What do President Jimmy Carter, former Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell, Kevin Plank (CEO of Under Armour), football analyst/former head coach Tony Dungy, golfing legend Jack Nicklaus, Ralph Winter (producer of X-Men and other blockbusters), "CNN’s Doctor" Sanjay Gupta—and 542 others—have in common?
The answer: all were interviewed by Dr. D. Michael Lindsay, an award-winning sociologist and expert on leadership, as part of the largest-ever interview-based study of leaders from all walks of life. Read his findings and compelling stories from this ten-year project in Dr. Lindsay's new book, View from the Top.
Jamie Dimon, as the respected and storied CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is the biggest name on Wall Street. He has been named CEO of the Year by multiple media outlets and one of Time’s most influential people four times. As a child, when Dimon asked what he wanted to be when he grew up, he replied, “I want to be rich.” He fulfilled his dream; today, Dimon is one of the highest-compensated CEOs in the financial industry, and has unique justifications for what many consider an outrageous compensation package.
Sanjay Gupta is a face and voice millions of Americans trust due to his role as chief medical correspondent for CNN. A neurosurgeon, he serves as associate chief of staff at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, and on the faculty of the Emory University School of Medicine. Gupta’s story of how he transitioned to media and maintained a balance between his two passions is a model example of how a "platinum leader" moves beyond specialization to true leadership.
Vernon Jordan has been a civil rights activist, participant in the Bilderberg conference, and member of many corporate boards, but he is best known as “the First Friend” for his role as consigliore to Bill Clinton. In addition to his board memberships, today Jordan is a senior managing director at Lazard. While Jordan always knew he would be a leader, he surprised the rest of the world with his deft management of elite networks as he rose to the top.
Colin Powell was the sixty-fifth secretary of state and the first African American to hold that office. He also served as the National Security Advisor and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Powell’s career has brought him many accolades and prestigious experiences, but there is one program that he credits as a catalyst for his ascension to the high ranks of national leadership.
Condoleezza Rice has come a long way since her childhood in Birmingham, Alabama. In the midst of a successful academic career, she became the first female African American secretary of state; she is currently a faculty member at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. However, Rice never forgot the values and experiences of her childhood. One comment she made at a White House briefing changed how the U.S. government approached the battle against AIDS.
Roxanne Spillett served for sixteen years as the president and CEO of Boys & Girls Club of America, one of the 100 largest nonprofits in the world. She led it through a major growth period but unfortunately is best remembered for one major hitch in her administration. Her misstep, something you would never expect from a nonprofit executive, became a national controversy.
The Full List of Leaders Interviewed in the Platinum Study