David Gergen served on the presidential staff of four U.S. Presidents: Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton.
His observations and analysis of these men is profound and fascinating. He is free to point out the strengths of each man and yet he is quite candid in exposing their weaknesses. The book is full of leadership insights.
Here is a sampling of his observations and comments:
- All four Presidents had strengths and weaknesses. Nixon and Clinton were the brightest. Reagan had the most emotional intelligence or “Presidential intelligence.” Ford had impeccable integrity.
- Ronald Reagan was the best leader of the four.
- Send a clear message of your vision and values … and keep sending it. (Reagan, Nixon) You must be clear on what you want to accomplish.
- The leaders you select around you can make you or break you.
- A leader must be a teacher and a mentor – always teaching, always mentoring, the people around you.
- The best leaders are comfortable in their own skin.
- The leader must do what is best for the organization, not what pleases people.