As a follow up to his phenomenal New York Times bestselling memoir, Highest Duty, Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger explores exactly what it takes to lead and inspire. In Making a Difference, one of the most captivating American heroes of this century—the courageous pilot who brought the crippled US Airways Flight 1549 safely down in New York’s Hudson River—engages some of the most accomplished men and women in the fields of technology, medicine, education, sports, philanthropy, finance, law, and the military in inspiring conversations on true leadership. With powerful thoughts and invaluable guidance from such notables as former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, legendary baseball manager Tony LaRussa, NASA Flight Director Eugene Kranz, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Making a Difference is a potential life-changer that stands with Katie Couric’s The Best Advice I Ever Got, Lee Iaococca’s Where Have All the Leaders Gone, Michael J. Fox’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future, and other classic volumes that celebrate human achievement and triumph over adversity.
Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger became a national hero after successfully landing a disabled airplane on the Hudson River and then became a bestselling author with his autobiography, Highest Duty. Having been lionized as a true leader during his Hudson ordeal, Sullenberger uses his new book to explore the nature of leadership itself. He describes his post-fame meetings with "a number of distinguished Americans" from a diverse range of professions who "embody the credo of leadership by personal example' " with the goal of creating "a contemporary version of John F. Kennedy's Profiles in Courage' " and for the most part, Sullenberger succeeds. The highlights of the book include his encounters with Thad Allen, U.S. Coast Guard chief of staff, who describes a range of "crucible events" that forged his leadership values, including his work on the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the Gulf oil debacle; Tammy Duckworth, lieutenant colonel in the Illinois National Guard, whose "incredible dedication to serving others" led to her losing her legs while serving in Iraq ("I could've lost both arms along with both legs and I would have been okay, knowing that I did my job"); and Robert Reich, professor and former U.S. secretary of labor, in an excellent chapter on the "three dangerous seductions" of martyr, messiah, and truth teller that potential leaders must avoid.