Fryer writes of his interview or conversation with David McCullough about leadership. Throughout the article, McCullough states that great leadership lessons have not changed over time and stay consistent throughout history. Leadership is necessary in all fields of study or industry as McCullough claims in his conversation. History has shown that the demands of leaders may change from era to era and from one culture to another but the leadership continues to be of great importance.
A key to leadership potential is spotting talent and seeing how the individual responds to failure. McCullough likes to quote a military historian who said that three qualities are important to a leaders: “Know your stuff, be a man, look after your men.” McCullough said that he uses this quote because it captures the essence of leadership because expertise is important but analyzing the problem and learning by doing is most important.
Truman was an ideal leader in McCullough’s mind and he wrote a book about his practices. Truman understood human behavior which is necessary in leading people in a direction of growth and prosperity- people skills is a must! He said the best way to learn the Trumanesque kind of leadership is to listen! Listening followed by applied learning develops useful skill in leadership.
Lastly, McCullough emphasized the importance of mentors in the development of leadership skills. He named three different mentors that he looked up to as successful leaders.
Fryer captures McCullough’s advise about developing leadership that will stand the test of time.