David Rubenstein’s “How To Lead” is an essential resource for any leader

Imagine picking the brains of some of the most influential leaders the world has ever seen, like Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Nicklaus, and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Every story is different. But, each story reveals insightful detail into the life and experiences of dozens of the world’s most accomplished leaders and what we can learn from their successes. 

In “How to Lead”, author David Rubenstein interviews top leaders within a broad spectrum of life, including visionaries, builders, transformers, commanders, decision-makers, and masters. 

Take notes as you go through this book. There’s wisdom on every page. 

“How To Lead” is an essential resource

From a top medical expert to former presidents, sports stars and business owners, Rubenstein’s rare look at the best of the best serves as a smart and useful resource for any business leader. 

For instance, Dr. Anthony Fauci was made a household name as one of the President’s COVID-19 advisors and explains how good leaders lead in times of a global pandemic. 

“If you are leading an organization of some sort that has a purpose or a mandate, you’ve got to articulate to the people you are leading exactly what your vision is and where you want the organization to go,” he sold Rubenstein. Fauci reflects on his past and talks about how leaders can stand strong in times of crisis, and especially under a red hot spotlight. 

Oprah Winfrey talks about her childhood in poverty and how challenges and setbacks in her younger career propelled her forward as one of the most influential women in history. 

Golf legend Jack Nicklaus discusses the process he took to become one of the best golfers to walk the course. “Nobody has ever mastered the game”, Nicklaus said. He talks about performing under pressure and retaining enough confidence to perform well every day. 

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos shares the intimate details behind his “intuitive” leadership style and why he picked Seattle to open up his little online bookstore, called Amazon.com, in the early ‘90s. Bezos did not invent the concept of selling on the Internet but definitely perfected it. Today, Bezos is the wealthiest person on earth with a net worth of over $175 billion dollars. 

Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton talk about rising to meet insurmountable challenges and what it’s like to no longer have the spotlight. “Nobody plays a song when you walk in a room anymore,” said Clinton. Bush said the most stunning difference was the sudden lack of responsibility after leaving the White House. How do good leaders preserve their legacy?

Entertaining, insightful, and interesting

Rubenstein’s book is as entertaining as it is insightful. The book reveals intimate and fascinating conversations with accomplished leaders from all walks of life, and his introduction shares his unique leadership style and what makes strong, decisive, and talented leaders. 

As the former deputy domestic policy assistant to President Carter, his exposure to all different types of leadership styles and philosophies has informed his wide-reaching perspective. 

To Rubenstein, chief among the most common traits of highly successful leaders are integrity and persistence, focus and hard work. And, a little bit of luck thrown in there as well. 

The book is written interview-style, with Rubenstein’s questions followed by the answer. I found myself turning each page faster than I had anticipated. Its relatively informal layout makes this book an easy but worthwhile read, accessible to virtually anyone, and a good read day or night. 

How To Lead” is a gripping and thought-provoking look into what makes great leaders great. Use it as a guide to better understand leadership and the different paths that our most well-known figures took to achieve a high level of success.