Sunday, September 4, 2011

Book Review: On Leadership: Essential Principles for Business, Political, and Personal Success, 2nd edition with two new chapters, by Donald J. Palmisano,MD, JD, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, New York, 2011, paperback , 302 pages, $12.95

I will pull no punches. I like this book for personal reasons. Doctor Donald J. Palmisano is a man after my own heart. He writes with balance. He writes with civility. He writes with utter candor. He uses apt quotes to introduce his 18 chapters, he cites my favorite authors, and his philosophy mirrors mine. As frosting on the cake, he uses humor in the form of colorful cartoons. What's not to like?

I might add, he wrote the book while suffering the personal losses, severe damage of his home, and the destruction of his medical practice from Hurricane Katrina. He adds two chapters on leaders emerging from Katrina.

The son of policeman, Don rose to become a well-known surgeon and then president of the AMA in 2003-2004. He was recognized then and now as one of the most effective presidents the AMA ever had, due in no small part due to his reputation as a brilliant and eloquent speaker, particularly on the need for tort reform.

Today he is president and founder of Intrepid Resources, Inc., a medical risk manager company, that gives advice and counsel on patient safety, risk management, and leadership.

This is not primarily a medical or political book, although he makes his position clear when he says of political candidates, “Ask if the candidates are for a government run micromanaged medial system with rationing or for a system that expands insurance coverage through tax credits, consumer choice, and market enhancements.”

Instead what Doctor Palmisano writes about the enduring verities of leadership – homework, courage, persistence, decisiveness, communication, creativity, and effective interpersonal relationships.

To these, I would add three things:

One -Responsiveness. In my personal relationship with him, he has always responded immediately and helpfully.

Two- Concreteness. In his book in each chapter, he gives concrete examples of heroes and leaders he admires.

Three – Progressiveness. He is a big fan and user of the Internet, and of putting Information Technology to work. He posts regularly at DJPNEWS and www.onleadership. US.

Some 2500 medical leaders read his blog, and he welcomes calls to 504-455-5895 to ask his opinion or his advice. You can purchase his book on for $11.01.

Donald J. Parlmisano, MD, JD, has written a splendid book, On Leadership, which details leadership qualities.