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Reviewed by Jon Michael Miller for Readers' Favorite
LauraAnn Migliore Ph.D. and Erik Bean Ed.D.'s 20/20 Prudent Leadership is the first of nine lessons for personal development. These researchers have developed a fascinating metaphor that compares human awareness to an atom. The nucleus of the atom represents values; the neutrons represent beliefs; the electrons represent emotions, thoughts and behavior; and ions stand for whatever works against harmony. This metaphor is to be used to help people become successful on their own terms or to follow Teddy Roosevelt’s summation of human action: “Do what you can, with what you have, and where you are at.” This line seems to be the inspiration for the authors’ construct and arises several times in the piece. The authors see many difficulties and complexities to come in the 2020s and are presenting a methodology to help us not only cope but flourish. The purpose of the series is to create an “understanding of self and others to make prudent decisions that complement your personal growth.”
I took Lesson One to be the first step—knowing one’s values—and LauraAnn Migliore and Erik Bean offer some ideas we can consider to achieve this self-knowledge. After we find our identities, we must live them in all our decisions and actions. Sometimes integrity is not easy, such as making a decision that goes against our values. The authors have built their process on three systems which they explain. The first is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; the second, the Conservation of Resources; and the third, Self-Leadership. The authors make use of other systems too: The Theory of Bounded Rationality and Cognitive Dissonance Theory. I was particularly impressed with the examples the authors use to clarify things, among them the decision-making process of passengers on 9/11’s tragic Flight 93, and the non-violent protests of Martin Luther King, Jr. I was impressed by the list of research sources and was thankful for the glossary of terms. Their 20/20 Prudent Leadership also includes some amusing graphics of a human with its head as an atom. I will look forward to the eight follow-up lessons, the final of which will focus on Teddy Roosevelt as the paragon of what a human should be. I agree that the 2020s present new trials. We should all make use of whatever teaching is available to improve our ability to face the challenges ahead.