When a book takes me back to my Alma Mater, I have a special fondness for it. When an author can weave a message together with historical accounts, personal experiences and practical application, I am hooked.
Character Carved in Stone – The 12 Core Virtues of West Point that Build Leaders and Produce Success – by Pat Williams and Jim Denney was that book.
West Point was such a pivotal part of my life. The training there pushed me well beyond what I ever thought I could do. I found friends that will be in my life forever, and I met my husband. So many leaders and peers influenced me at such a deep level that when I go back there, even just in my mind, my heart swells. Establishing who I was on the foundation they were laying, changed me and the course of my life. These truths that they about beat in to us, are life changing for anyone and can be life changing as well. Discipline, Integrity, Loyalty, Courage – and of course Trust (or honestly) are all needed at a deeper level today than ever before.
Each of the 12 chapters explores a character trait that is tied back to West Point. Each trait is also associated with a historical figure like Grant, and gives an account of their life and how that character trait defined them early on and throughout their lives. As you read about this trait and how it impacts a person you also read about a person who embodied that trait. Seeing how people apply these ideas in their own lives can be inspiring to us to apply them in our own lives as well.
I really enjoyed reading this book, the chapters are well written and flow at a quick pace. I also appreciated the history lesson that continues throughout, even learning some history associated with West Point that I did not know!
I highly recommend this book, it a great read for history lovers, self-help readers and those who are looking to apply character in every area of their lives.
If you want to try it before you buy it – there is a download of an excerpt HERE.
NOTE: I received a copy of Character Carved in Stone in exchange for an honest review.
More about the Book:
Overlooking the Hudson River on the campus of the United States Military Academy at West Point are 12 granite benches, each inscribed with a word representing a key leadership virtue: compassion, courage, dedication, determination, dignity, discipline, integrity, loyalty, perseverance, responsibility, service, and trust. These benches remind cadets of the qualities that lead to victory and success, not just on the battlefield, but in all of life.
With his signature enthusiasm and insight, Pat Williams shares the incredible stories of West Point graduates who exemplified these traits, from the Civil War to the War on Terror. He shows readers of all backgrounds how to develop these 12 essential virtues in their lives, whether they are in the corporate world, the academic world, the military, the church, or in some other sphere.