Revolutionary Management: John Adams on Leadership [NOOK Book]

Overview

John Adams did not hesitate to lead his countrymen into revolution, but when other advocates of American independence devoted themselves solely to tearing down British tyranny, Adams kept asking, “Then what?” Asking—and answering—this question was for him the key to managing revolutionary change successfully, for the present and for the ages.
 
A prime mover and architect of American independence, collaborator in the creation of America’s ...

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Revolutionary Management: John Adams on Leadership

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Overview

John Adams did not hesitate to lead his countrymen into revolution, but when other advocates of American independence devoted themselves solely to tearing down British tyranny, Adams kept asking, “Then what?” Asking—and answering—this question was for him the key to managing revolutionary change successfully, for the present and for the ages.
 
A prime mover and architect of American independence, collaborator in the creation of America’s first army as well as founder of the U. S. Navy, John Adams negotiated the foreign finance that made the Revolution possible, then he negotiated the treaties that ended it in absolute victory.
 
A steward of justice and liberty, Adams was instrumental in building a government of laws, not men. He believed that power drove all people, all nations, and all enterprises, and that the purpose of good government was to manage power—not by attempting to deny or suppress it, but by using one power to balance another. This was the art and science of revolutionary management.
 
Adams’s concept of revolution was always less about radical change than about achieving just and effective sustainability, and it is for this reason that his experience offers to those who lead and manage modern enterprises such rich, relevant, and immediately useful lessons. For the more a business changes and must respond to change—the more revolutionary a business must become—the more effectively its leaders must answer Adams controlling question: Then what?”
 
Drawing on the latest scholarship as well as Adams’s own autobiographical writings, Revolutionary Management: John Adams on Leadership presents 128 lessons for today’s leaders of enterprise. It is written in the spirit and style of Dr. Alan Axelrod's innovative bestsellers Patton on Leadership (hailed by leaders ranging from the New York Yankees’ George Steinbrenner to Warner-Lambert chairman and CEO Melvin R. Goodes) and Elizabeth I, CEO (which has earned praise from former Colorado congresswoman Patricia Schroeder and Chas. Levy Company board chairman Barbara Levy Kipper.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781599216324
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Publication date: 2/26/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 1,178,358
  • File size: 418 KB

Meet the Author

Alan Alexrod is the author of dozens of successful historical biographies and other books on history and military history, including The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the American Revolution. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction

Managing Revolution

How John Adams built a revolution and transformed it into the sustainable enterprise that is the United States of America.

Chapter 1

“Mausoleums, Statues, Monuments Will Never Be Erected to Me”

Overview of the life and career of John Adams, with emphasis on his value as an enduring example of real-world leadership.

 

Chapter 2

 On Law

Whatever else John Adams was and would become, he made his early reputation as a great lawyer. He regarded law as the sovereign means of creating change within continuity, of effecting—when necessary—revolution, yet without yielding to anarchy. The lessons in this chapter lead up to the first great defining moment of Adams’s career: his brilliant defense of the British soldiers who perpetrated the “Boston Massacre.”

 

 

Chapter 3

The Logic of Liberty

The crux of Adams’s leadership was his ability to marry passion to reason, to lay the foundation of a rational and just revolution. The lessons in this chapter illustrate his leadership style and his ability to persuade others and to move opinion through logic driven by compelling emotional and ethical force.

 

Chapter 4

Sustaining the Revolution

Adams’s greatest contribution to the American Revolution, once it had begun, was to lead it to sustainability by means of foreign finance and diplomacy. This chapter offers lessons in making even the most dramatic and radical change sustainable.

 

Chapter 5

Sacrifice and Duty

Popular leadership literature these days has much to say about the “servant leader.” But the idea is not new. For Adams, more than two hundred years ago, a leader was before all else a servant—though his service was not rendered simply and directly to “the people,” but to law, to principle, and to good, the elements necessary to prosper the people in their enterprise. Because this form of servant leadership sometimes compelled the leader to deny the people instant gratification of their desires, the good steward often found himself unpopular—a circumstance Adams soon learned to endure.

