From the former secretary of defense and author of the acclaimed number-one best-selling memoir Duty, a characteristically direct, informed, and urgent assessment of why big institutions are failing us and how smart, committed leadership can effect real improvement regardless of scale.
Across the realms of civic and private enterprise alike, bureaucracies vitally impact our security, freedoms, and everyday life. With so much at stake, competence, efficiency, and fiscal prudence are essential, yet Americans know these institutions fall short. Many despair that they are too big and too hard to reform.
Robert Gates disagrees. Having led change successfully at three monumental organizations - the CIA, Texas A&M University, and the Department of Defense - he offers us the ultimate insider's look at how major bureaus, organizations, and companies can be transformed, which is by turns heartening and inspiring and always instructive.
With practical, nuanced advice on tailoring reform to the operative culture (we see how Gates worked within the system to increase diversity at Texas A&M); effecting change within committees; engaging the power of compromise ("in the real world of bureaucratic institutions, you almost never get all you want when you want it"); and listening and responding to your team, Gates brings the full weight of his wisdom, candor, and devotion to civic duty to inspire others to lead desperately needed change.
©2015 Robert M. Gates (P)2015 Random House Audio
"Informative, entertaining, and useful.... The author's real-life examples...show a side of bureaucracy and of upper-level leadership not often revealed to the public.... A concise distillation of more than five decades of leadership knowledge...." (Kirkus)
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"Useful for leadership in the public sector!"
I would recommend to anyone who struggles through a career role that is mired in politics, bureaucracy, and "because that's the way we've always done it" mentality. The audiobook, in particular, was very well narrated. The voice was solid with great inflection and I found him pleasing and easy to listen too.
The practical components that I can take out and use in my everyday work life. The acknowledgement that candor can be valued, the slow pace that can cripple efforts to change, finding ways (sometimes small) to get folks on board with change, and how to handle it when you just cannot fire someone. Yes sometimes that really does happen.
I have not listened to any previous but I would listen to him in any book. I am well pleased with the narrator.
I had no extreme reaction other than careful thought for what the book was saying.
I'm going to purchase the regular book as well on kindle. There were too many places where I wanted to write things down - but I use audio books on long runs and commutes and neither is conducive to jotting notes down.
"A Leadership Course I Would Take"
I have used concepts suggested in this book to do my job and live my life. The message is clear, practical, and without a bunch of grandstanding. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
"Character and humility"
This book was required reading for my first MPA class and I can see why. The principles of good leadership espoused in this book seem like something from a past era. Gates, now in his 70's sets the bar appropriately high for what a good leader should be and do in this book. His call for humility and admission that everyone has flaws, helps season this book some grace that mainly about keeping high standards, acting professionally and respectfully.
There were times I felt I was being lectured by a moral authority figure in the book, but ai believe this is because the man himself is just so daunting as a professional. It's nothing like reading a folksy, feel good political memoir. Gates is all business in this book.
That's not to say there aren't humorous passages, but that he seems primarily interested in conveying his principles and values to the reader in order to pass on what he has learned and foster a continuing call to principle and integrity.
Overall, this is not the most enjoyable read, but contains great thoughts about leadership from a man who had a distinguished career in public service.
"Great for public servants"
I was a bit skeptical, but decided to give it a try. As a federal employee, I wasn't sure if this would relate downward from the top of the chain of command, but I found myself able to associate with the content. I was able to pull great nuggets about change from A Passion for Leadership. I highly recommend this book, and will now give Audible a credit for his memoir Duty.
"excellent book, Gates does it again!"
what a great book. every leader should read and learn these lessons well. Duty was good but this book was a masterpiece of leadership and change.
"Another Book on Basic Common Sense"
Sec Gates tells it like it is to an audience that seems to have difficulty finding common sense.
Duty, his last book. Gates is what American leaders should be.
No, I just love Sec Gates and because he was willing to man up, exercise authority and do the right thing regardless of politics he saved American soldiers' lives with MRAPS. I witnessed it personally in Iraq.
Sec Gates is one of very few people that I would like to meet personally. He is a quiet professional and what every American leader should aspire to be like. I have some issues with some of his policies but the respect he garners because of his composure and capacity make those things matters of mild disagreement and surely things that are insignificant in the greater scheme of things.
The fact that Sec Gates is no longer in government is a great loss to America. There are very few like him and anyone interested in understanding what real leadership entails needs to read this book.
"leadership and challenges"
This was an amazing learning experience about true leadership and if you're one of those.
As always, Robert Gates shares with us change and leadership advise based on his impressive and accomplished careers. His voice is honest, his advice wise, and his legacy as a leader is persuasive and genuine.
"Excellent leadership read!"
This book should be required reading for all government employees and contractors, and especially politicians Robert Gates has credibility through his record of Excellence..
"Good lessons taught from a good leader"
The content was indeed useful, and the performance was well done. It was well worth my time to listen to and contemplate Gate's words on leadership, of which this nation needs much more.
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