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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.
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Richard Brookhiser is the author of What Would the Founders Do? , Founding Father , Alexander Hamilton , American , and America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735-1918 . He wrote and hosted the critically acclaimed PBS documentary Rediscovering George Washington , is a columnist for TIME magazine, and is a senior editor of National Review . He has written for The New Yorker and the New York Times . He lives in New York City.From Booklist:
In the guise of a management consultant, historian Brookhiser informs readers that George Washington used the hub-and-spoke system; was a shrewd talent scout; handled smart people well; was on top of essential details; and mastered his temper. Author of several superpopular titles about the Founders, Brookhiser, with casual diction and his customary wit, distills leadership lessons from Washington’s three occupations—business operator, military officer, and politician. Noting the universal problem of leadership, choosing from competing advice for dealing with problems, Brookhiser elaborates on how Washington did so by ranging across Washington’s life, collecting disparate incidents from youth or maturity to make a common point. Washington made his share of mistakes, admits Brookhiser, but learned from them and appreciated the value of effective PR. He famously melted the hearts of mutineers in 1783 by apologizing for going blind in the service of his country—and putting on spectacles they’d never seen. Could a CEO squelch a boardroom rebellion with the same stunt? While leaders glean Brookhiser for practical advice, history buffs will be intrigued by his biographical insights. --Gilbert Taylor
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