Feb 18

For Presidents Day, Some Thoughts about Leadership

by Sargent Shriver Peace Institute | 02/18/2019 6:00AM | Quote of the Week | Leadership | Citizenship | Public Service

For Presidents Day, Some Thoughts about Leadership

For Presidents Day, Some Thoughts about Leadership

On this Presidents Day, we take our Quote of the Week from a piece of advice Sargent Shriver gave a group of aspiring young leaders in 1957. He was speaking on the topic of citizenship at the time.

Presidents Day has us thinking quite a bit about leadership. We certainly think of Sargent Shriver as an exceptional leader. But what are the qualities that make him stand out? We believe that the ability he describes in our Quote of the Week is a significant part of what made him exceptional. The consistency between his thoughts, words, and actions made him trustworthy and freed him up to be creative and energetic in his problem solving. His consistency made him mission-driven and able to follow through on ambitious goals, no matter how difficult. It also fostered collaboration and inspired others to follow his lead. All of these characteristics made him successful in building the Peace Corps and creating the Office of Economic Opportunity (the administrative agency of the War on Poverty). Not only did he build these institutions from the ground up, he was also instrumental in guiding the legislation that created them through the US Congress.

We can’t end a post about Sargent Shriver and leadership without mentioning service. Unlike some leaders, he was not driven by a thirst for power. He was the quintessential servant-leader. His love of humanity and his desire to empower others, particularly the most vulnerable among us, fueled him, and made him a leader that we can still learn from today.

Who are some other leaders you learn from and admire? Let us know!

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