1. Carlson, Elizabeth Ann

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The two books reviewed provide insight into past or current leaders as well as future leaders who are currently entering the workforce and becoming future leaders. Both books can be used for group leadership or individual development.


How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers by David M. Rubenstein. Simon & Schuster, New York; 2020. $30.00, 424 pages


This book is a very interesting and engaging read. The author, David M. Rubenstein, is an interesting person. He describes his professional journey from an only child in a blue-collar family to a scholarship student, lawyer, White House aide, private equity cofounder, philanthropist, nonprofit organization chair, public speaker, television show interviewer and commentator, and author. His sense of humor is evident when he states after this description of his life "(Not being a really good leader in any one area, I suppose I tried many different areas.)" pg xi.


In the introduction, he describes his view that leadership comes in many forms and is exercised in many ways. He states that leaders are found in the military commanding troops, conceptualizing and building large companies, developing scientific breakthroughs, and creating visual or performing arts that demonstrate human expression at its highest level. Some leaders have athletic skills that unite fans worldwide, other leaders can transform an existing organization or develop solutions to complicated problems, while others create new ways of communicating or thinking. His long interest in how different types of people become and remain leaders leads to him always asking of the leaders he encountered how had they become a leader. This habit became more public when he was the president of the Economic Club of Washington, DC, and began interviewing prominent leaders on a near monthly basis. He continued his interest in "knowing what makes leaders tick" (p. x) through his TV show Peer to Peer. This book is the outgrowth of those interviews.


Rubenstein asks why should anyone really want to be a leader and then answers his own question by describing his perspective on what a leader can achieve. He illustrates his ideas with examples from his life and observations. On pages xvii to xxi, he cites and describes the leadership attributes he has heard repeatedly from those he has interviewed. Upon reading this list, it is clear why he has chosen those he has to interview and document in this book.


Each interview begins with a quote from the interviewee, a description of how Rubenstein first met the interviewee and Rubenstein's personal thoughts on the interviewee. The interviews all follow the same format with Rubenstein asking the questions and the interviewee responding. The interview lengths vary slightly but average 13-14 pages. At the end of the book there is an Acknowledgement section, an About the Contributors section that offers biographical information about each interviewee, and an Index.


Rubenstein has divided the leadership experiences of those in the book into six categories:


1. Visionaries: Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet.


2. Builders: Phil Knight, Ken Griffin, Robert F. Smith, Jamie Dimon, and Marillyn Hewson.


3. Transformers: Melinda Gates, Eric Schmidt, Tim Cook, Ginni Rometty, and Indra Nooyi.


4. Commanders: George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, David Petraeus, Condolezza Rice, and James A. Baker III.


5. Decision-Makers: Nancy Pelosi, Adam Silver, Christine Lagarde, Anthony S. Fauci, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.


6. Masters: Jack Nicklaus, Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski, Renee Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, and Lorne Michaels.



I read most of the interviews, which is easy to do due to their relatively short length and interesting topics. It is the type of book you can pick up, learn something in a short read, and return to when time allows. There are a few of the ones I particularly enjoyed and learned from. Each of the interviews recounted is much more expansive and informational than I recount here.


Under Visionaries, I read about Oprah Winfrey. Rubenstein stated that "Oprah does not need an interviewer to draw her out," (pg. 48) and that the interview was a master class in interviewing for him. Oprah discusses growing up in poverty and shuttling between relatives. She talks about her early years on television and how her skill is listening, not interviewing.


As one of the Builders interviewed, I found Phil Knight, the founder of Nike, to have an interesting story. Rubenstein states Knight rarely gives extended interviews but granted him one after Rubenstein agreed to wear his Air-Jordan's he purchased to enable him to be a better basketball player-which has yet to materialize. Knight relates a story about his high school track coach who experimented with shoes and how, when in graduate school, his assignment was to make up a small business. He wrote about manufacturing running shoes based on what he had learned from his high school coach. I leave you to read the interview to determine where this leads.


Ginni Rometty, a Transformer, was the CEO of IBM. Her story about being a woman who earned an engineering degree from Northwestern on a scholarship from General Motors provides insight into the world of the 1970s and 1980s and women in leadership and her attribution to being curious and continuing to learn to her success.


