Since the passing of President George Herbert Walker Bush, I’ve been thinking about what makes a good leader. The eulogies were replete with qualities about the late president that bespoke of a great leader. Those include honesty, integrity, intelligence, humility, patience, and thoughtfulness to name but a few. But the following statement about him is the one that’s taken root in my thoughts – that when the White House achieved a success, it was the “we” whom President Bush credited, and when the White House suffered a loss, then it was “I”, President Bush, who took the blame. What a wonderful gift he gave his colleagues by boosting them up with each victory. After all, it was undoubtedly the efforts of many that resulted in such successes. On the other hand, though he often took sole responsibility for defeats, it is very probable that those defeats were not the result of only his actions. Yet he shouldered that blame, and at the same time, persevered, making his colleagues even stronger. Even though people may have disagreed with him politically speaking, the respect they felt for him was obvious through all of the tributes last week, and his leadership shone brightly, just like his thousand points of light.
On a side note, I am honored to know many people who possess these same qualities, and provide quiet yet strong leadership to those around them. May we continue to nurture these qualities each and every day.
Photo credit: Jim McGrath via Twitter