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John F. Kennedy on Leadership: The Lessons and Legacy of a President Hardcover – May 26, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Following up on Ulysses Grant on Leadership, journalist Barnes offers 12 concept-based chapters that draw on the life and presidency of JFK. "Vision" centers on the "Ask Not..." inaugural address; "Resilience" touches on the West Virgina primary (where JFK found a way around "the Catholic issue" to score an upset victory); "Team Building" looks at the JFK-RFK relationship and at Kennedy's crack staff of advisors (as well as when he did and didn't listen to them). Barnes gets to the anecdotal material quickly enough in each chapter to keep his rather thin concepts from buckling, and he presents it clearly and without jingoism. And Barnes does not back away from "Miscalculations and Misjudgements" and "Faults and Failings." The result is suggestive, if not overly inspiring.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Cecil Johnson, nationally syndicated columnist: ""John F. Kennedy on Leadership is a worthy addition to the books that use history to add flavor to lessons on leadership.""
Houston Business Journal: ""Clear and concise, the book covers all the fundamentals for success.Written in an inviting and accessible style, this skill-building book is an essential tool for becoming an effective, confident new manager.""
The Globe & Mail (Toronto): ""It’s a tight, tough, thought-provoking biography-cum-leadership book that is fun to read.""
NationalReview.com: ""[John Barnes] dazzles me [still] with his sharp eye for the unnoticed detail – and his fascinating insights into the minds of the great and not-so-good."
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If you're a new reader to this fascinating period of presidential history and world politics, you might find this boook interesting reading.
leadership skills of JFK in a way seldom appreciated.
Most people think of Kennedy as a privileged son of a wealthy businessman with powerful political connections who used his good looks and charisma to ultimately achieve the presidency. However, little attention has been given to his difficult struggle with a chronic disease, a severe physical
handicap and personal shyness. Further, few authors have closely analyzed how well Kennedy mastered the new medium of television, or fostered teamwork within the Whitehouse. What about the leadership skills that inspired him to create the Peace Corps, or the way he cautiously maneuvered during the Berlin crisis or the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962?
Author John Barnes deftly covers various attributes of sound leadership like vision, resilience, communication, team building, decision making and crisis management. He takes each of these qualities and weaves them into actual historical episodes within Kennedy's brief life. For example, Barnes clearly demonstrates JFK's powerful use of vision from his proclamation of America entering a "New Frontier", his remarkable Inaugural Address and his "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech of June 1963. At the conclusion of this chapter, Barnes offers the reader some thoughtful ways to create their own vision using the lessons learned from Kennedy's example.
This is an excellent book and is a pleasure to read. John F. Kennedy on Leadership is not a book that simply idolizes the achievements of JFK. Kennedy is honestly examined and all his personal strengths and weaknesses are frankly revealed. The final chapter entitled, Faults and Failures strips away the veneer of the Camelot myth. But even here... there is much for the reader to learn from JFK's unpleasant character flaws.
John F. Kennedy on Leadership is a readable book that beautifully merges real historical events with a man whose leadership skills changed the world we live in today. This is the kind of book that provides a satisfying rumination of thought when the back cover is eventually closed.
A former political speechwriter and columnist, Barnes' chapters on communications and speechwriting are especially good.
Those who seek success cannot do better than by studying the efforts of those who have succeeded -- and this book is packed with valuable lessons for anyone interested in business and politics.