The Virtue Proposition: Five Virtues That Will Transform Leadership, Team Performance, and You

Sig Berg

Publisher: Amplify Publishing Pages: Price: (hardcover) $28.00 ISBN: 9798891380592 Reviewed: April, 2024 Author Website: Visit »

Author Sig Berg’s leadership development book posits that embodying virtues are what make truly impactful leaders and teams. A nuclear scientist and divinity scholar turned leadership consultant, Berg utilizes the metaphor of a rowing team to exemplify the flow-like results of focusing on virtues over values.

While Berg acknowledges that values are important, he notes that they are changeable and created by the individual. Virtues, in contrast, are external from the self and hold meaning across centuries and cultures. He writes, “If your life is held accountable to moral values you will drift, for, as we have seen, values are like your choice of ice cream flavor. Virtues are like submitting to gravity.”

The five virtues Berg identifies as most important for leaders to embody are love, integrity, truth, excellence, and relationships. In his chapter entitled “The Invisible Core,” he lists examples of each of these virtues in practice. For instance, the virtue “Excellence,” he writes, “builds the capacity and skill of others” and “holds people accountable.” He also notes that these five virtues are meant to work together to facilitate a posture of servant leadership, something he holds as aspirational for all leaders.

The Virtue Proposition is beautifully written and offers a unique thesis statement on the importance of virtue in leadership. However, it veers from its main message in several of the middle chapters where Berg touches on other, more well-trodden leadership topics like receiving feedback, finding mentorship, and avoiding micromanagement. While Berg clearly has a passion for leadership, the addition of these topics distracts from his compelling thesis and prevents the author from using that space to offer more specific guidance or concrete examples of how an individual or team can embody the five virtues.

Yet even the more familiar leadership topics are a pleasure to read in Berg’s thoughtful, inspirational voice. Readers will finish the book ready to live virtuously, whether they lead others or just themselves.

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