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The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief Hardcover – December 27, 2002

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Editorial Reviews


Don't laugh when you see the title of a new book that challenges the elite's view that President Bush is no brainiac: The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush. Really. "We did it," says coauthor Carolyn Thompson, a leadership expert, "because he's so widely underestimated and because everybody thinks he's not what he really is." That would be Master Leader, she and James Ware conclude in their scholarly study. More in-depth than others like The Rumsfeld Way, it charts Bush's 10 common-sense leadership lessons, like: Hire smart, build trust, talk straight, and leave aides alone. "General Patton," they write, "followed the same strategy." Yet unlike the field commander, Bush gets no respect, à la Rodney Dangerfield. But that, too, says Thompson, is part of Bush's genius. "He likes to be underestimated." She's even copied her two favorite Bush traits. While unpresidential at times, he tells it like he sees it. And he's religious about sticking to his schedule, which includes two hours of exercise and home by 7 p.m. "I do the same now and it works," she says. "He's made a believer out of me." (U.S. News & World Report, January 20, 2003)

From the Inside Flap

If, according to Abigail Adams, "great necessities call forth great leaders," then George W. Bush has displayed a natural ability to lead. Through his skillful use of timeless management principles and his powerful people skills, Bush has proven to be a genius at leadership.

The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush reveals the unwavering leadership principles of the first President with an MBA and illustrates how he uses them to operate within the arenas of politics, business, and life. Leadership and management consultants Carolyn Thompson and James Ware identify ten timeless qualities that have made Bush a great leader, breaking down each one so that you too can use these techniques in your own leadership quest–whether you are running a Fortune 500 company, the local school board, or your condo association.

Each thought-provoking chapter highlights a unique leadership lesson gleaned from Bush’s political, professional, and personal endeavors. From owner of the Texas Rangers to President of the United States, these principles have propelled George W. Bush to the top and can do the same for you:

  • Identifying core values
  • Building alliances
  • Having a vision
  • Communication
  • Building trust
  • Discipline
  • Bringing in the right people
  • Intuition
  • Allowing those hired to do their jobs
  • Getting results

The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush explores everything from overcoming setbacks (as Bush did during his nomination bid) and managing in crisis (September 11th) to setting the vision and hiring the best and brightest to execute it.

Engaging and entertaining, The Leadership Genius of George W. Bush is a lively blend of professional accomplishments and personal beliefs. Clearly outlining the techniques that have made George W. Bush such an effective leader, this practical guide will help you develop the leadership skills necessary for success in today’s fast-paced world.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (December 27, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471420069
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471420064
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,531,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R Smith on December 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
I saw one of the author's (Thompson) speak once and it was much more of a political rally or a serious discussion on leadership in an organizational context. Even though I questioned the sanity of anyone who writes a book with the words "genius," "common sense," and "GW Bush" in the same title, I decided to give it a try.

What I found is a book that is emblamatic of Bush's whole presidency. The rare glimpses we do get of Bush in public are scripted and fake (this is a fact, as recently proven. He has to be the worst public speaking president ever). Thus, any impression we get of him is clearly scripted with a few buzz words (9/11, freedom, tax relief, etc.) thrown in for effect. It should be no wonder, then, that Bush is seen as a man of little substance or depth, a syncophantic lackey for Cheney and his colleagues.

This book follows in that tradition. It presents a made-up, scripted version account of Bush's leadership style and conviently glosses over his costly leadership mistakes (cronyism, relying on anecdote over evidence, lacking credibility).

So, while this book is worthwhile in that outlines good leadership techniques in general, by attaching these characteristics to GW it reads like a surreal painting - taking common sense, ordinary objects and placing them in a contradictory setting. While they make sense in the real world, in their new context they make absolutely no sense at all.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By clutchhitter on February 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I flipped through this, as usual, the usual Bush platitude and down-home country good sense, Mom and Apple Pie.

If there was ever a president who made me want to vomit more, it was before I was born.
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By Mr Know it All on December 7, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I never thought I would see the words "genius," "common sense," and "George W Bush in the same sentence let alone on the cover of a book. Purely political propaganda.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arf! on April 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I really dont have to judge right wing extremists. I think that is pretty self effacing. The moron praises the chimp. I however will stay a moderate because life is a series of compromises. Even Jesus would agree to live by the sword is to die by it. So give unto the tea party the devil himself.
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Online buyer on September 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book shows how George W. Bush's life and experiences uniquely prepared him for his role as President of the United States, at a such pivotal time in the history of our county. This book does a good job of countering the liberal-left media's dis-information campaign.

It shows how GWB has risen to the challenges presented by terrorist attacks on our country, and how he has stood firm, despite pressure on every side, to back down, in the face of aggression.

He was raised in a tradition of true statesmanship, and has unfailingly put the interestes or our country above all else, choosing to sacrifice temporary popularity for doing the right thing.

History will view him as one of our greatest presidents.
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83 of 140 people found the following review helpful By Diane Rummel on January 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I am an avid reader of biographies and this book provided a biographical sketch of President Bush's lifestyle and then used that foundation to show how his management skills transformed his life. I grabbed a pencil and highlighter half-way into the first chapter and began writing in the margins. I liked this book because I could open to any page and find a nugget of information with a down to earth example. Some of the examples were just real funny and actually made me laugh out loud.
Then after reading the first few chapters, I realized that this book was not about President Bush's politics (although there was some strategies revealed) or about his faith (although his personal convictions are the heart of his core values) or even about his IQ level (his emotional intelligence is recognized as highly intuitive). This was a book was about how an average person can become the leader they want to be.
I finished the book quickly from a purely biographical point of view and now am going back over each chapter to concentrate on the leadership competencies and how I can learn from the examples. The authors know what they are talking about but they also made it real easy for the reader to put into practice the lessons that need to be learned.
After reading this book, I also came to appreciate and admire President Bush and how his personal discipline is one of the timeless principles of his leadership. I am glad that I read this book at this time in history.
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57 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Donald W. Page on January 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
In an enjoyable and insightful manner, authors Thompson and Ware present a compelling analysis of George W. Bush's leadership skills and techniques. In ten (10) concise chapters the reader is presented with an equal number of practical lessons that are applicable to leaders (or potential leaders) within most any type of organization. Starting with an examination of the fundamental core values that drive President Bush, the authors develop a useful guide that is loaded with practical "real world" examples and references. I personally found the chapter on Intuitive Wisdom to be very useful and thought provoking.
This book also serves as a powerful and timely corrective to much of the partisan nonsense that has been published in recent years regarding President Bush's capabilities. For all those truly interested in improving their management skills and those seeking diversity in thought and opinion, this one is a must read!
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