By Thomas M. Loarie

BOOK REVIEW: Which Pain Will You Choose? The Pain of Discipline or the Pain of Regret?

June 27, 2020
Column: CEO Learnings

This review was first published in 2015, but given the times, the uncertainty of government lockdown decisions and more, we felt this book could be especially helpful to Catholic business leaders and entrepreneurs. -CBJ ed.

In The Reinvented Leader, author Chuck Bolton shares the wisdom and tools he has developed from working with more than 1,000 executives and 100 top leadership teams. Like Pat Lencioni and Ram Charan, Bolton sees patterns while working across many organizations and industries. He has become adept at recognizing patterns that are a multiplier for productivity and career development, as well as patterns that are destructive. Pros like Bolton are invaluable since they bring essential learnings and proven tools to accelerate change and positive growth to individuals and organizations.

In this book, Bolton focuses on the five critical steps to becoming your best, all you can be. These include mindset, energy, robust relationships, the right stuff, and training vs trying.

But before Bolton gets into each of these five steps, he challenges the reader by asking the question, “Why Reinvention?” And he responds with two very provocative quotes:

  • “Which pain will you choose? The pain of discipline or the pain of regret? It’s not just for you. What will you do with your life that will last forever? It’s your time.” —Jim Rohn
  • “People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting-in instead of standing out.” —Warren Bennis

Reinvention is to consciously transform how you operate, connect and lead so you can stay relevant, energized and create maximum value in whatever you choose to do. To do this, consider your:

  • Mindset – Bolton challenges the reader with fundamental questions: What are your beliefs? Are they limiting or empowering? What is your “why”?
  • Energy, then time – Are you harnessing your energy which springs from four sources—spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical? Leaders take care of their own energy and help boost the energy of those around them. Energy is key to concentration, clarity, creativity, and thought-ful decision-making. Bolton provides tips and solutions for evaluating your routine and for increasing your energy.
  • Robust relationships – Who are the people critical to your success? How do you nurture these relationships, and those of people who are less critical? Do you have a people plan? How do you connect, show empathy, generosity, intimacy and yes, vulnerability?

“Emotional distance is growing today and critical relationships are becoming fewer and more fragile,” writes Bolton. He offers seven ways to increase your relationship capital (the W-5, the 90-second rule, and more)

  • The Right Stuff – What is your story? Are you a life-long learner? Do you get feedback? Give feedback? What do leaders view as the “right stuff” required for the 21st century?  Inspirational leadership, exceptional team-building, unimpeachable integrity, clear communication, compelling vision, customer obsession. Where do you need to grow?
  • Training versus Trying – Knowledge does not equal change. We overestimate what we can do by trying and we underestimate what we can do by training. Are you in training? Do you have deliberate practices for creating new habits, building new skills? Transformation comes with disciplined training.

The Reinvented Leader is a call to action for developing our leadership potential. Today, the world is begging for trust-based inspirational leadership. The need is great since we are suffering from mediocrity in leadership.

Whether we realize it or not, we are all leaders. This book is for everyone. Reinvent and reach your leadership potential. It will make you unstoppable and willgive you a competitive advantage in whatever you do.

Don’t judge this book superficially. Read it. The Reinvented Leader was not published by a major publishing house. But don’t let that fool you as it is better than most books released by major publishing houses.

I highly recommend this book. It is filled with great content and the author also provides numerous links to helpful web-based information, some of which he created.



Thomas M. Loarie is the CEO of BryoLogyx, a rotating host of THE MENTORS RADIO SHOW, and a senior editorial advisor and columnist for Catholic Business Journal. He may be reached at


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