The Best Book on Leadership — Ever?

By Mad Dog
Published: May 16, 2010

Steve Hannah, CEO of The Onion, is not especially funny. But he is damn smart and a great judge of character, as this New York Times interview suggests. Ten years ago, he met one of my very few heroes, Lt. Gen. Harold Moore, co-author of one of my favorite books, We Were Soldiers Once … and Young. The book about leadership they were going to write didn’t happen, but they spent enough time together for Hannah to learn some valuable lessons. (There are many more — please read the whole, brief interview.) A sample:

He taught me that you never, ever do anything to deprive a human being of their dignity in work, in life. Always praise in public and criticize in private. You might be tempted, for example, when you’re letting someone go, to say something that would diminish the value of their work. Don’t ever do that.  
And he taught me that when you’re faced with something that’s really difficult and you think you’re at the end of your tether, there’s always one more thing you can do to influence the outcome of this situation. And then after that there’s one more thing. The number or possible options is only limited by your imagination. Hal often said, “Imagination is enormously important, enormously important.
This is Hal Moore, accepting an award — in 50 seconds.