It’s that magical time of year, when our social media feeds are briefly (I mean, briefly) interrupted from political and social discourse to focus on all of those inspirational salutary addresses at college and high school campuses across the country. It’s graduation season, when new candidates enter the workforce, everything is possible, and we start to feel inspirational. It’s also a great time to kick back and enjoy some professional development reading before you transition to your favorite beach read – and that’s why the ClearanceJobs Book Club is picking up ‘The Character Edge: Leading and Winning with Integrity’ as our May book – read along with us and get practical and data tested insights into leadership from a former superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a professor of psychology.

Leadership books are a dime a dozen. So are books looking to translate the military ethos into a hot takes cheat sheet for academia or corporate America (as if they’d listen). The Character Edge is neither of those, however – it combines military and non-military case studies from two authors with more than 80 years of experience in leading and motivating teams. It’s inspirational without being cute, has both good depth and readability. In other words – it’s a great choice for all of those college graduates in your life. The kind of book you’ll feel good giving, that the student (might?) read, and that their parents will probably steal, as well.

Whether you read a leadership book once a month or almost never, The Character Edge is a good read to pick up. Yes, some of the concepts are the same ones you’ve heard before. But most of us aren’t the kind of geniuses who can learn a lesson in one shot. Even the most voracious readers and professional development tycoons need to dive into the introspective waters of character – what traits within us can better position us for success? Where do we still need to grow? And why is simple talent – even exceptional talent – not enough to be truly successful?

Character counts. Culture counts. But both aren’t innate, and even the most toxic or lackadaisical leader can be cultivated into something better. Read along with us this month and share your thoughts about leadership, character, and integrity.

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Lindy Kyzer is the editor of She loves the NISPPAC, social media, and the U.S. military. Have a conference, tip, or story idea to share? Email Interested in writing for Learn more here.