Summary of George Washington on Leadership

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George Washington on Leadership book summary


8 Overall

9 Applicability

5 Innovation

7 Style


Richard Brookhiser, a National Humanities Medalist, is a popular author, journalist and biographer. Considering his stellar previous work about America’s founding fathers, as well as his deep knowledge of George Washington, you would expect his book about the first U.S. president’s leadership traits to be good. And so it is, interesting and full of well-told stories. Yet, it does falter sometimes. For example, the opening chapter lauds Washington’s prescience for installing latrines in his soldiers’ encampments. Such praise overlooks the fact that the Roman Army routinely dug latrines for its soldiers 2,000 years ago. Overall, Brookhiser usefully translates episodes from Washington’s life into management lessons for today’s executives, though it may strain the use of metaphor to rename his Mount Vernon plantation WashCorp and to classify the presidency as a start-up. Despite such small lapses, Brookhiser works many intriguing anecdotes into his narrative and demonstrates vividly just how Washington became such a significant leader. getAbstract welcomes his history-based examination of how to use Washington’s leadership lessons.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why George Washington, America’s first president, was an exceptional leader; and
  • What his life teaches about leadership.

About the Author

Richard Brookhiser is a journalist, historian and biographer. A senior editor at National Review, he is the author of What Would the Founders Do?, as well as popular biographies of George Washington and Alexander Hamilton.



A Leader in Full
George Washington was an exceptional leader. He was the ideal man to head the American Continental Army and later to become the United States’ first president, its “founding CEO.”
Washington became a leader early in life. At 21, he was commissioned in the colonial...

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