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On Leadership


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About the Author

John W. Gardner attended Stanford University (A.B., 1935; M.A., 1936) and the University of California (Ph.D., 1938). He taught psychology at the University of California, Connecticut College and Mount Holyoke College. He was an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II.
He was president of the Carnegie Corporation and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (1955 - 1965); U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (1965 - 1968); chairman of the National Urban Coalition (1968 - 1970); founding chairman of Common Cause (l970 - l977); and a co-founder of Independent Sector (1980). Mr. Gardner served on President Kennedy's Task Force on Education and was chairman of President Kennedy's Commission on International Educational and Cultural Affairs. He was chairman of President Johnson's Task Force on Education, served on President Carter's Commission on an Agenda for the '80s, and chaired (1976 - 1980) the President's Commission on White House Fellowships. He served on President Reagan's Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives.
Mr. Gardner has been a director of a number of corporations, including Shell Oil Company, the New York Telephone Company, American Airlines and Time, Inc. Among other organizations he has served as a board member are Stanford University and the Scientific Advisory Board of the Air Force.
Mr. Gardner was the editor of President John F. Kennedy's book "To Turn the Tide" and the author of "Excellence, Self-Renewal, No Easy Victories, The Recovery of Confidence, In Common Cause" and "Morale." He is the coeditor, with Francesca Gardner Reese, of "Quotations of Wit and Wisdom."
In 1964 Mr. Gardner was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civil honor in the United States. Among other awards he has received are the U.S. Air Force Exceptional Service Award, and the Distinguished Achievement Medal of the Stanford Athletic Board.


YA-- Gardner asserts that the most critical problem challenging the U. S. today is its lack of leadership. He proposes and supports with excellent illustrations his theories on leadership that go beyond charisma to heightened motivation, trust, confidence, and shared values on the part of those in charge and their followers. Giving historically significant examples of leaders, Gardner shows the tremendous amount of energy, talent, and dormant enthusiasm that can be mobilized by effective leaders in all levels of society. Given the current apathetic situation he decries, this easily read, inspiring text should be required reading for all high-school social studies classes. Gardner challenges leaders in all walks of life to take their positions in the bastions of the American democracy now or face the dismal consequences later.-- Barbara Batty, Port Arthur I.S.D., TX

Joseph Jaworski President, American Leadership Forum John Gardner in his extraordinary book demystifies a subject of awesome proportions and brings it into very short focus for all of us. Clear, concise, this book is comprehensive and accessible, and without doubt, will be seen as one of the seminal works on leadership. For anyone who is a real student of leadership, this book is an absolute must.
Michael H. Walsh Chairman and CEO, Union Pacific Railroad Company There may be someone in the country who knows more about leadership than John Gardner -- but if so, I don't know who it is. "On Leadership" belongs on the desk of every business, government, and educational executive in the country.
Howard T Prince, II Ph.D., Colonel, U.S. Army "On Leadership" is a particularly important book for America today. John Gardner has faced current realities with courage and clarity and shows that the tasks of renewing our social organizations and releasing the human possibilities that lie undiscovered or have been suppressed by modem institutions are the critical leadership challenges facing us today.
Fred M. Hechinger President, The New York Times Company Foundation, Inc. At a time of Teflon politicians and professional image makers, John Gardner proposes a powerful antidote to the nation's leadership crisis. He demystifies leadership and links it inseparably to accountability. "On Leadership" offers an essential lesson in history and a demanding but optimistic guide to the future.
Walter E Ulmer, Jr. President, Center for Creative Leadership John Gardner gives us more than a wonderful tour of leadership concepts and practices. "On Leadership" is a rich and lively commentary on our culture. This is a masterpiece that will appeal to the widest range of audiences. The book will stimulate further exploration into this crucial human activity. Essential for every bookshelf, "On Leadership" should be required reading now -- and be reread about once a year!
Joseph Slater President Emeritus, The Aspen Institute "On Leadership" is a combination of wisdom, wit and perception. John Gardner, the supreme generalist, achieves a marvelous synthesis of his own leadership experience and observations over a lifetime.
Howard P. Allen Chairman and CEO, Southern California Edison Company In "On Leadership, " John Gardner has shown uncommon insight in his analysis of this complex and difficult topic. His perceptive guidance to leaders and followers alike is a contribution to leadership development and a service to our nation.

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