Feb 19

Acting Presidential: Leadership Tips From Our Past Leaders

Today is Presidents Day – a day in which we honor the 45 leaders of our country.

Regardless if you love him or hate him, the commander-in-chief has a difficult job. He has been tasked with leading the country in times of war and peace. The president is often required to navigate scandals, big or small, and I’m sure it’s not as glamorous as Scandal’s Olivia Pope makes it seem.

All presidents need certain leadership skills in order to be successful. While many undoubtedly had charm and that special twinkle that made millions of voters check the box next to their names, effectively holding the position takes a little more, or they wouldn’t be successful.

In honor of today, here are a few nuggets of leadership traits we can take away from past presidents to help make ourselves better.


“Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.” ― President Abraham Lincoln

Get the Job Done

There’s a cute little sign we have in our house that reads “Procrastinators Unite Tomorrow.” The president probably doesn’t have this sign in the Oval Office. At least, I hope not.

Presidents should be able to jump in and get the job done. Presidents also have to act swiftly. What can take away from this skill? At the end of the day, if you have something that can be quickly done, why would you leave it for tomorrow? Get it done and out of your way. When you walk in tomorrow morning, there will be a fresh stack of to-dos. This isn’t a vacation bank – there’s no reason to carry your tasks over.


“It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed.” ― President Theodore Roosevelt 

Don’t Fear Failure

I get it – failure is hard. It’s really, really hard. Failure is often what prevents us from doing something great. We ask, “What if it doesn’t work out for me?” or “How will that impact the bottom line?” While important points to consider, you should also ask, “What if I succeed?” How will THAT impact your bottom line?

I would like to note that you shouldn’t jump right in without a plan. The best leaders always have a plan. I know you wouldn’t jump out of an airplane without a parachute.


“It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” ― President Harry S. Truman

Spread the Love

Oftentimes in our profession, we intentionally take a back seat so that our clients can shine. Personally, I love watching our clients succeed – whether it’s an outstanding turnout at an event, great placement in the media or a viral social media post.

When you stop playing games and work together, it makes a big difference in how your team will approach that next big project. When the victory sits on the shoulders of everyone, I bet you’ll find that everyone takes on a little more of the responsibility to achieve it.

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