Generals collaborate on leadership book, will host signing at museum

You can meet Perry Smith and Jeff Foley on Friday, Aug. 23, at the Augusta Museum of History where they will be signing copies of "Rules And Tools For Leaders: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Effective Managing." The book signing begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 5:30.

Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- They may be rivals on the football field, but a couple of retired generals, one from the Army and the other from the Air Force, are teaming up on a book project.

The Air Force general, Perry Smith, first published "Rules And Tools For Leaders: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Effective Managing." Early editions were translated into five languages with more than 300,000 in print.

Smith says over the years, he realized it was time for an update.

"By 2012, it was clear that it was time to do a major update and rewrite," Smith said. "There were many new ideas on leadership and many new leadership challenges that had not been covered in earlier editions."

That's where the retired Army general comes in. Jeff Foley was commanding general at Fort Gordon before he ended his military career in 2010. He was very familiar with the book.

"I was honored to be invited by Perry to co-author this revision," Foley said. "This initial version of this book was issued to me by the Army when I took command of an Army battalion as a lieutenant colonel and has been on my shelf for years since, used often in my own leader development programs."

Smith says Foley was the obvious choice to being in on the project.

"Jeff was the ideal person to become the co-author of this book. He had lots of fresh ideas about leadership."

The co-authors are also close friends with experience in top leadership positions in the military and the nonprofit worlds.

Foley wrote five new chapters for "Rules And Tools For Leaders," calling on his 32 years of Army leadership and what he calls an intense desire to help people grow as leaders.

"My chapters focused on the importance of character, strategic planning, developing your own model for leading, mission/vision/values, teaching/coaching/mentoring. All of these subjects were addressed at some level in earlier versions, but we focused on these with much more precision and offered more recent stories as examples," Foley said.

And the Army and Air Force leaders also called on Marine Col. Michael Bohn to write a chapter on managing the electronic workspace. The original author, Smith, wrote a new chapter on leading the nonprofits. The generals worked together to update the chapters. They got rid of material that was no longer relevant and call the result a book that should be useful for the busy leaders in the next decade or two.

"Learning to lead is a life long journey," Foley said. "It begins with understanding yourself, dealing with other individuals, then becoming a leader of teams and growing to lead large organizations."

Both writers consider the new book a "complete package" of sorts, highlighting all the key elements of effective leadership.

You can meet Smith and Foley on Friday, Aug. 23, at the Augusta Museum of History where they will be signing copies of "Rules And Tools For Leaders: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Effective Managing." The book signing begins at 4 p.m. and ends at 5:30.


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