I have always admired Colin Powell and his interview in the Commander section just reinforced this admiration. He discusses the segregation he encountered when off base while stationed in Georgia in the late 1950s and early 1960s.


The section on Decision-Makers includes both Dr. Fauci and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Both of these interviews were very interesting. Much of the content is not new to me but I enjoyed "hearing" their voices as they told their stories.


The sixth section on Masters includes Yo-Yo Ma, the cellist. I learned much about him and his developmental years I did not know previously. He discusses his ability to focus with great concentration on what he does as part of his success story.


I have only addressed a few of the many leaders in this book. All of the individual selected for these interviews are interesting and offer insight into the question of how to lead. It is clear there is no one way and no one attribute or approach. I highly recommend this book for the information provided, and Rubenstein's clear and engaging writing interspersed with humor.


Next Generation Leadership: How to Ensure Young Talent Will Thrive with Your Organization by Adam Kingl. HarperCollins Leadership, New York; 2020. $24.00, 206 pages


This book has a Foreword, three Sections that encompass 12 Chapters, an Epilogue, Acknowledgements, Bibliography, About the Author, and an Index. This book focuses on what corporations and leaders should know about and consider when working with Generation Y. Persons born between 1982 and 2004 are considered to be within Gen Y.


I believe this book has good concepts and interesting predictions. Kingl focuses on corporate work and thus the content isn't 100% applicable to clinical settings although the ideas and general content are useful to peruse. That being said, it is worth reading/reviewing particularly Section 1. Section 2 can be skimmed and Section 3 read/reviewed.


Chapter 1, It All Starts with a Pattern, provides an overview of the average number of employers in a lifetime per generation. For example, the Silent or Greatest Generation (born between 1925 and 1942) had 1-2 employers. Baby Boomers (1943-1960) have/had 3-4 employers while Gen X (1961-1981) appears to be on track to have 6-8 employers. It is predicated that Gen Y (1982-2004) will have 15-16 employers. Kingl postulates that if this pattern continues to repeat, Gen Z (2005+) may have 30 to 32 employers. Kingl discusses how these data were gathered.


Chapter 2, The Obsession and Discontent with Generations, looks in more detail at generational characteristics including a useful chart on page 18. Chapter 3, Loyalty Isn't as Reliable as It Used to Be, offers insights into the process of recruitment related to Gen Y. Chapter 4, What Generation Y Wants from Work, focuses on the difference in work expectations between past generations of workers and Gen Y. It will come as no surprise to the reader that Gen Y has a stronger focus on work-life balance than previous generations of workers. Data are presented that clarifies how and why this shift has occurred. Employee development and organizational culture are similarly examined. Chapter 5, It's About the Team, presents why it is important for an employer to use team growth for employee engagement.


Section 2, How to Manage Generation Y, that includes Chapters 6-8, contains useful information. However, beginning with Section 2, the focus of the book is on corporate or nonclinically based work and although there are bits and pieces that may strike a chord with a clinical manager, I suggest it can be skimmed.


Section 3 similarly is focused on nonclinical work, as it continues to discuss remote work and managing employees remotely. Within Section 3, Chapter 10, Purpose-The Power of a Strong, Shared "Why," is certainly relatable to clinical situations. Chapter 11, Financial Implications of Next Generation Leadership, is focused on corporate leadership and less applicable to unit-level leadership. Chapter 12, Work and Leadership for the Twenty-First Century, looks at how future Gen Y leaders in future anticipate how work practices may change. The Epilogue briefly moves the conversation to Generation Z. Interestingly, Kingl speculates that Gen Z may reflect some of their grandparents (Baby Boomers) work paradigms. The ideas are interesting to note.


I recommend both books for very different reasons. Rubenstein's How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers is inspirational, engaging, and leaves the reader better informed about current and recent past leaders in diverse fields. Kingl's Next Generation Leadership: How to Ensure Young Talent Will Thrive with Your Organization offers content that may assist leaders with a better understanding of the changing nature of the employees they manage.