Friday, August 22, 2008

Leadership: Reagan Style

History has already made much of Ronald Reagan's presidency. One of the most amazing aspects of Reagan was his ability simultaneously to lead with sternness and confidency and yet to be loved (at least posthumously) by so many.

At the suggestion of Angela's Grandpa, I've been reading The Reagan Diaries. Though I have just begun reading, the one thing that sticks in my mind is the amount of personal correspondence that came from the office of the president during Reagan's term. He made personal calls to appoint ambassadors and sent handwritten letters to world leaders in attempts to build personal relationships and international alliances.

Early in his presidency, he writes, "I'm enjoying doing some of the things I'm then told Presidents haven't done before." Reagan was a powerful leader because he did things no one else did and he made the effort to appreciate people on an individual level (he even responded to his own mail).

If you want to lead effectively, and transformationally, take some advice from Reagan. You are never too important to appreciate others. When you value them, they will value you.

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