“Suaviter in Modo, Fortier in Re” "Gentle in Manner, Strong in Deed” Claudio Acquaviva 1543-1615
‘Gentle in manner, strong in deed’ is the inscription on a paperweight that Dwight David Eisenhower kept on his desk in the Oval Office of the US Presidency. This maxim was not so much a description of Eisenhower the person, but rather as a guide to remind him how to conduct his affairs. This quote is a guide, and it is a guide especially in those activities which require us to negotiate with others - which is a great deal of what we do everyday.
This is a book of history, a book about one of the most consequential presidents in US history. This book is also a guide for the reader to be a better negotiator, narrating the story of the skills and strategies used by a successful American negotiator - President Dwight David Eisenhower.
The historical events that are investigated in this book are all critical national and international events that took place in a pivotal decade of the last century (1950-1960) - all events that have a strong determination on the character of our nation and the political realities of our world. President Eisenhower was a main character in all these events.
Researching and writing this book has challenged the writer to understand how these events changed our nation and our world, and how one extraordinary person from ordinary origins guided the outcome of these events with his skill as a statesman, a negotiator, and a singular intelligence. The outcome of these events were also determined by the mistakes that Eisenhower
made, his sometimes misperceptions, and even some of his individual and international bullying. However, it is remarkable to note that in the eight years of the Ike presidency not one international conflict arose where any US lives were lost. This is no small testament to the negotiation and diplomacy skills that Ike practiced. His commitment to peaceful solutions to international and domestic conflicts was witnessed throughout his two terms as a US President, as well as his tenure as NATO Commander. Ike’s consummate skills as a negotiator are laid out in this book - specifically so that we may learn from and practice better these skills on display.
No one influenced and shaped our nation and our world in the middle and later half of the 20th century than Eisenhower. From the post WWII Pax Americana, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Cold War, to the unprecedented expansion of an interdependent world
economy. Ike was a great advocate of free trade and he understood and insisted that robust international trade is ultimately a greater deterrent to war than any amount of armaments.
Many books have been written about Eisenhower the man, the leader, the soldier, and the President. This book illuminates Eisenhower as a statesman - the negotiator. When numerous colleagues of Ike were asked about essential qualities that Ike possessed, one of the most repeated qualities was that Ike had the ability to ‘bring people together’ - people of differing views and differing vested interests. This book is written to help the reader become a better negotiator. Ultimate success, whether you be the leader of a boy scout troop or the leader of the free world depends on strong negotiation skills - the ability to give and to take, to think through outcomes, and to lead others in doing so.