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Heretics to Heroes: A Memoir on Modern Leadership Hardcover – July 6, 2016
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What struck me most about Cort’s story is his obvious commitment to morals and ethics. He’s clearly devoted to doing the right thing and inspiring others to do the same. To use an analogy, Cort is a Luke Skywalker in a world full of Emperors, Darth Vaders, and Stormtroopers who mindlessly serve their empire. He is married to his principles and has a strong sense of purpose, which is increasingly rare in today’s business climate.
Frankly, Millennials like me have become jaded by unscrupulous leadership in business, politics, academia, and similar institutions. We have all but lost faith in the generations before us to do what’s right, and we worry about the example they have set for future generations to come.
This is what makes Heretics to Heroes such a bright, shining light in the darkness.
For me, Cort’s message was a reminder that hope is not lost. That there is still good in the world. That with the right vision and leadership, business and humanitarian goals can be achieved together. That ambition and empathy can be united in a harmonious relationship, rather than viewed as separate and conflicting matters that would stifle each other’s productivity.
Cort Dial is a source of inspiration and hope, and his book is testament of his commitment to authentic leadership, justice, and social consciousness. He is humble yet powerful in his own way; his book delivers a clear, positive, and certain message during an uncertain time. I believe he is the kind of leader the world so desperately needs right now.
Whether you are an institutional leader or a simple bystander looking for a great story, Heretics to Heroes will entertain, enlighten, and instruct you in ways most books never will. Very impressive and would recommend for anyone’s reading list. -Steven Fies, Author
Cort’s book was a great read and a valuable resource for those who revere leadership and its development, either personally or as a profession. While I had been exposed to some of his past, the first part of the book was personally fulfilling. It reminded me of many of my own trials and tribulations, and reinforced many key concepts that can be lost over time – for example, falling in love with each and every client on site.
Cort’s path is also a critical read given the current environment, where race and ethnic differences are creating opportunities to dig a little deeper into our listening and learning skills. Cort shows us through his own travels (or is that travails?) what an open heart can see, and how that openness can be taught, learned or reinforced. Importantly, from a business perspective, he connects the value of this humanity with broad business results, and exposes us (at least briefly) to Dr. Deming’s perspective that (heretic alert!!) ‘...the things most important to quality, safety, productivity, or any human endeavor cannot be quantified.’
The second part of the book was full of descriptive technique to bring already impactful leadership into a finely honed state. To the leader readers, read this section until you can embrace it – it will elevate your potential to the next level. To the leadership consultant heretics, revel in it and recognize that much of what you have wanted to say, do and provide in full service of your clients – has now been superlatively reinforced, substantially supported and masterfully demonstrated.
I have proposed some controversial step changes at my own work which borderline on heresy, and hoped that this book would provide some insights that I could apply to my situation. As I read it, there were several examples which resonated strongly with my personal experience (working with someone who becomes severely injured, and deplorable amenities and facilities for remote workers). This personal identification captivated me and engaged me fully into the book.
Cort clearly followed his heart, defied the status quo to do so, and was later proven correct as workplace practices and even legislation caught up with what he had been advocating. This is the extra inspiration and motivation I need to stick with my vision of a brighter future and do whatever I can to help my peers realize it ASAP; even if they don't think they need to yet.