[EDIT: Lloyd Austin has since become the United States Secretary of Defense. He also endorsed my book, Leadership Step by Step, saying:
Great leaders arenâ€™t born with a â€˜leadership geneâ€™; great leaders develop the necessary skills and gain confidence through practice and hard work. In Leadership Step by Step Joshua Spodek presents a thoughtful approach to becoming a highly effective leader that emphasizes the importance of experiential learning. It will serve as a valuable resource for leaders at all levels in any profession. Indeed, Joshuaâ€™s practical exercises will help prospective, as well as experienced leaders, to master their craft and ultimately to succeed in leading and inspiring others in their various pursuits.
Now back to the original post.]
My Inc. story today, “6 Lessons I Learned Teaching Leadership With a 4-Star General at West Point,” began
6 Lessons I Learned Teaching Leadership With a 4-Star General at West Point
What I learned teaching leadership with a four-star general at West Point.
Who is America’s greatest leader?
Longtime readers of my column will rememberÂ Six Lessons I Learned at Lunch With the Best Leader in America, where I calledÂ Frances HesselbeinÂ theÂ nation’s best leader.
It wasn’t just my opinion. SeveralÂ leadership gurusÂ namedÂ her the best. She earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom and more.
But Frances herself will tell you
My historic greatest leader is Abraham Lincoln. My contemporary greatestÂ is General Lloyd Austin III.
If America’s greatest leader calls him the greatest, I won’t argue.
I’ve been to lunch with Frances and General Austin. It’s like a polite debate of each saying how much more each has learned from the other.
Besides Frances’ friendship and praise, what qualifies General Austin? Just the opening paragraph of hisÂ Wikipedia pageÂ says plenty:
Lloyd James Austin IIIÂ (born August 8, 1953) is a retiredÂ United States Armygeneral. He was the 12th commander ofÂ United States Central Command(CENTCOM). Austin was the first African American to head the organization. Prior to his assignment in CENTCOM, Austin served as the 33rd Vice Chief of Staff of theÂ United States Army