In the Jan/Feb ’11 issue of The Watercooler, our topic was trends for the new year. I compared the leadership we all need now to the leadership of George Washington during the American Revolution. I’ve always admired George, and I’m continually impressed by the forward-thinking leadership tenets he demonstrated to first his troops and then to his new country.
In my view, this is what George and his team practiced that we still need today:
- Trust and confidence in leadership. Washington never lost the confidence of his people and their belief in him. He and his team always projected an aligned front and commitment to the plan regardless their own differences.
- A solid strategic plan. Washington and his team developed a strategy that used the strength of their forces against the weaknesses of the enemy. He built pride and passion that drew out people’s commitment.
- Constant reminders of the ultimate goal. Washington’s message was that they were not just waging a war – they were fighting for a better way of life, one that hadn’t existed anywhere before.
Of course, what’s happening today is a different kind of revolution. But there are still some similarities – the fear, uncertainty, doubt – that connect us to difficult times in the past.
What do you think? What other leaders or strategic plans from the past that have value now – maybe even more value than they did originally? Everybody needs a hero. Who else can we hold up as role models in the tough times of today?