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George Washington on Leadership by Richard…

George Washington on Leadership (2008)

by Richard Brookhiser

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To Ed, Many thanks and best regards, Richard Brookhiser
  efeulner | May 2, 2014 |
I enjoyed every bit of this biography organized around themes of leadership. Washington lived an outstanding life, stepping up time after time to fulfill duties, and exhibiting industry on his own initiative in the rare moments afforded him. What I most valued were the examples of how he leveraged his natural strengths, such as visual acuity and commanding presence, while working through others to supplement his weaknesses in oratory and writing. ( )
  jpsnow | Nov 29, 2013 |
George Washington on Leadership is an excellent history lesson with a purpose. Following the career of our first president from his early years as a farmer, to a military career starting in the French and Indian War and as a real estate speculator, the book also brings in other famous founders including Hamilton, Jefferson and Adams. Washington's interactions with such an illustrious cast and crew.

Brookheiser spends a little time defining current aspects of leadership and management, but lets the history lesson speak for itself. Many concepts overlap, and he reminds us of what we've already learned when this is the case.

I did learn more about the character of Washington, and I have a better idea on just how he became such an iconic leader. The lessons learned are not complex, introductory management material -- but well presented. If the reader, like myself, has an affinity for history, this book is a good way to convey fundamental principles.

As an aside, I will compare this to an older book I just read regarding Attila the Hun on Leadership. The author of that book, Wess Roberts, fabricates mythical counseling sessions with Attila and his subordinates. George Washington on Leadership is more grounded in actual, documented events; although Washington too did not spend time commenting or writing specifically on leadership. Both books are written from the view point of a third-party observer. Brookhiser brings up modern parables while Roberts leaves it to the readers to relate to modern challenges.

Both are excellent books worth the time to read. ( )
  JeffV | Jun 7, 2012 |
Is this a biography about George Washington? Yes. A book on leadership? Affirmative. Both? Definitely!

While not well versed in "how to succeed in business" type books, I do not know how this compares or ranks in the genre, but George Washington on Leadership was inspirational as well as enlightening.

I expected Richard Brookhiser's book to be a straightforward biography of George Washington the leader - as if General and President Washington was never a leader. It was instead a well organized blueprint for the aspiring commander; deftly utilizing examples from George Washington's storied life, these instances of the Indispensable Man's leadership give flesh to the skeleton of a "self help" book.

It has been estimated, all of George Washington's correspondence, speeches and general documents would fill 90 volumes; therefore, it is still possible for the most learned Washington aficionado to discover new facts about his life and habits. This book is no different. The bonus is becoming a better person or leader by reading this book. ( )
  HistReader | Jan 5, 2012 |
One quote stands out:Learn to work with eccentrics – Baron Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, an expert on Prussian military tactics, was a major asset to Washington during the Revolutionary War. Von Steuben helped Washington shape the Continental Army into an efficient, disciplined military force. But the baron had some major drawbacks. Fluent in French and German, he spoke no English. Assistants had to translate all his commands andadvice, including his frequent profanities. Washington chose to ignore as an isolated insult a letter from Europe that charged the baron with taking “familiarities with young boys.” Washington managed to work with von Steuben because he needed the baron’s help to win the war. Leaders sometimes must weigh staffers’ deficiencies – and ask if their positives outweigh their negatives.
  GEPPSTER53 | Jul 16, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0465003028, Hardcover)

FIRST IN WAR, FIRST IN PEACE, FIRST IN LEADERSHIP. Richard Brookhiser’s revolutionary biography, Founding Father, took George Washington off the dollar bill and made him live. Now, with his trademark wit and precision, Brookhiser expertly examines the details of Washington’s life that fullscale biographies sweep over, to instruct us in true leadership. George Washington on Leadership is a textbook look at Washington’s three spectacularly successful careers as an executive: general, president, and tycoon. Brookhiser explains how Washington maximized his strengths and overcame his flaws, and inspires us to do likewise. It shows how one man’s struggles and successes 200 years ago can be a model for leaders today. Washington oversaw two startups-the army and the presidency. He chaired the most important meeting in American history-the Constitutional Convention. Washington rose from being a third son who was a major in the militia, to one of the most famous men in the world. At every stage in his career, he had to deal with changing circumstances, from tobacco prices to geopolitics, and with wildly different classes of men, from frontiersmen to aristocrats. Washington’s example is so crucial because of the many firsts he is responsible for.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:19 -0400)

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With his trademark wit and precision, the author of "Founding Father" examines Washington's three spectacularly successful careers as an executive: general, president, and tycoon.

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