Few historical figures are uniformly praised and lauded for their leadership acumen like George Washington. Much has been recorded about?his leadership. This is what historian Ron Chernow said of President Washington in a recent TV interview:
?There were probably other generals who from a strategic standpoint were superior. But while the other generals were jockeying for power and getting side tracked in petty disputes, George Washington always had, in whatever he did, clarity of vision [and] tenacity of purpose. And there is [also] force of character. There is nobody in the world you would rather give a monumental task to than George Washington.?
Wow. I would love that to be said of me, wouldn?t you? There is nobody in the world you would rather give a monumental task to than (insert your name).
How do we get there? How do we become, at least in some small way, like George Washington?
In his biography, Washington: A Life, author?Chernow?highlights a few character traits that distinguish Washington as a leader.
Clarity of Vision
When we are focused on the vision, we rise above the futile. ?Where should you and your people go? Is the vision clear to you? George Washington?s vision was clear: to deliver independence to the thirteen American colonies. That was the big picture. He was focused on it, and his resolve enabled him to rise over petty matters.
Tenacity of Purpose
Purpose asks why. Why are going after this vision? Why are we going to that destination? And more importantly, why should others go to that destination with us? George Washington?s purpose was clear. Independence had to be achieved because it was the right of the inhabitants of the colonies.
Force of Character
Much has been said about Washington?s character. That he was an honest man, a man who understood leadership requires sacrifice. ?And he sacrificed of himself repeatedly and willingly. He was a man who worked diligently, seriously, and with excellence. A man who honored people and honored his word. A man who was willing to die for his cause.
The great leaders who went before us 2000 years ago, as well as?those in Washington’s day, had these qualities. Apply?these traits of character, vision, and purpose in your own leadership. Follow leaders like George Washington. I pray the Lord gives me the wisdom and strength to be a more like him.
For Further Reading:
Values that Made this Nation Great – A Lesson for All of Us
Values of a Great Team