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The Political Leader as Master of History: Identifying Key Principles and Leadership Lessons Learned
By | 01/03/2012 3:30AM | SOLUTIONS

5 Ways Leaders Benefit from Identifying Enduring Principles and Key Lessons Learned (Part 1 of 3)


Once the British defeated Napoleon in 1814 they immediately fortified their forces in the fight against the U.S. in the Second War of American Independence. America was unprepared. And with an unpopular war and an undisciplined and ill-equipped militia, the outcome was uncertain. What aided America’s prosecution of the war, up to this point, was Britain’s main engagement in Europe—the Napoleonic Wars. “After Napoleon’s exile,” however, “the trickle of troops to the New World turned into a torrent.”1

The U.S. soon endured a degrading defeat in a hot summer battle that…

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"The lesson of history is that to the degree people
and civilizations have operated in harmony with
correct principles, they have prospered."
–Stephen R. Covey

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Leadership Lessons Politicians Can Learn from Ben Franklin
By | 09/28/2011 12:00PM | SOLUTIONS

The Wisdom and Example of Benjamin Franklin Offers Several Timeless Leadership Lessons for Political Leaders Today


The old story told is that whenever visitors went over to see Benjamin Franklin at his estate they would need to open a large gate so that their horse and carriage could pass through on the way up to his house. Pushing this hefty contraption open always proved to be a bit of an affair requiring no small effort. Often exasperated, this prompted more than a few of his guests to offer a fix. “I can send someone over to mend that dreadful gate of yours, if you like?” With a wry smile and to the surprise of his guests, Franklin would […]

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“That men do not learn very much from the lessons
of history is the most important of all the
lessons that history has to offer.”
–Aldous Huxley

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Learning Leadership Lessons from History: Recognizing Repeating Patterns and Recurring Themes
By | 08/08/2011 3:40PM | LEADERSHIP LESSONS, SOLUTIONS

Five Ways Leaders Benefit from Understanding the Rhythms of History


In an effort to overcome the challenges of predicting the weather, meteorologists have identified a number of weather patterns, meteorological principles and processes, and various other recurring phases and cycles which, taken together, make weather forecasting an indispensible part of protecting life and property. Similarly, though studies in the social sciences repeatedly reveal the predictability of human behavior; like the weather, human history rarely repeats itself exactly. Yet, as with weather forecasts, there are repeating patterns and recurring themes which allow the steadfast student of history to make wiser and more informed choices. As Mark Twain observed…

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"Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past;
for human events ever resemble those of preceding times.
This arises from the fact that they are produced by men
who ever have been, and ever shall be,
animated by the same passions,
and thus they necessarily have
the same results.
—Niccolò Machiavelli

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Learning the Leadership Lessons of the Past: In History Lies the Secrets
By | 07/26/2011 11:58AM | LEADERSHIP LESSONS, SOLUTIONS

Looking Backward to See Forward


Former presidential speechwriter James C. Humes, tells of the time he met Winston Churchill. The meeting had a lasting impact on the young American exchange student at Stowe, who later said […]

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"Study history, study history.
In history lies all the secrets of statecraft."
—Sir Winston S. Churchill

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The Leader as Historical Marker: Seven Strategies of Leaders Who Symbolized their Times & Shaped Our Futures
By | 04/29/2011 11:31PM | BACKGROUND

How Does Leadership Evolve to Reflect the Advancements of Society and What Can Leaders Do to Better Navigate this Progression?


The Leader as the Essence of the Age

On a bitter cold January afternoon, with Capitol Hill covered in snow, John F. Kennedy was sworn in as the 35th President of the United States. With a recognition of the gravity of the occasion, Kennedy began his inaugural address: “We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom—symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning—signifying renewal, as well as change.” Beginning to build a shared bond with Americans, he continues “…Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans—born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage…” And with the passing of this historical moment, the young Senator from Massachusetts became the new symbol of American leadership.

Scholars today consider Kennedy’s inaugural address […]

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"Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water.
Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can
withstand it, because they have no way to change it.
So the flexible overcome the adamant,
the yielding overcome the forceful."
-Lao Tzu

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Who Can We Trust in Washington?
By | 09/13/2010 11:05AM | PROBLEMS

The only thing we can depend on in Washington is a constant stream of partisan propaganda.


With all of the problems we have in Washington there is one that stands out, in my view, as being extremely problematic: a total lack of trust. I just don’t believe that we can trust anyone in Washington anymore. As much as I admire our Founders and as much as I stand in awe of […]

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“Politics is the shadow cast on society by big business…business for private profit through private control of banking, land, industry, reinforced by command of the press, press agents and other means of publicity and propaganda.” -John Dewey

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Democracy: By Invitation Only
By | 03/14/2010 12:00PM | PROBLEMS, SOLUTIONS

What is a republic when its leaders remain inaccessible, residing behind gated communities, stone walls and closed doors?


In America today, access to power is a privilege open to a very small, and very rich, minority of Americans. Meeting with a U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative or some other high-ranking public official or political VIP—even once they are out of office—is strictly limited to political and social elites. And though we might expect this aristocratic mentality […]

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"I hope our wisdom will grow with our power,
and teach us, that the less we use our
power the greater it will be.”
-Thomas Jefferson

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