4 Tips from Historic Leaders

[tweetmeme]Theodore Roosevelt was born in New York City and graduated from Harvard.  He studied law at Columbia but dropped out when asked to run for public office.  Roosevelt was a New York State Assemblyman, a Dakota Cowboy, New York City Police Commissioner, and the Assistant Secretary of the Navy.  He left the Navy at the beginning of the Spanish-American War to serve directly in that conflict.  Colonel Roosevelt found volunteers among cowboys from the West and Ivy Leaguers.  He led these Rough Riders into history and won the Congressional Medal of Honor.  The Colonel served as Governor of New York, Vice-President of the United States, leader of the Republican Party and founder of the Bull Moose Party.  He also served as the 26th President of the United States, survived an assassination attempt and won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Roosevelt led an African safari and a South American Expedition as a former President.
Roosevelt’s success was not dependant upon favorable circumstances or the right culture.  Nor was it not limited to a particular organization or field of expertise.  He was successful in an amazing variety of roles because he was an exceptional leader.  Roosevelt is just one of the historic leaders that Doug Moran draws on in “If You Will Lead: Enduring Wisdom for 21st Century Leaders.” 

Jen Weigel brings out 4 leadership tips from the book in the Chicago Tribune.  Lean leaders can learn from these lessons as well:

  1. Know yourself – Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt both had the ability to be authentic in all situations.  Lean leaders need to be and straightforward with your team.  You won’t be successful in the long run if people don’t trust you.
  2. Know what you want – Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr. knew what they wanted.  Dr. King crafted precise language to convey his vision.  Lean leaders need to convey their message frequently while catering the terminology to the audience.
  3. Make yourself someone who others want to follow – Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa had such winsome faith and passion that others wanted to follow them.  Lean leaders need to show their faith on the process with their actions.
  4. Earn the privilege to lead daily – George Washington got people excited about following him yet he was also able to keep them following without overreacting when disasters hit.  Lean leaders need to celebrate success and be the stabilizing force when things go wrong.

[tweetmeme]Have you seen leaders who have executed any of these well?  What was the result?  Which of these principles would help you on your lean journey?  What will you do differently today?

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I originally wrote this as a guest blog for Beyond Lean.  Matt Wrye is a Lean practitioner and has a great Lean Blog there.  Thanks to Matt for allowing me the pleasure to guest blog there.

Please a comment below if you liked this article. You can also connect on LinkedIn, follow me on Twitter, subscribe via e-mail (right side bar), retweet, digg, or stumble this article. Your feedback is appreciated.

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About Christian Paulsen

Christian Paulsen is an Executive Consultant with 20 years of Lean Manufacturing. Chris adds value to organizations by driving process improvement and bottom line savings. Chris intends to help others by sharing the lessons learned after a quarter century of operational leadership, marriage, parenting, and even longer as a Cubs fan. Your comments on this blog are welcome. You can also connect with Chris via LinnkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook in the right sidebar. Chris welcomes your comments. Christian's professional services are available by contacting him through LinkedIn (right side bar)
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