 

Chapter 6

“The Fate of Men and Things which Do Great Good”

John Adams confessed himself “afraid” of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense because its “writer [had] a better hand in pulling down than building.” Adams saw Paine as an illustration of “the fate of men and things which do great good that they always do great evil too.” This chapter contains lessons in leading toward balance—of power with restraint, of passion with reason, of pulling down with building up.

 

Chapter 7

Rope of Sand

Adams condemned the weak and ineffectual Articles of Confederation—precursor of the Constitution—as a “rope of sand,” incapable of holding together the several separate states as a single nation. This chapter, concentrating on Adams’s role in the creation and promotion of the new Constitution, presents lessons in creating strong central leadership without yielding to arbitrary tyranny.

 

Chapter 8

A Steward for the Generations

“I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy,” Adams wrote to explain his concept of service—not just service to a revolution, but to posterity. This chapter, which covers Adams’s post-Revolutionary diplomatic career and his vice presidency under Washington, offers lessons on leading for the long term, on acting as a steward of the future of the enterprise, of building to last.

Chapter 9

A Basic Need for Recognition

Adams’s overarching theory of human motivation was that people invariably acted out of a drive to distinguish themselves, a basic need for recognition. The leader’s task was to channel this drive and need productively, to prevent it from propelling any one individual to a position of demagoguery and dictatorship. This chapter, focusing on Adams’s presidency, presents lessons on leadership for both the acquisition and regulation of power. It draws from the most delicate and controversial passages of Adams’s career, the years that helped to establish the United States as a nation among nations, but that also brought the reactionary and repressive Alien and Sedition Acts.

 

Chapter 10

Fashioning the Fable

The lessons of the final chapter are drawn from the long life Adams lived after he left the presidency. They are lessons of reconciliation (with his political opposite number but philosophical soul mate, Thomas Jefferson), of legacy (as Adams passes the torch to his son John Quincy), of elder statesmanship, and of the evolution of Adams’s own understanding of the meaning of his life and career. These lessons distill Adams’s mature thought on ethics, values, ideals, and the limits of compromise in any enterprise that is worth sustaining.

 

An Adams Chronology

 

Sources and Suggestions for Further Reading

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Recipe


John Adams did not hesitate to lead his countrymen into revolution, but when other advocates of American independence devoted themselves solely to tearing down British tyranny, Adams kept asking, “Then what?” Asking—and answering—this question was for him the key to managing revolutionary change successfully, for the present and for the ages.
 
A prime mover and architect of American independence, collaborator in the creation of America’s first army as well as founder of the U. S. Navy, John Adams negotiated the foreign finance that made the Revolution possible, then he negotiated the treaties that ended it in absolute victory.
 
A steward of justice and liberty, Adams was instrumental in building a government of laws, not men. He believed that power drove all people, all nations, and all enterprises, and that the purpose of good government was to manage power—not by attempting to deny or suppress it, but by using one power to balance another. This was the art and science of revolutionary management.
 
Adams’s concept of revolution was always less about radical change than about achieving just and effective sustainability, and it is for this reason that his experience offers to those who lead and manage modern enterprises such rich, relevant, and immediately useful lessons. For the more a business changes and must respond to change—the more revolutionary a business must become—the more effectively its leaders must answer Adams controlling question: Then what?”
 
Drawing on the latest scholarship as well as Adams’s own autobiographical writings, RevolutionaryManagement: John Adams on Leadership presents 128 lessons for today’s leaders of enterprise. It is written in the spirit and style of Dr. Alan Axelrod's innovative bestsellers Patton on Leadership (hailed by leaders ranging from the New York Yankees’ George Steinbrenner to Warner-Lambert chairman and CEO Melvin R. Goodes) and Elizabeth I, CEO (which has earned praise from former Colorado congresswoman Patricia Schroeder and Chas. Levy Company board chairman Barbara Levy Kipper.
Read More Show Less

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