Foundation of Change

17 02 2012

Recently I finished a book titled The Founding Fathers On Leadership. With a pen in my hand I found that underlining the important points only resulted in more of the book being covered in ink than not. Throughout history great men and women have shown their leadership during times of great change.

Two questions kept sticking in my head throughout this book. First, what made these men of great wealth and comfort regardless of who was in power, pick a fight with the most powerful country on Earth starting the Revolutionary War? Second, our country today is many times bigger than our country was during the fight for independence, yet I can not name one true hero, like the many who stepped up to the call as the great men did fighting for our nation’s independence. My question is where have all the good men gone?

The first question can be answered in the book. The second question, well…..hold tight, there are some coming on the horizon. I believe this book has been a blue print for some great men in today’s age to make a huge impact on this nation.

I was going to highlight the book but found that a narrative of it would be much too long for a post so I decided to put my favorite quotes or ideas from each chapter. Enjoy, Steve Leurquin

1. Sound the Trumpet: “I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” Patrick Henry

2. Create a Vision, Set Goals, Involve Everyone: For every one person who sees(a vision), thousands may think. And for the thousands who think, millions may act.

3. Build Your Team and Be Decisive: “I think the (government) hath no more right to put their hands into my pocket, without my consent, than I have to put my hands into yours…” George Washington.

4. Inspire The Masses: “…groups of citizens acting together to achieve common goals could, in fact, render a king powerless.”        – Thomas Paine

5. First Listen, Then Communicate: “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.” – George Washington

6. Travel With The Troops: Lead by example.

7. Turn a Negative Into a Positive: “We fight…to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.” -Thomas Paine

8. Innovate and Leverage Resources: “Our (leaders)..behaved like men who were determined to be free.” -George Washington

9. Building Strong Alliances: Leaders look ahead, plan for the future, and achieve goals for their (team).

10. Attend to Financial Matters: “…the Continental Congress decided …to print paper currency. However, the government did not have the gold to back up the paper…”  

11. Refuse to Lose and Learn Continuously: The capacity and desire to learn continuously were traits to nearly all the founding fathers.

12. Be a Risk-Taker: In general, people admire the risk-taker, but hesitate at taking any risks themselves.

13. Understand Human Nature: Without effective leadership and a vision to run after, human nature is such that people will withdraw into their own world.

14. Compromise and Create Culture: “The better a man is , the (less) he thinks of himself.” -James Madison

15. Stick Around and Follow Through: The founding fathers strategically developed future leaders and successfully passed the torch of liberty to the next generation.




5 responses

21 02 2012
John Graff

Great post, Steve.
Yet another book I owe it to myself (and team) to get in my brain. History is a phenomenal teacher, and you’re a pretty good teacher, yourself!
thanks again

20 02 2012
Chris Brady

Great summary of an excellent book! I love that we can study great lives from history!

19 02 2012

I really like chapter 7 – seems to be vital (as are all of course). I’ve found myself before and so many others now so stuck in the negative and rarely able to do any of the other important things because they can’t reframe it.

19 02 2012

A principle that stands the test of time! Thanks Adam!

18 02 2012
Adam Rossman

Wow! That sounds like a great book! I love the George Washington quote from chapter 3

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