A Passion for Leadership: Lessons on Change and Reform from Fifty Years in Public Service

Robert M. Gates. Knopf, $26.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-307-95949-2
Gates (Duty), a former U.S. secretary of defense, takes a powerful and pragmatic look at leadership in this book, a must-read for anyone who wants to be an agent of change within an organization. Drawing on his experiences at the Defense Department, the CIA, and Texas A&M University, Gates offers leaders “specific ideas and techniques that enable them to successfully reform and improve their organizations.” He goes on to expound on the qualities necessary for leading reform, including having a vision, strategic thinking, attention to implementation, transparency, a respectful attitude, and political finesse with stakeholders. The concepts come to life through Gates’s clear prose and illuminating examples of his own successes and failures, from an unpopular tenure as deputy director for intelligence at the CIA during the early 1980s, to successful efforts to increase diversity at A&M and transparency at the post–Cold War CIA. Readers will be struck by Gates’s humility, humor, and undeniable expertise. This practical, no-nonsense look at leadership will not only provide a useful guide but also serve as an inspiration for young people interested in entering public service. Agent: Wayne Kabak, WSK Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/19/2015
Release date: 01/19/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-101-88881-0
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-4676-2221-9
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-307-94964-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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