41 by George W. Bush
41 is written about George H. W. Bush, the 41st President of the USA, by his son and the 43rd President of the USA, George W. Bush. For simplicity, George W. Bush will be called “the author” and the subject of the book, George H. W. Bush will be called “President Bush”. The author noted how a notable biographer made a comment how it would’ve been wonderful for John Quincy Adams (the sixth President of the USA) to write a book on his father, John Adams (the second President of the USA). This would provide a unique insight into their lives. The Bushs, being the second father son Presidential duo, had a similar opportunity. 41 is not an objective account, but rather the story of President Bush, told by a son. It shares insights to President Bush’s life and value system. President Bush was for taking risks, knowing that not all risks worked out, but if you kept an optimistic view and hard work ethic, more opportunities would come. President Bush did well in the oil business, fostering tremendous relationships. Once he took to politics, he relied on his skills of fostering relationships. A willingness to share the success, shoulder the blame, and stay loyal were pillars in his great relationships. He thought serving his country was the right thing to do and followed in his father’s footsteps. President Bush and his wife, Barbara had a long marriage, with each saying you had to be willing to go three quarters of the way to the other person. They moved many times for business and the variety of political jobs whether it was as a Representative, Ambassador to the UN, a representative to China, CIA Director, Vice President or President. What was consistent was the hard work ethic, love for others, and fostering relationships. One culminating example is found with the thousands of notes and letters President Bush wrote to family, friends, colleagues, and foreign connections.
How it influenced me
I particularly resonated with the idea that not all risks work out, yet more opportunities will come if you are open to them and keep working hard. It is not necessarily new information, but it is nice to see some clear examples of how that worked out in a successful person’s life. I think at times when things haven’t necessarily workout out how we anticipated, it may feel like a big setback that lasts a long time. The perspective changes if we look at our entire life, as this setback is but one page in the book of our lives. I also liked the mention of the thank you notes and letters. It is something I have seen time and time again and have started to slowly embrace it. I have looked to other forms of electronic means as it may be easier, but I’d like to integrate the physical paper more to further illustrate I care. Plus, as I read the book, I had a friend send me a picture after they found a little fun note, I left them a few years ago. The physical copy enabled them to see the nice note and reach back out to me to connect.