Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Review: Decision Points

I am always intrigued by how leaders arrive and make their decisions. The greater the responsibility or authority of that leader, the bigger those decisions are. These decisions typically have broad implications that are often not realized or known, but a decision must be made. Through studying how the decision making process of various leaders, and the results of these decisions, it has allowed me to improve my own decision making process.

When I had the opportunity to read and review Decision Points by George Bush, I jumped at it. Even if you feel that some of the decisions that he made were wrong or poor (and based on his low approval ratings, most of us did), I don’t know that a recent president has been faced with greater changes in the world then George was.

This book really focuses on the major decisions that George was faced with throughout his life. Each chapter starts with a decision that had to be made, then gives historical background of what lead up to that decision, the various options, as well as giving George’s personal thoughts on what was known at the time as well as reflecting on that decision.

Some of the decisions covered in this book are personal, such as George’s quitting drinking, but many are about the large issues that arose during his presidency. A few of these are the response to September 11th, Katrina, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as increased funding for AIDS and malaria treatments in Africa. What surprised me in reading this book was how personal George is in reflecting on each of these decisions. Not all of his decisions are considered perfect or in some cases even right, he brings you into the evaluation process and the internal struggles that he faced with each of these situations.

 Because of the personal touch in the writing as well as taking a fairly even-handed approach in presenting the various options that were available for each of these decisions, I feel that anyone in a leadership role should read this book to reflect and improve on their decision making process.

For full disclosure: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. If you would like to become a part of their program, you can sign up here.

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