From Publishers Weekly
Kettl, a University of Wisconsin public affairs professor, aims in this fast, accessible read to uncover "the leadership ideas and methods of America's 43rd president." In the process, he finds George W. Bush's most striking accomplishment to be that he "has consistently exceeded expectations." Kettl describes a president of average intellect with one saving grace: the ability to assemble, unify and lead a highly qualified management team that analyzes complex problems and solutions, thus enabling Bush to make effective decisions. Kettl attributes Bush's team-building skills to his easygoing style; his insistence that his staff be punctual, concise and professionally attired; and his education as "the nation's first MBA president." There are stimulating ideas, such as tips on creating and using political capital, aligning the structure of staff to personal strengths, and crafting and delivering effective messages. As with most lesson books, however, the ideas lose their impact and originality when summarized, e.g., "Develop a plan-and stick to it" and "Don't fight battles you can't win." Kettl draws these lessons almost exclusively from media reportage; while he serves on an advisory panel to the White House's Office of Management and Budget, there's no promise of insider information. Bush's ability to lead is certainly a compelling topic, but perhaps because we are only two years into a presidency filled with controversy and challenge, the book lacks any depth of research or perspective.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
[Bush has] the ability to assemble, unify and lead a highly qualified management team that analyzes complex problems and solutions. -- Publisher's Weekly, February 2003