Review: Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

6 Star Top 10%, America (Founders, Current Situation), Best Practices in Management, Biography & Memoirs, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Congress (Failure, Reform), Country/Regional, Democracy, Economics, Executive (Partisan Failure, Reform), Leadership

IacoccaNational Enema With Wit and Character,

April 27, 2007

Lee Iacocca

This book earns my vote for top transpartisan book of the decade, along with “All Rise” (see link below). This great man is saying things that I and others have been saying since 2000, but because of his stature, we now finally have the national enema that we all need. Lee Iacocca, in my personal view, should link up with Reuniting America, and volunteer to form a Sunshine Cabinet of transpartisan retired leaders (corporate, military, law enforcement, education, and others). We need to show America that it is possible to create a balanced sustainable budget, and to have common sense priorities.

The book opens with a discussion of the nine C's of leadership: Curiosity, Creativity, Communicator, Character, Courage, Conviction, Charisma, Competency, and Common Sense. In evaluating the current crop of candidates for President, all fail with the exception of Joe Biden for President and John Edwards for Vice President.

He stresses people and prioities, and for the first time in any book I have read, he calls for all presidential candidates to appoint their Cabinet BEFORE the election so the people can evaluate the team and not just the Man. This is something I have advocated since 2000, see the original documents at

His comments on Bush-Cheney cronism are devastatingly on the mark. He points out that the insider game excludes top talent.

He finds Congress to be failing at the five top issues for all Americans: Iraq, Jobs, Health Care, Education, and Energy.

He is critical of the Executive for telling lies to get a war with Iraq, for condoning torture, and for being reactive instead of proactive.

To make his point, he notes that for what we have spent in Iraq, we could have instead hired 8 million teachers, 8 million police, fire, and medical support specialists; funded 25M college scholarships, and given every citizen a year of free gas and health care.

In criticizing the Iraq strategy, he points out that unlike Gulf I, there are no Arab nations in the coalition this time, and that is the truth-teller. He specifically laments the loss of “America the Good” in the eyes of the world.

Among the top issues he personally focuses on in the book are Energy, Fair Trade vice Free Trade, restoration of moral capitalism and an end to the CEO looting of companies at the expense of workers; the protection of the middle class, the reduction of medical (and I would add, educational) bureaucracies, and the US brain gap–South Korea, Japan, and Singapore are getting a reverse brain drain from the US, as well as training their own better than we are.

He slams James Carville for representing the worst of the structured political process, where a candidate is told what their policies will be based on political consultants and focus groups.

The book closes with a discussion of four traits he learned from others: Optimism; Common Sense; Discipline; and–from his mother–Love.

At the end, he calls America to action, asking each of us to give something up, put something back in, and elect a LEADER.

I do NOT agree with those who are critical of either the author or the book. This is an easy to read totally straight-up book that is now, along with “All Rise” and “The Tao of Democracy” among my top-rated Transpartisan books. See my varied lists on Transpartisan, democracy, immoral capitalism, impeachment of Cheney, etc.

If he will help form a Sunshine Cabinet, and Reuniting America can raise $500M a year ($20 from 25 million Americans, or $100 from 5 million Americans) we can close down the Republican and Democratic partisan machines that have corrupted our democracy, and we can restore informed engaged democracy. We need this man's common sense now more than ever.

All Rise: Somebodies, Nobodies, and the Politics of Dignity (BK Currents)
The Tao of Democracy: Using Co-Intelligence to Create a World That Works for All
Society's Breakthrough!: Releasing Essential Wisdom and Virtue in All the People

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