Boundaries: Where are they? And how do we keep them?

A boundary is a property line that exists so you can define what is your land and somebody else’s land. This is how we define who is responsible for what.

Life’s a pie, with three pieces:

  • Clinical Life (how we feel, habit patterns, thinking patterns)
  • Relational Life (work, family, dating, etc.)
  • Performance Side of Life (take your abilities and have some fruit come from your life)

How do we have boundaries with the digital world? Where can we have boundaries with social media, texting, and the standard social media sets for our performance?

Obstacles to setting boundaries:

-Internal forces, our own needs and dependencies. (Flesh)

-External forces, outside controlling factors. (The world.)

  • The biggest question you need to ask is,  “Are you God or not?” because people let other people play God in their lives.

– Evil forces in the universe. Thinking that things are good, when they really aren’t.

Creating boundaries takes work, it requires training. If you are interested in more growth in defining your boundaries, Dr. Henry Cloud just came out with a site called where you can subscribe to have Dr. Cloud become your monthly trainer on boundaries.


Boundaries for leaders:

To learn something, you can’t just have the information, you must have practice.

Dr. Cloud has created the Leadership University Podcast that you and your company, your partner, or your team can go through to develop the qualities you need to become a better leader. It is like a class, where you progress with each episode.

Whether you are a small business or a huge global company, the things your leadership needs to do are the same.

Solidify your vision; where are you right now? And where are you going?

Go to the Leadership University Podcast and enhance your leadership and your team’s vision!

Show Transcription

[00:18] Welcome to The Ziglar Show, where we inspire your true performance! I’m your host Kevin Miller and today Tom Ziglar and I bring you Dr. Henry Cloud. Dr. Cloud is a New York Times bestselling author, and his books have sold over 14 million copies. His groundbreaking book “Boundaries –  When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life”, has become a personal development classic, often sitting in the top 300 of overall books in Amazon, even after 25 years! In this show we give attention to Boundaries, then dig into his new gigantic effort and discussing the art and training of leadership. Real Leadership. He has possibly the most powerful online class to not only teach you leadership, but to take Any business idea or startup through to create a solid, well worked out business plan. I’ve been around biz development all my life, and his online class is just unreal. I went through it myself and we unpacked it and more in this show. Let me tell you, this is a show anyone and everyone will want to hear. Leadership is like sales, it’s ultimately about influence, and we all must have this ability, as we can’t serve a soul without it. Learning about it won’t do it, you have to do it…pen to paper, fingers to keyboards and implement. His course offers this opportunity on a silver platter.

[02:24] Alright folks, here we go with Dr Henry Cloud to discuss Boundaries and Leadership!

[04:38] You co-wrote the book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life In 1992. I looked on Amazon yesterday and the book was sitting at #237 in overall books. That is astounding. It has been updated and expanded recently and I’m wondering what you felt was needed to address in regards to now…almost 26 years later:

[05:17] You know it is kind of weird to write a book in 25 years old. And I remember a moment when we decided to write it, we have been out there to do public seminars for my book, from where Boundaries came from and the facilitator said all right when you guys are out there speaking what are most of the questions about? And we started laughing, it is always about boundaries and we are sick of it. He said then why not start writing a book on boundaries. And we were literally laughing at the idea with the spirit, al right let’s write a book about it and we will never have to talk about it and we can move on to other stuffs. This is such a universal issue which we face in every single part of life.

[08:26] In what area of our life do we tend to be the most boundary-less?

[08:37] Well I would say, I would step back a little bit and that would say an area of life. I tend to look at like Zig did, you know life comes like a pie and we have a different areas of life. And the simplest reduction of this is that the pie has three pieces is our clinical life. You know that’s how we feel our stress, energy, deficiency, our fears, anxiety all comes in clinical. And there is second pie is called relation. And that’s all thing relationship you know family, marriage, dating but that everything is relational. And the third one is performance side of life. We have to take the ability and actually learn what are those and feel comfortable with it. And so when I think of those areas, boundaries are all over. A lot of depression comes as people violates the boundaries. In the relational arena, you gotta control relations and when comes on performance area, boundaries are everything.

[13:00] How soon after writing the original Boundaries book did you realize people needed even more specifics in regards to certain areas, like marriage, parenting and leadership?

[13:22] Well it did surprises in this way. You know we are psychologist, we think of the principles and the values with tons of laws of boundaries. You know like in a dating relationship, if some guy is mistreating some girlfriend, she doesn’t have good boundaries, she can get into marriage. He is not reaping the consequences, she is reaping and that’s the violation. I have been doing leadership consulting and I spent my whole career with leaders and consultants, and finally I just started writing some leadership books.

[15:46] What is the primary internal enemy that keeps people from setting boundaries?

[16:32] This is what I love about Zig. He is always simple. And I can go back to the books, where the obstacles come the world, flesh and the devil. Basically there are internal forces, you know our own needs and dependencies, like what if you grow up and have the results which do not need approval. You gotta have people like you. That’s the best boundary buster that you can ever have. And the second part is external. There are people who have best interest in shaping you, trolling you, that’s what the biggest job of parents. How do we shape kids and shape them in a way that they need to go? And who they are people who will not control you but help you to control your limits and that is self control.

