I love pretty much any book on communication, leadership or history. Dick Wirthlin’s book The Greatest Communicator: What Ronald Reagan Taught Me about Politics, Leadership, and Life combine all three beautifully. Dick was in Reagan’s inner circle from 1968 through the end of his life. This book provides a unique perspective on not only Reagan, but also the topics of leadership and communication.
If you preach, this is a book you need to check out.
Here are some lessons that stood out:
- Leadership is always a battled waged at incalculable costs – both personal and professional.
- You cannot not communicate.
- There is no way a human being can do anything without in some way communicating a message – verbally or nonverbally.
- For better or worse, not what is, but what appears to be, often determines the image of public figures.
- A leader’s every move has the potential to communicate meaning in powerful ways, either implicitly or explicitly.
- If you are always prepared you will never have anything to fear.
- Leadership has the power to persuade in ways that change people’s lives.
- Persuade through reason. Motivate through emotion.
- Values are the strategic linchpins of effective persuasion.
- Great communicators speak for people, not just to them.
- For a leader, words are themselves a form of action.