29 Nov Leadership in Turbulent Times | Doris Kearns Goodwin
2018: Book #48
Ever had your hopes dashed?
When Doris Kearns Goodwin announced her new book, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” my hopes were high. Then, I learned that the book examines the lives and leadership of four presidents: Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and LBJ. My hopes were raised even higher—I am all about some presidential leadership—but then I read the book.
Goodwin has won the Pulitzer Prize. Her work on FDR and Eleanor is exquisite. What’s more, she was an aide to LBJ. Her writings on him are acclaimed. Unfortunately, in this book, I kept waiting for her to land the plane…to make the point. She never does.
My book of the year for 2017 was Nancy Koehn’s “Forged in Crisis.” That book looked at the lives of five leaders. It told their story and weaved in leadership lessons. Koehn’s “Forged in Crisis” is a masterpiece. “Leadership in Turbulent Times” reads more like a cheap knockoff.
Are there leadership lessons? Yes.
Are there good stories? Indeed.
Should you read the book? Meh.
If you choose to take this book on, be prepared to wade through a ton of minutia before arriving at any grand principles.
I give the book 2.5 out of 5 stars.
That’s book #48 for 2018.
4 books left before I reach 52 for the year.
Remember, all leaders are readers.
If you want to be a better leader…be a reader.