Leadership Lessons from a Former President

I recently completed president George W. Bush's book Decision PointsIt was a fun and captivating read. The book chronicled 14 key decisions that President Bush made in his life.  The decisions ranged from the personal; like his decision, to quit drinking alcohol to the presidential; like his decision to pass the controversial economic rescue package Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP)  The book is a must read for critic or fan alike and any student of leadership. The book provides an excellent and accurate portrayal of the unique challenges of the presidency.  This is my favorite quote from the closing pages of the book and I think it reflects perfectly President Bush's stoic demeanor,

"It's too early to say how most of my decisions will turn out.  As president, I had the honor of eulogizing Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan.  President Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon, once regarded as one of the worst mistakes in presidential history, is now viewed as a selfless act of leadership.  And it was quite something to hear the commentators who once denounced President Reagan as a dunce and a warmonger talk about how the Great Communicator had won the Cold War.   Decades from now, I hope people will view me as a president who recognized the central challenge of our time and kept my vow to keep the country safe; who pursued my convictions without wavering but changed course when necessary; who trusted individuals to make choices in their lives; and who used America's influence to advance freedom.  And I hope they will conclude that I upheld the honor and dignity of the office I was so privileged to hold.  Whatever verdict on my presidency, I'm comfortable with the fact that I won't be around to hear it.  That's a decision point only history will reach."  p. 476-477


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