Major General Perry Smith

Retired Major General, television analyst and best-selling author of Rules and Tools for Leaders

In-Person Fee Range
$5,000 to $10,000
(Inquire for virtual fee)

Travels From
Georgia, United States


Retired Major General, Television Analyst and Best-Selling Author of Rules and Tools for Leaders

Major General Perry M. Smith is an internationally known speaker, TV commentator, and bestselling author. Hundreds of millions of television viewers world-wide have come to know him for his regular appearances in CBS News during the current War in Iraq. He first became well known during the ’91 Persian Gulf War for his many appearances as a military analyst for the Cable News Network, the McNeil-Lehrer News Hour and NBC News. Smith is the president of Visionary Leadership and he has conducted workshops on leadership, strategic planning or ethics for Harvard’s Kennedy School, UPS, Tiffany and Company, The Chautauqua Institution, The Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, Texas Instruments, The West Virginia Hospital Association, Andersen Consulting, the WK Kellogg Foundation, and Microsoft, as well as the governors of three states, and the mayor of Detroit. He also gives keynote speeches at conventions and conferences. His seven year relationship with CNN ended on June 14, 1998 when he resigned over an issue of integrity (CNN’s egregious special accusing the military of using lethal nerve gas to kill our own soldiers during the Vietnam War). He now serves as a military consultant to CBS TV and CBS Radio News.

A retired major general, Smith served for 30 years in the U. S. Air Force. During his career he had a number of leadership experiences, including command of the F-15 wing at Bitburg, Germany where he provided leadership to 4000 personnel. Later, he served as the top Air Force planner and as the Commandant of the National War College, where he taught courses on leadership of large organizations and on strategic planning. He flew 180 combat missions in F-4 aircraft over North Vietnam and Laos during the Vietnam War.

A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, he later earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from Columbia University. His dissertation earned the Helen Dwight Reid award from the American Political Science Association. His books include Rules and Tools for Leaders, Assignment Pentagon, and A Hero Among Heroes: Jimmie Dyess and the 4th Marine Division. The latter book is a biography of the only person to have earned America’s two highest awards for heroism, the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal. In 2002, Smith produced a 60-minute video, Twice a Hero: The Jimmie Dyess Story.

With more than 300,000 copies in print, his most popular book is Rules and Tools for Leaders , a practical guide for leaders. It contains hundreds of rules of thumb and includes 25 checklists on how to hire, fire, plan, deal with the media, give compliments, run meetings, make decisions, provide counseling, check organizational ethics, transition into a new job, etc. After being interviewed by Katie Couric about the book, it reached #2 on the bestseller list.

General Smith’s clients include Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Ford, Fuji, Pfizer, The Chautauqua Institution, The Kellogg Foundation, the governors of three states, and many universities including Harvard, George Washington, The University of South Carolina, Emory and Georgia Tech.  

Keynote Speeches include:

  • Rules & Tools for Leaders
  • New Insights on Leadership
  • Strategic Thinking, Planning and Action
  • Getting Ready for the Future: Some Practical Suggestions
  • China: The Next Superpower?
  • The U.S. Military in the 21st Century
  • Ethics and Leadership: A Practical Guide
  • The War Against Terrorism: What to expect and what you can do
  • Dealing with the Media: What Katie Couric, Matt Lauer, Larry King, Wolf Blitzer and Chris Matthews Are Really Like
  • The Bush Team & The War in Iraq: Includes personal stories about Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and Colin Powell

Areas of Expertise: Military Background, Ethics/Values, Strategy,Current Events, and International Affairs.

The Leadership Workshop - 3-5 Hours

It covers much that is new in the field of leadership: Introspection, change management, risk taking, crisis management, brainstorming (both manual and electronic), and downsizing (including right sizing and creative divestiture.) Included is a module on followership and on how to help create a climate for the exemplary follower. He also highlights the best organizations to benchmark and the best books and audio tape series on leadership and management.

The Strategic Thinking & Planning Workshop, 3-4 hours

It includes some fundamentals of strategic thinking, a Delphi exercise to get everyone thinking hard about specific issues for the year 2015, recommendations on how to learn from various types of futurists, short case studies on successes and failures in strategic planning. Also included are recommendations on the best futurists and the best books on the future and on strategic thinking.

The Ethics Workshop, 3 hours

It concentrates on the practical side of ethics and includes case studies on how to deal with unethical subordinates, peers, bosses and competitors.

All Major General Perry Smith Books

Rules and Tools for Leaders: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Effective Managing
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"Your remarks truly captured the attention and interest of everyone in attendance. Because of you, we are better equipped today to face our business challenges."

- | David Zuern, PNC Bank

"Great feedback from your presentation. I personally got a ton out of it and would like to schedule another session later in the year. "

- | L. David Gorman. Vehicle Operations Manager, Ford Motor Company

"Thank you so much for coming to Tallahassee today. It was a real joy being with you and your wife."

- | Jeb Bush, Governor of the State of Florida

"Your colloquium gave us innovative and insightful recommendations, and the faculty has been abuzz with requests for your tapes, books, and workshop notes. I certainly appreciate the energy you have added to our mission."

- | '-Charles F. Brower, US Military Academy

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Rules and Tools for Leaders: A Down-to-Earth Guide to Effective Managing
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