Let’s Put a Bow On It!Nov 09, 2023
Make no mistake, nothing I’ve shared here as we’ve looked at the strengths of these Founding Fathers - Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison - has been with the intention of suggesting they were perfect. Quite honestly, that’s why I included some of the weaknesses! I also believe that each of them would have been very quick to acknowledge their own shortcomings. In digging through resources for what I’ve shared, I found an article called Why is James Madison a Good Leader? that quoted James Madison as saying, ““If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” If he was so keenly aware of this, I can’t imagine that group of men believing they themselves didn’t fall into the same mix - even those most of their political descendants seem to today…
With all that in mind, let’s put a bow on this idea by considering how we can apply even a few of their examples to how we lead the teams that are counting on us. While we’re not creating the foundation for a new nation (yet), the impact we have on our team members’ lives is never something we should take lightly!
In considering Franklin, how can we apply his curiosity and work ethic to provide an even better atmosphere for our teams or better service for our clients? And what would modeling his passion for learning do to drive continuous improvement in our organizations?
While few may become as articulate with the written word as Jefferson - and I certainly won’t be one of them - how could just working to improve the effectiveness of our messaging reach more people? And whose lives would be better if we were as passionate about our beliefs as he was, albeit less undermining in how we approach our adversaries…?
When we think about Madison, how much more could we accomplish by learning from his ability to build consensus within a group, be that through collaboration or even compromise? And since we all have weaknesses too, what can we do to support those by aligning ourselves with folks with corresponding strengths? Dolly certainly did that for him, but many others did as well, and none of that appears to have been accidental!
All in all, those Founding Fathers, along with the few dozen others who mutually pledged their lives, fortunes, and their sacred honor to create our great nation provided an example that I believe serves us all today; one that can help us build better teams within our own companies as we follow it!