As nations careen from one crisis to the next, there is a growing cry for fresh leadership. Those in charge have repeatedly fallen short, and trust in institutions has plummeted. So, what does great leadership look like? And how are great leaders made? David Gergen, a leader in the public arena for more than half a century, draws from his experiences as a White House adviser to four presidents, his decades as a trusted voice on national issues, and years of teaching and mentoring young people to offer a stirring playbook for the next generation of change-makers. To uncover the fundamental elements of effective leadership, Gergen traces the journeys of iconic leaders past and present, from pathbreakers like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, John Lewis, John McCain, and Harvey Milk to historic icons like Lincoln, John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, and Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt, to contemporary game changers like Greta Thunberg, the Parkland students, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Leadership is a journey that starts from within, Gergen writes. A leader must become self-aware and then achieve self-mastery. You cannot lead others until you can lead yourself. As you start to leap into the world, you begin your outer journey, overcoming setbacks, persuading others, empowering them, and navigating crises—armed with a sense of history, humor, passion, and purpose. By linking lessons of the past with the ever-changing practice of leadership today, Gergen reveals the time-tested secrets of dynamic leadership. An indispensable manual, Hearts Touched with Fire distills experience and wisdom of the past into an invaluable guide for leaders of our future.
Gergen, David. Hearts Touched with Fire: How Great Leaders are Made. Simon and Schuster, 2022.