established belief that what you do defines who you are as a person. He asserts that to be grounded, you need the same thing as a tree: a firmly planted root system. Your roots define who you are which in turn drives what you do. He writes, “These roots give you the inner strength and mindset needed to handle all that is coming your way.”

Grounded then moves through the six personal dimensions that form the root system Rosen believes creates healthy leaders. The six health categories are physical, emotional, intellectual, social, vocational and spiritual. Executives’ eyes may be immediately drawn to the last health category on the list. Rosen’s discussion of spiritual health is where his book separates itself from others. He identifies it as “belief in a higher purpose that gives you a mission in life, feeling a global connectedness that transcends cultures and borders, and showing a generosity infused with kindness and gratitude.” This may seem inconsequential to leaders swept up by meeting next quarter’s numbers, but as Rosen told Soundview in an interview, the health measurement that most accurately predicts a leader’s performance is spiritual health.

Grounded offers a good template for a leader to solidify his or her mindset. After all, in an unpredictable world, an individual should at least be able to depend on him- or herself.

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