Lincoln,TR, FDR and LBJ - Leaders Made or Born?


Are leaders born or made? Where does ambition come from? How does adversity affect the growth of leadership? Does the person make the times or do the time make the person". Much more than in her narrative histories, Goodwin here explicitly takes up the formation of her subjects’ characters and how their most notable qualities equipped them to lead the country during trying times.Join this SDG utilizing Doris Kearns Goodwin's seminal work to provide us with fodder for discussion to create a roadmap for aspiring and established leaders in every field.... because as the author notes: In today's polarized world stories of authentic leadership take on a singular urgency. We can benefit from reminders that even flawed mortals can, in times of national emergency, achieve great things

Weekly Topics

1.  Abraham Lincoln Chapters 1 and 5 

2.  Theodore Roosevelt Chapters 2 and 6

3.  Franklin Roosevelt. Chapters 3 and 7

4.  Lyndon Johnson. Chapters 4 and 8

5. Transformational and Crisis Leadership Chapters 9 and 10

6.  Turnaround  and Visionary Leadership. Chapters 11 and 12

7.  How would Goodwin and academics evaluate Bush’s handling of the 2008 Great Recession? 

Goodwin’s Forward 

Major Traits/Qualities of Leadership, International Journal of Innovation, June 2014

Leadership Qualities for 21stCentury Leaders, Pearl Research Journals, April 2015

Most Important Leadership Competencies Around the World, Harvard Business Review, March 2016

Crisis Leadership During the Great Recession of 2008, International Journal of Leadership and Change, September 2016

Why Bush’s Quiet Role in Financial Crisis Deserves Attention Now, Wall Street Journal, September 2018


Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership in Turbulent Times,  2018 Simon and Schuster,

All articles referenced above for Week 7 to be provided to participants in PDF files via email.