Scholars like to celebrate the leadership genius of President George Bush – scholars named Carolyn B Thompson, James W Ware, Marvin Olasky and Ken Blanchard.
Thompson and Ware wrote a book called The Leadership Genius of George W Bush: 10 Common Sense Lessons from the Commander-in-Chief. Published during the early years of his presidency, it begins with these words: “George Bush may not hold himself out as a genius, but as the book closed on the 2002 midterm elections, it became abundantly clear that he is a brilliant leader.”
The authors remind us that, before Bush was made US president, political commentators held him in low regard: “In their eyes he was a lightweight worthy of little but scorn and contempt.”
Thompson and Ware say: “Something was wrong with this picture. As authors and consultants in the field of leadership, we were knowledgable about the subject … We asked ourselves: what makes him so effective? How does he do it?”
Their chapter titles highlight the keys to Bush’s brilliance:
· Can I Trust You? Become Credible.
· Bring in the Right People, part 1. Don’t Be Afraid to Hire People Smarter Than You.
· Bring in the Right People, part 2. Leave ‘Em Alone! …
So begins this week’s Improbable Research column in The Guardian.