From the former secretary of defense and author of the acclaimed #1 best-selling memoir, Duty, a characteristically candid, urgent assessment of why big institutions are failing us and how good leaders can change them.
Across the realms of civic and private enterprise alike, bureaucracies vitally impact our security, freedoms, and everyday life. With so much at stake, competence, efficiency, and effective service are essential; yet Americans know these institutions are often anything but, and many despair that they are too big and too hard to reform. Robert Gates disagrees. Having led change successfully at three monumental organizations--the CIA, Texas A&M University, and the Department of Defense--he argues that smart, committed leadership can effect real improvement regardless of scale. He offers us the ultimate insider's look at how major institutions can be transformed that is by turns startling, heartening, and always instructive. Through his own experience and other examples of leadership (both successful and failed), Gates offers practical, nuanced advice for leaders at all levels of an organization, and for those who aspire to such a role. He brings the full weight of his wisdom, candor, and devotion to civic duty to inspire others to lead urgently needed change.