“In his lifetime, Ronald Reagan was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to mend America’s wounded spirit, to restore the strength of the free world and to free the slaves of Communism.” That’s how Lady Thatcher started her great eulogy of Ronald Reagan, summarizing in one sentence his personal qualities and his great achievements. This combination of highly admirable personality and great accomplishments has made Ronald Reagan the most popular American President in the past half a century and one of the most important American Presidents in history. So what were the leadership qualities that made it possible for Ronald Reagan to achieve such a status in American history and in the hearts of the American people, including his political opponents?
- The Messenger, Not The Message. Reagan was described by people as kind, humble, decent, and likeable.
- Have a Great Vision. “America is too great for small dreams,” Reagan said, and we all knew he meant it.
- Communicate Your Vision to Gain Followers. Reagan articulated complex issues in simple, often visual, ways that enabled people to understand them and get excited about them. Remember “Shining City on a Hill?”
- Offer Hope, and Act to Achieve It. Reagan was an eternal optimist, and not a cynical complainer.
- Lead, Don’t Micromanage. Reagan delegated without loss of productivity, quality, initiative, or innovation.
- Don’t Become a Prisoner of Your Own Perceptions. Reagan was able to escape the rigid dogma in which his opponents thought him trapped.
- Admit Mistakes, Change Course, and Move On. Reagan demonstrated the ability to reconsider his decisions, regardless of ego.
- Use Humor. Reagan used humor skillfully, and effectively. Ask Walter Mondale about that.
- Stay Human. Reagan was the definition of a servant-leader.
- Lead a Balanced Life. Despite the demands of the Presidency, Reagan kept first things first.
All great advice from a leader we admire. President Reagan’s legacy of leadership continues to benefit Americans today, and for that, we are grateful. You can read the excellent original post here.