As I drove up the winding road toward the top of the hill, my anticipation mounted with each light post and flag I passed. I was already impressed by the California landscape, with green rolling hills and bright blue sky as far as the eye could see. When I rounded the last corner and reached the top of the hill, I knew I was in for a wonderful experience.
Nestled in the middle of the hilltop was the stately building I was there to see, designed to resemble an old Spanish mission. Beautiful gardens and well kept lawns hemmed in the building on each side, and sidewalks crisscrossed the landscaping, allowing the many visitors to enjoy a leisurely stroll around the grounds. As I parked and stepped out of my motorhome, I took a moment to soak in the warm spring sunshine and admire the nearly 360˚ view of the surrounding valley.
Though I had only just arrived, I already felt inspired. As I began walking around the grounds, memories flooded back to me. I well remember the turbulent ‘70s, economic crisis, and general feeling of gloom and doom that settled over the nation during those years. The 1980s were a turning point, and today I was here to reflect on the life and legacy of the leader who returned hope and optimism to America’s executive office.
President Ronald Reagan was an inspiration to millions of people around the world, including me. Through his positive, engaging demeanor and eloquent way with words, he inspired the nation and strengthened its spirit, providing vision and hope for the future. The legacy he forged will far outlive his own ninety-three years in this world.
As I toured the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in Simi Valley, California, I felt like the 1980s and Reagan’s presidency were coming alive again. I especially enjoyed and appreciated the inspiring quotes displayed throughout the museum. Here are just a few:
“America’s best days are yet to come. Our proudest moments are yet to be. Our most glorious achievements are just ahead.”
“Everything works out for the best and individuals determine their destiny through ambition and hard work.”
“Our problems are many, but our capacity to solve them is limitless.”
I also appreciated the two signs on display that President Reagan kept on his desk: “It CAN be done,” and, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.” What great truths, believed and passed on by one of America’s truly inspirational leaders! Thanks to the eloquence of his words and the inspiration derived from his leadership, President Ronald Reagan made a lasting impact on my life and the lives of millions of people around the world.
Like Ronald Reagan, leaders who are eloquent and inspiring tend to be highly influential, engaging those around them and arousing people to action. Able to communicate effectively, these leaders do so not only through their words, gestures, facial expressions, and careful timing, but also through their decisions and actions. Eloquent and inspiring leaders are able to stir the hearts and minds of their followers, instilling within them hope and optimism, and compelling them to passionate and effective action.
How about you, are you an eloquent and inspiring leader? How can you improve and leverage your own strengths in order to become more eloquent and inspiring? By leveraging and applying your leadership strengths, you can become an even more effective leader who:
- Is skilled in engaging and arousing people to action
- Communicates effectively through both word and action
- Is able to set a vision and stir hearts and minds
- Instills hope, optimism, enthusiasm and passion
This is the final article in a series of eight highlighting important leadership strengths demonstrated by some of the world’s most powerful and influential leaders—former United States Presidents. I feature these same strengths in my inspirational presentation, Presidential Leadership, designed to encourage and equip participants to identify, leverage, and apply their own leadership strengths. To see all eight articles in the series, please click here.
Copyright © 2013 by Dan Nielsen – www.dannielsen.com
National Institute for Healthcare Leadership – www.nihcl.com
America’s Healthcare Leaders – www.americashealthcareleaders.com