Leading Leaders, The Book

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Leading Leaders:  I believe everyone can reach high levels of performance and be happy in their work if inspired, empowered and motivated. By far, my most popular book, Leading Leaders is the leadership philosophy to get teams and individuals to perform their best based on nearly three decades of leading diverse teams around the world. My leadership philosophy is based on five “bricks” in the foundation of any leader’s method, and is time tested in even the most stressful environments. And it works in any environment–not just the military! I’ve successfully led by these principles in volunteer work, with contractors, and of course on the job.

Integrity: Leaders must both model and require honesty and a whole-person mindset. Without the this cornerstone, there can be no trust between the leader and the team.

Respect: People have inherent value, and leaders must cultivate an environment of respect between members of the team, as well as between the team and the leader. Respect is a prerequisite for teamwork.

Teamwork: Individuals can and do excel, but teams get more done! By looking at everyone as a potential teammates, and building diverse teams where everyone is valued, leaders can inspire high performance and job satisfaction!

Leaders Lead: Job satisfaction and high performance comes from when leaders empower others to lead as well. By pushing authority out and enabling others to contribute to their maximum ability, leaders can inspire others to new heights!

Little Things Matter: Little things add up to big things–the trick is knowing which little things to watch! Sort through the “chaff” and focus on the “wheat” in order to help your team reach their full potential without bogging them down.

Praise for Leading Leaders

Colonel Mickey Addison is a leaders’ leader.  I have personally watched him lead and he practices what he writes about in his excellent book, “Leading Leaders”.  His book is easy to read and contains leadership pearls of wisdom that the reader can use to become an truly effective leader. The way the book is written and organized makes his principles easy to follow and will enable the reader who aspires to become a great leader, achieve that goal!

 – Stephen R. Lorenz , General, USAF (Retired), author of Lorenz on Leadership


Our nation is crying out for leaders. In this gem of a book, Colonel Mickey Addison shares the timeless lessons of leadership he learned in sports, in the Boy Scouts, and in a successful career in the US Air Force. Filled with unforgettable stories illustrating the principles of leadership, “Leading Leaders,” is a must read for anyone who desires success at the highest level, whether in sports, in business, or personally. Whether you are just beginning your career, or a seasoned executive, you’ll want to keep a copy of “Leading Leaders” on your desk as a handy reference. Buy it, read it, and apply its principles.

– Ruben Gonzalez – Four-time Olympian, Author of “The Courage to Succeed” OlympicMotivation.com


Leadership is more than a 9-5 job, and no one lives leadership like the US military.  Colonel Addison has lived a life and career of leadership, and he shares his lessons in this great read.  Managers of all levels will benefit from this book!”

– Mary C. Kelly, PhD, CDR, US Navy (ret) author of Master Your World, ProductiveLeaders.com

Everyone who works on a team or has the role of leading people in any way should read this book.  The leadership lessons are valuable for managers, team captains, and leaders from the CEO all the way down.

– Paula Parrish, Director of Development, Our Lady of the Lake University

I’ve watched Mickey get more done than a single person could ever achieve on their own for nearly two years.  Now I see how he does it!  Leading Leaders is not only worth the read, but more than that, worth putting into practice.

– Tim Gibson, Brigadier General, USAF (ret)

Riveting!  A great mixture of personal stories and leadership principles that represent years of Mickey’s successful strategies.  Perfect for new and long-time leaders; if you only read one leadership book this year, it should be this one.

– Fire Chief Ernst Piercy, USN & USAF

Colonel Addison has captured a lifetime of leadership experiences in this elegantly written, and captivating guide. His experiences in inspiring others, grounded in personal character, and refined throughout a distinguished military career, are distilled into this succinct and highly recommended volume.

– Bill Andrews, PhD, Colonel, USAF (Retired), author, former POW and fighter pilot

Leading Leaders is a must read for aspiring young leaders and serves as a critical reference for senior leaders to gauge their own leadership skills.   Mickey captures the timeless foundations of effective leadership through his own experiences as an Air Force officer as well as the successes of those that have gone before him.  I look forward to adding it to my library of leadership primers and using it as a reference in my own leadership discussions.

– Todd Salzman, Chief Master Sergeant, USAF (Retired)

 More than just another non-fiction work on management or leadership, Addison interjects his own anecdotes throughout the book, and many of them are wonderful examples, not only of successes, but also of failures in communication from which the author has learned much. 

– Jeff Koloze, PhD, President, Koloze Consultants

 Colonel Addison’s experience and success speaks for itself; and his latest book, “Leading Leaders”, is a clear and easy to read roadmap showing the way to anyone who is responsible for drawing out the greatness in others.

– Tom Yuhas, VP Sparkle Wash International

 Both aspiring and well-seasoned leaders will put this book down better prepared, or re-grounded, in what it takes to lead successfully.

– Christian Knutson, P.E., PMP, Lt Colonel, USAF, author of “The Engineer Leader” weblog

This book lays out leadership in a logical format and gives today’s managers practical leadership theory, sprinkled with real-world situations of how leadership works…or how the lack of leadership can be destructive.  Read this book once as a look at leadership.  Read this book again and again as a constant reminder of how to make leadership a part of your management style.

– Sharyn McWhorter, Lt Colonel, USAF (Retired)

The book focuses on human interaction, the leader’s character and engagement, and is built on the principles and practical applications of Integrity, Respect, Leaders Lead, Team Work and Little Things Matter. It is a good leadership book for learning how to lead effectively and how to lead leaders.”

– Phuong Callaway, PhD

 After working for leaders at all levels and leading large organization myself for nearly 40 years, “Leading Leaders” is the best easily digestible blueprint for being an effective leader I’ve ever read.   Great insight into how to be a true compassionate leader of complex organizations.”

– Brian X. Bush, Colonel, US Army (Retired)

 This is a tool every leader needs in his/her toolbox.  Whether you’re building a foundation or fine-tuning your organization, this is a must-read.

– Robyn Sleeth, GS-14, USAF

 As a member of a leadership team of a Fortune 500 company I have attended many “Leadership” training seminars. “Leading Leaders “ by Mickey Addison gets to the core principles of what leadership IS and can be applied to any business or enterprise from Little League to the corporate board room.

– Marc Kelly, Tax Manager, CapitalOne

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