Leadership Lessons from Presidents

August 21, 2018 § Leave a comment

This year I had the remarkable opportunity to participate in the Presidential Leadership Scholars, a leadership development program implemented by the four presidential libraries/centers of Lyndon Johnson, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. I had the privilege to meet three of those men, and dozens of others who served in their administration. And I had the extraordinary privilege of learning from an amazingly diverse group of 58 other scholars, all of whom I now consider friends. There were six modules in the program, and I decided to write an article on each articulating what I learned. I link to those articles below.

In summary, the program was a reminder of the importance of learning from and living with different types of people, acting and speaking with civility, and working together to make a difference. Thank you to the PLS team and to all my new friends for the experience. To all my old friends, I’d encourage you to look into the program and consider applying here.

Article 1: “Searching For The Right Leadership Style”: There’s no one right leadership style. We each have unique talents, and different situations can call for different leaders.

Article 2: “The Power Of Relational Leadership”: George H.W. Bush often led through the power of his personal relationships. We can learn from that to revolutionize our own leadership style.

Article 3: “The Simple Power Of Connected Communication”: Bill Clinton was a storyteller gifted at connecting with others. What can we learn from his approach to improve our own connected communication?

Article 4: “How A President Makes A Decision That Matters”: George W. Bush and his team had a very structured approach to decision-making. Do you? How might you structure a process for making decisions that matter?

Article 5: “The Johnson Treatment: Pushing And Persuading Like LBJ”: Lyndon Johnson had a unique, pushy, sometimes abrasive approach to persuasion—one that resulted in the most active legislative presidency in history. What can we learn from it?

Article 6: “Life Is Worth Living In Three Dimensions”: In today’s world it’s easy to stereotype and caricature others, but essential that we instead think and see in three dimensions: acting with civility, leading with empathy, and aspiring greatly.

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