Tag Archives: JFK

Thankful in a tumultuous year

Could things be anymore divided?

Protest, distrust, hatred, and violence scarred the year, but the President thoughtfully shared his impression: “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.”

Abraham Lincoln’s gracious assessment of 1863 is immortalized in the opening line of his first Thanksgiving Day Proclamation. And it offers insight into a healing response to this year’s unrest.

Over 150 years have passed since Lincoln’s establishment of an annual, national observance of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  In 1863 that day came just one week after the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg where Lincoln gave his celebrated two minute address. The War Between the States would go on for another year and a half.

What prompted Lincoln to articulate such a “healthful” outlook, where many saw only servitude to gloom and despair, was an intensified appreciation for blessings and their origin.   Read more…

Lincoln and Kennedy: gratitude in adversity

Eternal Flame “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies.”  Abraham Lincoln’s gracious assessment of 1863 is immortalized in the opening line of his first Thanksgiving Day Proclamation.

150 years have passed since Lincoln’s establishment of an annual, national observance of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”  In 1863 that day came just one week after the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg where Lincoln gave his celebrated two minute address. The War Between the States would go on for another year and a half.

What prompted Lincoln to articulate such a “healthful” outlook, where many saw only servitude to gloom and despair, was an intensified appreciation for blessings and their origin.  He saw “bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come.”  He writes in his Thanksgiving Proclamation that these abundances are “so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.”

Such an attitude as Lincoln’s serves as a timely example for all of us.   Read more…

The science of leadership

Did you know that the U.S. Secret Service Tweets?  Actually, they aren’t giving away any national secrets. Twitter is mostly a marketing tool for the institution mandated by Congress to carry out two significant objectives: protection and investigation.

The Secret Service is known for utilizing the latest technology in achieving its directive.  And it uses current media tools in reaching talented individuals with leadership qualities and good character.  

Mark Sullivan

What’s it take to be a leader?  Mark Sullivan, Director of the U.S. Secret Service, has it down to a science.  He says it all about the 3 “c”s and a “d”. Sullivan spoke before a group at The Ohio State University recently.

Every good leader, according to Sullivan, embodies the qualities of caring, courage, confidence, and decision making.  These attributes are what the Service looks for in recruits. The Secret Service currently employs 7000.  And these same qualities aptly describe leaders in all areas of life Sullivan says.

At the top of his list of good character: caring. A genuine concern for others and the capacity to listen are fundamental to leadership according to Sullivan.

Courage goes beyond the expected bravery in a good leader.  It also includes a moral mettle.  Sullivan acknowledges we are all tested.

A leader has to be confident in his/her decisions, often going with the inner voice, the initial impulse when confronted in a situation. He cited trust and communication as essential ingredients of a well-rounded individual. Continue reading The science of leadership