Connecticut Medicine

April 2013

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book review The Little Red Book of Leadership Lessons Donald J. Palmisano, MD, JD Forward by Governor Bobby Jindal Skyhorse Publishing, NY, NY, 10018 ISBN: 978-1-62087-191-1 ���To learn is not to know, there are learners and the learned.��� So said the Abbe Faria to Edmund Dantes in Alexander Dumas��� The Count of Monte Cristo. When discussing leadership, Dr. Palmisano, past president of the American Medical Association, is among the learned, not only because he teaches leadership in medicine as a clinical professor at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, but because he has walked the walk as an outstanding leader in American medicine. His contributions in teaching, speaking, writing and being interviewed on radio and television demonstrate his outstanding expertise in the forefront of medical leadership. He exemplifies what he writes about in his latest book on leadership. This book consists of 18 chapters ranging from the first, ���The Antithesis of Leadership��� to the last, ���Emerging Leaders in a Time of Crisis.��� Each chapter consists of quotations germane to the topic under discussion and is followed by lessons learned from these quotations. Chapter 7, entitled ���Decisiveness,��� is one of the most interesting ones. Among the lessons learned are: to be volume���77,���no.���4 a leader, one must make timely decisions; indecision and delays beget failure; and the best plan is worthless without the decision to act. Palmisano points out that having a plan is not enough: the plan requires action to be successful. All too often leaders suffer from the syndrome of ���aim, aim, aim.��� They never fire, as General George Patton pointed out. The quotes vary from the pithy to pages in length, and range from ancient Chinese general and philosopher Sun Tzu to present-day politicians. All aspects of leadership are reviewed using famous quotations and then lessons extracted. The question you may ask is simply: why read a book on leadership? Never has there been a more turbulent time in the medical profession. Changes in medicine are coming from all sides, faster than lightning. Medicine needs dynamic, forward-thinking leaders and who better to fill that need than physicians? If we do not, certainly others outside the profession will. Where to learn and become learned on leadership? Begin with The Little Red Book of Leadership Lessons by Donald Palmisano, MD, JD. Michael M. Deren, MD Editor 253

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