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How to Lead

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How to Lead

Wisdom from the World’s Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers

Simon & Schuster,

15 min read
8 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Thirty leaders explain what drives them to excel in finance, sports, politics, entertainment or business.

Editorial Rating



  • Well Structured
  • Background
  • Concrete Examples


From 2008 to 2020, when David Rubenstein was president of Washington, DC’s Economic Club, he talked with dozens of the world’s most accomplished and famous leaders. This anthology of 30 of his interviews contains a wealth of knowledge and insight into what makes and creates great leaders. More interestingly, several explain what keeps them working hard – often into their 80s and 90s – even after reaching the apex of their industries and professions.


The world’s most accomplished and famous leaders take different paths to success, yet they share much in common.

Interviews with major figures in finance, technology, politics, the military, sports and entertainment reveal that leaders differ widely in their paths, philosophies and styles. Some led at a young age, in sports or in school, for example, but stepped back as they reached adulthood. Others bloomed later, in mid-career or even in the last decade of their careers or lives.

People rise to the challenge of leadership to drive change, help and inspire others, achieve what they could not reach on their own, and provide purpose for others.

The attributes of highly successful leaders vary, and not every leader exhibits each trait in the same measure. But a series of characteristics manifests time and again among top leaders, regardless of industry or profession.

Great leaders combine a burning desire to succeed with a willingness to work exceptionally hard.

A calling or vision drives leaders. They sacrifice by working long hours. When Jeff Bezos started Amazon, he worked in the warehouse packing boxes...

About the Author

David M. Rubenstein hosts shows on PBS and Bloomberg TV. He co-founded and co-chairs The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms. 

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