Richard Nixon on Leadership

Awhile back I found the book Leaders by Richard Nixon in a second-hand bookstore (Warner Books).  I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s turning into an interesting read.  I always wonder about celebrity books — did the celebrity really do the writing?  There are other names in the Author’s Note, but there are enough personal stories that it certainly sounds like this was the work of Nixon himself.

Since it was published in 1982, it is a bit dated.  Profiled leaders are all Nixon’s contemporaries — Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Konrad Adenauer, Douglas MacArthur, Shigeru Yoshida, and of course Nikita Khrushchev and Zhou Enlai.  I’ll have a better opinion of it when I finish reading, but for now here are some leadership quotes from the first chapter, “They Made a Difference.”

“The surefire formula for placing a leader among the greats has three elements: a great man, a great country, and a great issue.”

“Management is one thing.  Leadership is another.”

“…management is prose; leadership is poetry.”

And from Winston Churchill (Chapter 2):  “We are all worms.  But I do think that I am a glowworm.”

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