Great Leadership Series
Great Leadership Series - Margaret Thatcher
Margaret Thatcher is one of the most influential women in politics in modern times. According to her biography, "born in October 1925 at Grantham, a small market town in eastern England, she rose to become the first (and for two decades the only) woman to lead a major Western democracy. She won three successive General Elections and served as British Prime Minister for more than eleven years (1979-90), a record unmatched in the twentieth century."
"Margaret Thatcher became one of the founders, with Ronald Reagan, of a school of conservative conviction politics, which has had a powerful and enduring impact on politics in Britain and the United States and earned her a higher international profile than any British politician since Winston Churchill."
During her lifetime, she worked to revitalize the British economy, strengthened foreign ties, and demonstrated what a difference a strong woman with a passion for her country and people can accomplish. She is known for her ability to be dedicated, plain-spoken, and knowledgeable of the intricacies of world politics.
One of the major accomplishments of her administration was partnering with Ronald Reagan to bring down communism. The Washington Times describes this as her legacy. In fact, it is impossible to discuss President Reagan's successes without mentioning his relationship with Prime Minister Thatcher. In his article for the Telegraph, John O'Sullivan stated, "Ronald Reagan's last official act as President of the United States on January 11, 1989 was to sign a letter of thanks and appreciation to Margaret Thatcher, then beginning her last two years in Downing Street. That letter marked the end of a great political partnership - one as important historically as the wartime alliance between Churchill and Roosevelt but arguably both warmer and more successful."
For a detailed description of her contribution to Britain and the world, visit http://www.margaretthatcher.org/.
"A man may climb Everest for himself, but at the summit he plants his country’s flag." - Margaret Thatcher
Great Leadership Series - Abraham Lincoln
"As President, he built the Republican Party into a strong national organization. Further, he rallied most of the northern Democrats to the Union cause. On January 1, 1863, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared forever free those slaves within the Confederacy.
Lincoln never let the world forget that the Civil War involved an even larger issue. This he stated most movingly in dedicating the military cemetery at Gettysburg: "that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." (click here for source)
Lincoln was a great leader described as a man of passion, drive, and heart.
"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds.... " (from Lincoln's second inagural address)
Great Leadership Series - George Washington
"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man." - George Washington
George Washington has been described as a man of character, conviction, and vision. He was resolute in defending the freedoms of this country. Due to his affinity to writing, we have access to many documents that contain his thoughts and feelings on various topics. Some basics about this great man (click here for source):
"As commander of Virginia's militia in the French and Indian War (1755-58), Washington learned how to organize an army of about 1,000 men. Although he made mistakes, he learned a great deal, particularly about recruiting and training men and supplying them with food, clothing, guns and ammunition. Others praised his 'method and exactness' in overseeing the details of military operations.
Washington successfully ran and built up his Mount Vernon plantation into a large business. He divided the plantation into five farms, each of which had a separate overseer who was responsible for that farm, and also managed an active fishery where fish were caught, salted and shipped throughout the colonies and overseas. His farm shops, blacksmith and flour milling in particular, provided services to farmers in the locale....
Washington applied the managerial skills he used in running his farms to organize and lead the Revolutionary Army, which numbered about 10,000 men, and later set up the new federal government as first president.
Washington inspired confidence through his fairness and consideration. He promoted military officers and government officials on the basis of merit, not friendship or social standing. By 1788, he had promoted African American slaves to top positions as overseers of his five farms.
He was very disciplined, placing his principles and civic responsibilities before his own needs, and brought forth the same qualities in others."
Qualities Washington had we can learn from: conviction, strong sense of loyalty, resolute, disciplined.
"If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." - George Washington
Great Leadership Series
Slowly we hear rumblings as Newt, Ron, Sarah, Mitt, and others consider looking to 2012 for a presidential run. As we look to the 2012 presidential election, I thought it would be good to look back on great leadership we've experienced through time. What is it that made these leaders great? What do we need to look for in our leadership moving forward?
(If there is a particular leader you find noteworthy, please submit your ideas.)