Books

Charlie Baker’s book is out this week. Here’s what it’s about.

No juicy secrets here, but plenty of solid advice.

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, left, coauthored “Results: Getting Beyond Politics to Get Important Work Done” with his former chief of staff Steve Kadish, a Democrat. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

With less than a year left in his term, Gov. Charlie Baker is reflecting back on his time in office with the release of his new book, “Results: Getting Beyond Politics to Get Important Work Done.”

The moderate Republican co-wrote the book – which is more of a politician’s guide to leadership than a juicy tell-all memoir – alongside his former chief of staff, Steve Kadish, a Democrat.

Though the 268-page book does not dive deep into why the country’s most popular governor decided not to seek a third term, it does delve into his administration’s approach to leadership, and applies that to issues including the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers’ unions, and the MBTA.

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Baker recalls frustrations with the state’s vaccine rollout, saying his own friends “who were neither old nor physically frail” called him up to see if they could get their shots early.

“They had friends in Florida who had been able to ‘cut through the red tape’ and get vaccinated there, and they couldn’t understand why they couldn’t do the same thing here,” Baker wrote.

Baker's Book:

The outgoing governor also criticized the way union leaders handled the return to in-person learning, writing, “For the fall of 2020, most of the teachers’ union leaders seemed opposed to many reasonable attempts to open our schools for in-person learning, despite the assurances and the appeals of the medical community.

“I don’t believe that this can be written off as a Republican governor versus a union,” Baker continued. “Not in Massachusetts. Not with me.”

Though he does not offer insights into ongoing safety issues with the T, Baker does write of his first “tense and awkward” meeting with MBTA officials, noting “After a few MBTA staffers had spoken, it became clear to everyone in the room that the organization’s standard operating procedures were inadequate and no practical plans for recovery had been made.”

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The book also emphasizes Baker’s belief that leadership requires looking beyond partisan lines. He speaks about growing up with his mom, a Democrat, and his father, a Republican, and how that shaped his approach to politics.

Here’s an excerpt:

The lesson I learned from watching them go at it was simple: the public square has plenty of opinions about how to help people and solve problems. Hear them all. Insight and knowledge come from curiosity and humility. Snap judgments, about people or ideas, are fueled by arrogance and conceit. They create blind spots and missed opportunities. Some ideas are more achievable than others, some cannot be acted on at all, and some can be executed only with the help of spectacularly talented people, a lot of money, and a ton of time. Too often, the how gets lost. Around our dinner table, that was always part of the discussion: “How are you going to do that?”

“Results,” published by the Harvard Business Review Press, was released Tuesday.

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