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David Rubenstein on Leadership

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1L0349
This program is part of our
Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
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David Rubenstein (Photo: Robert Severi)


  • This program is part of our Smithsonian Associates Streaming series.
  • Platform: Zoom
  • Online registration is required.
  • For multiple registrations, you will be asked to supply individual names and email addresses.

What makes a great leader? Are they born or are they made? Does extraordinary leadership arise from personality, mental or physical skills, or the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time?

David M. Rubenstein—co-founder of the Carlyle Group, philanthropist, and member of the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents—has long been fascinated with leadership across a spectrum of disciplines. For the past five years, he has spoken with the world’s highest-performing business, government, and cultural leaders about who they are and how they became successful. His conversations ranged from Bill Gates to Bill Clinton, Renee Fleming to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

Drawing on his new book How to Lead: Wisdom from the World's Greatest CEOs, Founders, and Game Changers, Rubenstein examines how these individuals view decision making, develop bold visions, deal with failure, and rise to meet crises. In conversation with Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Rubenstein discusses the distinctive styles and lessons of leadership reflected in Dr. Anthony Fauci’s crisis management during a global pandemic; Jeff Bezos’ discovery that his best decisions have been made with heart and intuition rather than analysis; why Richard Branson never goes into a venture looking to make a profit, but aiming to be the best in the field; and examples from other pioneering agents of change.

Copies of How to Lead (Simon & Schuster) are available for purchase.

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