To many of us, the leaders of the American Revolution are distant men of myth – stoic, heroic and unknowable. Though we take it for granted that they were brilliant, we rarely ask why. What distinguished them from their fellow citizens … then and now? What practical lessons can they teach us about leadership and about realizing our own career and personal goals?
In Founding Leadership, Brent Taylor reveals the all-too human side of these “marble men,” examining the words, deeds and personal qualities that allowed Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton and others to achieve their Utopian aims. Taylor demonstrates that effective leadership requires more than perseverance and a laundry list of how-to steps. It requires us to conceive visions that are greater than ourselves, communicating and executing those visions in ways that will inspire, persuade and motivate others.
In examining historical episodes both famous and obscure, Taylor uncovers the light and dark sides of power, including the motivations behind Benedict Arnold’s infamous betrayal. Through these fascinating studies, we become more attuned to America’s past and – most important – to our own leadership potential.
As remote as the founders’ lives and times may sometimes seem, the qualities that made them great live within us all. We can awaken these qualities if we make the conscious effort to serve not just ourselves, but our families, our communities and the world.
If great leaders are made, not born, then the next Washington, Jefferson or Hamilton is already living among us. That leader may be you.