What I believe in. A great set of leadership principles by a West Point graduate along with references to relevant books.

Discussion created by onlyvivekbhatnagar on Mar 20, 2015

I recently came across these great guiding principles of a West Point graduate who also happened to be the retired Chairman of the Board/ President and CEO of the Procter & Gamble Company. Having trained at an institution called National Defense Academy designed along similar lines in India and having spent overs 21 years in the military as a career officer, they resonated with me completely. I love the part where Bob has shared even the relevant books. Even though I love to read and a I do read a lot, there are only few out of the list below that I have read. I guess, I have a lot of reading still ahead . And so in the spirit of learning and sharing here they are: (I will attach a separate document linking to this post with more details on each point.)


WHAT I BELIEVE IN by Robert (Bob) A. McDonald


Throughout my education, military, and business careers; there are a few principles in which I believe deeply that drive my behavior everyday.

    • Leader’s Compass by Dennis Haley and Ed Ruggero
    • The Leadership Engine by Noel Tichy


1. Living a life driven by purpose is more meaningful and rewarding than meandering through life without direction.

  • BOOK REFERENCE: Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

2. Companies must do well to do good and must do good to do well.

  • BOOK REFERENCE: The Surprising Solution by Bruce Piasecki

3. Everyone wants to succeed, and success is contagious.

  • BOOK REFERENCE: The Dream Manager by Michael Kelly

4. Putting people in the right jobs is one of the most important jobs of the leader.

  • BOOK REFERENCE: Good to Great by Jim Collins

5. Character is the most important trait of a leader.

    • The West Point Way of Leadership by Col. Larry Donnithorne
    • West Point Cadet Prayer Book

6. Diverse groups of people are more innovative than homogenous groups.

  • BOOK REFERENCE: Connections by James Burke

7. Ineffective systems and cultures are bigger barriers to achievement than the talents of people.

    • The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge
    • Out of the Crisis by Edwards Deming

8. There will be some people in the organization who will not make it on the journey.

9. Organizations must renew themselves.

    • Leading Change by John Kotter
    • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

10. The true test of the leader is the performance of the organization when they are absent or after they


  • BOOK REFERENCE: Built to Last by Jim Collins