All to often, we consultants try to create our own model for various aspects of leadership or management.  Sometimes, this works out well as we take a concept to a new level, or establish a contemporary spin on something that has a timeless quality.  Today I’d like to share my review of David Gergen’s latest book, Eyewitenesss to Power:  The Essence of Leadership.

I found David’s insights to be indepth, fair, objective and incredibily insightful.  His review was not only a collection of leadership ideas and concepts, but a targeted review of the leadership qualities of several of our most recent presidents – Nixon to Clinton.  Given his first hand experience within the white house staff’s, along with his personal and professional friendships with many of his colleagues.

David spend a great deal of time reviewing at the events and context of what these presidents promised and delivered.  He brings you – as the reader – into the room to appreciate the ‘leadereship moments’ that each of our recent presidents.  Most of all, I appreciated the insight and balance of his reporting.  He was not emotional or judgemental in his authoring of this piece.

In the end, he captured the essence of leadership through his observations, and i’m sure, his role as a professor of public service at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard Univeristy.  How profound for me to review his last chapter and conclusions:  Seven Lessons of Leadership.

1.  Leadership Starts from Within

2.  A Central, Compelling Purpose

3.  A Capacity to Persuade

4.  An Ability to Work within the System

5.  A Sure, Quick Start

6.  Strong, Prudent Advisors

7.  Inspiring Others to Carry on the Mission

How’s that for a competency model?  Clear, succinct and profound.  David was a star in my eyes before I read the book, and has moved up several notches now that I have read this incredible piece of work.