October 31 2023 at 02:56PM
The review: Leadership
By Alejandro Fernández (Linkedin)
Six Studies in World Strategy
Countless books, articles, papers, or conferences have been written about leadership because the idea of leadership is fluid, culture-linked, highly contextual, and evolves over time.
While there is no such thing as a universal leader, Kissinger presents in the introduction two types of great leaders: the visionaries and those able to implement their policies relentlessly.
Beyond the notion of leadership sketched in the introduction, the author rehearses six different leaders and the strategy that they used to realize their vision: Konrad Adenauer (the strategy of Humility), Charles the Gaulle (the strategy of Will), Richard Nixon (the strategy of Equilibrium), Anwar Sadat (the strategy of Transcendence), Lee Kuan Yew (The strategy of Excellence) and Margaret Thatcher (the strategy of Conviction)
Each of the six studies shows the serious problems these leaders needed to tackle, the constraints that restrained them, and how they implemented their strategy. Kissinger brings a historical interpretation, vast experience with diplomacy and international affairs, as well as his personal insights on facts and on persons because he participated in many of the events described and he worked with all six leaders.
In the conclusion of the book, Kissinger drafts some of the common characteristics of these six leaders: the strong moral convictions derived from their religious beliefs, the vocation to serve their co-nationals, their origin in the mid-class, and their efforts to make merits, the habit of retiring to favor reflection. He also claims the need of knowing the history, training in humanities and psychology as an essential foundation for leadership.
In our times, the human sciences have lost relevance versus the technical knowledge. Globalization and the possibility to travel around the world blurred national identities, fostering the idea that humans are universal and belong to the whole world. Fewer people than ever consider religion as the source of moral life.
The motivations for future leaders will necessarily change. Still, the need for leadership will increase because the world is changing faster than ever and is in moments of uncertainty when leadership is needed at most.
Please enjoy it!
ISBN-13 978-0241542002 436 pgs
ISBN-13 978-9000379460 576 pgs
Henry Kissinger was born on May 27, 1923, in Germany. He fled to America as a Jewish refugee in 1938. He earned a Ph.D. in Political Sciences at Harvard University and worked for the university in several positions until 1971. In 1969, Kissinger was appointed National Security Advisor by Richard Nixon, and later, he served as Secretary of State with R. Nixon and with G. Ford. In 1973, under a big controversy, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. Kissinger played an important role in shaping the US foreign policy in the late 60s and 70s. He influenced key decisions like bringing the American soldiers back from Vietnam or selecting China as a strategic US partner, which settled the global order in the coming decades.