[29:32] You talked a minute ago about your history in leadership and you wrote boundaries for leaders and now today we found you with Leadership University, which looks to be a massive initiative. There is no lack of leadership content, so what did you feel was missing?

[31:14] Well it comes from a couple of places. You are right there are no absence of leadership contents out there, there is no absence of great leadership literature out there, I mean there are really great materials. I came to this leadership world not as a leadership person but as a clinical psychologist. I began my career as leadership consultant back in 80s and I have worked with high profile leaders throughout my career. And what I begin to see was just in this leadership space, a lot of people has a lot of information and content which is really valuable. The problem is that then I have to go out to this place called reality.

[37:00] I wanna testify to it because the preparation here is blessed through auditing and go through university. I am gonna tell you my first thought process coming through. This is a biz startup university, you need to go through this with your partner, your team and I am like what kind of project management team doesn’t want to go through it.  This is literally a university class to work through, not another leadership platform that throws a world of info at you to work through out. This is one page at a time and you can’t progress till you’ve completed the page in front of you! You lead off the leadership university course with this one quote, one of my favorite which you boiled down…I’ll read it: “Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory or defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt. Is this message more or less relevant today than times before?

[40:17] Well we are at a point more spectator. Now everybody thinks a great accomplishment in life is to have your very normal life like everybody has. And so I am glad you said that because the spectating thing, we have people who are famous and literally that’s what they are famous for. We decided to start leadership of university and here is why we need leadership university because we had a dream.

[44:33] When you talk about leadership, I wanna come to that term, I think a lot of people don’t engage enough and as you talk about leadership, it looks like you are putting a lot of emphasis, just being able to lead ourselves.

[44:56] It is kind of interesting paradox, because ultimately we are one person. So we talk about leading ourselves, so who is the leader and who is self. But it is true, you know we do have this term called self control. And self control is you know we have the capacity of brain that actually regulates ourselves. And it can regulate in self like we can have example regulate in emotional way where your fear doesn’t overcome your ability to risk or act. Where your emotion doesn’t override your judgement.

[49:52] So I just want to ask a question on leadership, it probably doesn’t have one answer but I will give you one. We have a group of small business owners that we work with about 250 – 300. And we also have certification, we certified people to go out and teach our programs. So is there a difference between the first step for somebody who is the business owner of small business versus somebody who is in the leadership position in fortune 1000 company versus somebody who is in the top position of the huge organization. Is the step process same, are the challenges same, that’s what I am curious?

[51:07] Let me ask you this way, they are this time in the way that I think about leadership has to do. They are not the same and if you are starting something, some of the aspects are doing that don’t exist there and you gotta make sure it exists there. But if you are stepping into a global enterprise, couple of billions revenues and hundred and thousands of employees, then all of those things already exists but you gotta make sure that they exist well and exist right. So you are still working on the same things.

[58:40] You got to engage the talent, above you, parallel you or below you or along the path, it’s only way anything happens. You know your brain can say I wanna go from here and there but if it says I need a new couple of legs to go there, he is not gonna get there.

[59:58] You go through getting clear on what you want, but then having us work through “guardrails” and “what would get us off track” feels like you are a sensei in vision failure and through this work, guaranteeing that we either reserve our place of success in the future, or…at least save ourselves time by just admitting up front there is no way we are committed to this, is that fair?

[1:01:20] Well I think that ends up in self selection process. I wrote a book and there was a chapter names ‘no more Mr bad guy’ and that’s for bosses. You know bosses are the bad guys who say something like you are not working out, your performances are native, because I feel like I can be mean or I can hurt this person, and I like to say you know it is not something about the good and the bad guy, it is about finding something for reality.

[1:06:21] Self selection process, that created a tool called performance planner. And it is a goal setting system and it has a day by day when you put your goals in. And it is really easy, it takes 8 minutes a day in doing it. And I tell people it’s a 100% money back guarantee if you complete this, if you can do it everyday for a year and if you are not happy with the results, just send it back the complete planner and I will give you all your money back. In 30 years, not one has ever come back completed.

[1:08:55] Ok, so on this overall, again you lead off with vision as the first step amongst the big initiative here, but I wanna end us on that because the most enamoured me is the work you had us do regarding vision and that’s step one I assume completely intended because this is helping me clarify my vision which makes me significantly more confident and dramatically committed. In with that my question for you is safe to say, as you are calling us to clarify our vision, where are e going?

[1:10:35] If you are in moving car, an hour ago you will be somewhere else. So it will be you who decide where to end up.

 [1:12:44] Thank you for what you invested to bring this leadership university to us. Thanks for taking the time for us today.

[1:13:30] Friends, I’m just so honoured to have brought you this message from Dr. Cloud. Get access to all he has to offer you, at And if you would, give us a thanks, please do so with an iTunes rating and review. Real quick folks…