A book review by a CEO of Bob Woodward's book 'The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House.'
CEO: Eric Kriss, former Inc. 500 CEO, former chief financial officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and current CEO of MediQual Systems Inc., a medical-software company based in Westboro, Mass.
Book: The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House, by Bob Woodward (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1994, $24)
"Before reading the book, I had a generally negative impression of Clinton. Now I feel sorry for him. The portrait that emerges is of a man who is doing a truly bad job as the CEO of the country.
"A chief executive needs to make decisions -- lots of them -- to correct mistakes quickly, and to live with the consequences. Clinton is incapable of coming to closure on anything. He has no idea of the difference between what you do yourself and what you delegate. He doesn't even have the ability to run a meeting. It's not that Bill Clinton doesn't have a philosophy. What he lacks are the tools you need to implement a philosophy, to make it real, to convert it into action. You're left with the impression that he is the most ineffectual president in modern times, including Jimmy Carter.
"This book shows how much damage can be done when someone who has never developed the fundamental skills of leadership is put in charge of anything."