June 24, 2018] A common theme we find among great leaders in my Reading List is that they are quick to discover hard lessons of others and learn from them. Personally, I’m always on the lookout for those lessons in the books I read and was pleasantly surprised to find a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Edward J. Larson that did just that. And it doesn’t matter how old the lessons are because humans don’t change that much; we have similar wants and desires, as well as motivators, strengths, and weaknesses. As always, my intent at www.theleadermaker.com is to get us to “think” and to use “reasoning” to solve the problems of leaders around the globe. This book can help reinforce those lessons we know about and provide us with new ones.
The Return of George Washington, Edward J. Larson, 2014.
It should never be lost on any of us that great leaders live by the standard of influencing others; regardless of our position in any organization or society. This book by Larson focuses on the years between George Washington’s generalship during the U.S. Revolutionary War and when he was President of the United States. These years 1783-1789 are frequently overlooked in the biographies about GW and glossed over in the history of that time. We are told, more important things are happening that we should pay closer attention to. But those years are full of lessons that provide us with insight into the mind of one of the greatest leaders in human history.
During these years we see GW as an insightful businessman – also demanding, testy, and shrewd – and a visionary who wants to turn a disintegrating infant United States into a truly united country. He wanted a stronger central government to replace the unruly confederation of states which was slowly devolving into an unworkable mess. GW worked behind the scenes to encourage help to ensure the Constitutional Convention of 1787 solved the many problems the new nation was experiencing. This is a story about the return of GW. In truth, however, he was never really gone from public life but this book is full of those efforts to overcome the vast obstacles that governance is fraught within any nation. Along the way, we are given a better idea of his vision as in his view of western expansion and economic growth, why the Electoral College came about, why the Bill of Rights was tacked on, and the intense infighting of the many leaders of the day against a stronger federal government. It is hard to imagine, as one person put it, “without the popular, decent, and wise George Washington during those years.”
If you have a membership in Amazon Prime, you can download this book electronically for free. Highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map