President’s Day – What We Can Learn From Our Great Presidents

Today is celebrated as President’s Day in the US. The US has long celebrated the birthdays of our two most famous presidents, Washington and Lincoln. At first we celebrated the actual bithday, Feb 22 for Washington and Feb 12 for Lincoln. In 1879 Congress established the third Monday of February as a national day to honor Washington.

In the 1980s both the federal government and most states designated this third Monday as President’s Day to honor both Washington and Lincoln, and by extension, all past presidents.

One might ask why we should honor past presidents. In the case of Washington, the father of our country, and Lincoln, the great emancipator, there seems ample reason to honor them. Not only did they serve their country in ways that far exceed most others they helped achieve very significant improvements in our nation. Washington was instrumental in winning the war of Independence and Lincoln was instrumental in winning the Civil War and freeing the slaves.

However I think we honor these men not just because they were great politicians and statesman, but because they were also great men. They were human and as humans they certainly had their faults. They were men of their time and possessed some beliefs  of their time that we do not possess today. But over all they were men of great integrity and valor. They put the needs of others before themselves time and again.

While the same can be said of some of our other presidents it cannot be said of all of them. The lesson to be learned I suggest is to discern what leadership attributes that our greatest presidents possessed. Our best presidents, including Washington and Lincoln did serve to lead and did so with these common traits:

1. They acted with bravery, often putting the national interest above their own, and often risking their lives in the process.

2. They were dedicated to creating a better world – a world with more freedom and justice.

3. They were more interested in doing what is right rather than doing what is expedient.

4. While they sought power and fame, they did not do so at the expense of the greater good.

5. They kept one eye on the future, fully understanding that what they did or did not do would have long term ramifications for decades or centuries to come.

6. They lived their personal lives by a code of proper conduct which was reflected in the service they gave to their country.

I am hard pressed to think of six more important qualities of a good leader. This is what we can learn from our greatest presidents and is worth some reflection on President’s Day.

Wishing you success and prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy
Helping People Learn to Build Wealth

Wishing you Success and Prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.