Best book I read in 2018: still much can be learned from the past.

One of the best things about the close of December is a chance to peruse all of the year-end lists, summarizing some of the best that 2018 had to offer.

My personal favorite non-fiction book this past year was Leadership: In Turbulent Times, by Doris Kearns Goodwin. Not only does the pre-eminent historian assure us that ‘no, we are not living in the worst of times’ – she provides readers with the six essential traits a president (and those in leadership positions) will need to successfully navigate a turbulent time.

You can see video summaries of each online, but here are the six if you still need help coming up with your 2019 resolutions:

  1. Empathy: The ability to identify with other points of view can be a breakthrough leadership trait for a president. 
  2. Resilience: Learning from difficult moments lies at the core of great leaders.
  3. Communication: A leader’s ability to communicate can mean the difference between the status quo and greatness.
  4. Openness: Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt grew as presidents by listening to people with views different than their own. 
  5. Impulse Control: Sometimes knowing what not to say is as important as what a president says. 
  6. Relaxation: From Franklin Roosevelt to Abraham Lincoln, America’s most iconic presidents knew that getting away from the White House could help them become better leaders.

Bonus trivia about presidential relaxation preferences for your next Jeopardy appearance: Lincoln went to the theater more than 100 times during the Civil War, Theodore Roosevelt earned his “Rough Rider” nickname by enjoying daily physical activities such as hiking and boxing, and lastly, his wheelchair-bound fifth cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt preferred long fishing trips where he famously solved the problem of supporting Britain in the Second World War while America was still technically ‘isolationist.’

Remember: in leadership one size does not fit all! And most importantly, with ambition, self-reflection, and perseverance, leadership skills can be developed and strengthened. 

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Looking for more info?

Find out about The True Grift of Four American Presidents here.

And read a great guest review by Senator Tim Kaine in the Washington Post here.

 

 

 

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