Happy B’Day Julius Rosenwald (1862), Best known as part-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Co +  establishing the Julius Rosenwald Fund which donated $Millions to promote education and build nearly 5,000 schools  mainly in rural Southern African American communities.  About 500 still exist,   a few operate as schools but most that have been restored are community centers/museums.  His inspirational “T3” leadership style: TEAMWORK: Collaborative owner-operator of one of America’s largest retail stores; Sears, Roebuck & Co. Oversaw the implementation of the “schedule system” that allowed departments to ship orders the same day, and orders from multiple departments the next day; an amazing...

Happy Birthday (1747) John Paul Jones, America’s first inspirational maritime hero. Jones established the standard of courage and professionalism that defines our Navy today.  The Scottish born Jones’ aggressive actions against the British in their home waters influenced a new nation and sent a message to the world that the American Navy was a new force to be reckoned with.  There’s rarely a keynote address when I don’t reference some aspect of Jones’ remarkable leadership style:   TEAMWORK:  On the qualifications of being a Naval Officer (which is still taught at the U.S. Naval Academy today as a pillar of...

Happy B’Day Mel Brooks, b. (Melvin Kaminsky) OTD 1926. Inspirational Comedian, Actor, Writer, Film Maker.  One of very few to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards.  Mel’s leadership style:  TEAMWORK:  Famously built trust, comity and loyalty with others.  Envisioned goals and inspired collaborators to achieve them while selflessly sharing credit with colleagues and co-stars. His partnership with the late Carl Reiner in “2000 Year Old Man" skits is comedy genius TONE:  “Patriotic WWII Vet; Combat Engineer who fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  Mel’s courageous boundary-breaking slapstick, parodies and satire took on social norms. “Being stupid and politically incorrect...

Happy B’Day Helen Keller, 1880.  Lost sight and hearing at 19 months due to illness. Overcame extreme adversity and became an inspirational author, lecturer and advocate for the disabled.  Changed society’s views of the disabled.  Helped make braille the standard of writing for the blind.Her success attributed to:  TEAMWORK:  Met her “Miracle Worker” teacher Ann Sullivan in 1887. Their efforts together allowed Helen to flourish via a uniquely adapted touch teaching method. Shared comfort, companionship and humor with Mark Twain for more than a decade; he called her “The Eighth Wonder of the World!” “I can feel the twinkle of...

PRIDE OF THE YANKEES “T3” LEADERSHIP! Lou Gehrig, one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history,   died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) OTD in 1941 at age 38.  ALS is now known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”  Lou personified selfless service to teammates, shared an incomparable optimism while battling terminal illness and demonstrated dogged determination to perform as well as he could as long as he could.  His inspirational leadership style emphasized:  TEAMWORK: More important than his Hall of Fame statistics, Lou was Captain of six World Series championship teams in the 1920’s and 30’s.  A servant leader, Lou...

Marquis de Lafayette, the American patriot and French revolutionary, died OTD in 1834 at age 76. He was France’s greatest export to our new nation fighting for freedom.  An inspirational and tireless fighter for liberty and human rights.   Fayetteville, North Carolina, Lafayette, Indiana and several other U.S. cities named for him.  One of the few non-Americans with a U.S Navy ship named in his honor:  USS LAFAYETTE (SSBN 616), a nuclear ballistic missile submarine which served from 1963-1991.  Lafayette’s  leadership style included:  TEAMWORK: Fought with our Continental Army in New England, the South and mid-Atlantic including final victory at...

Leaders with a sense of humor know how to relieve workplace stress, inspire creativity and enhance productivity.  The most inspirational leaders I’ve served with in the military and corporate sector had a great sense of humor.  They weren’t comics, but they knew how to use well timed laughs to diffuse tension, influence behavior and improve organizational performance.  This week marked the birthdays of three prominent leaders with a funny bone: Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld and Bugs Bunny (his first cartoon appeared in April 1936).  Each led in the following “T3” ways: JAY: TEAMWORK: Inclusive, always made others feel welcome TONE: Optimistic. Humble. Tasteful....

I most often write about individuals’ leadership traits that inspire others and lead to success.  It’s easy to associate valor and accomplishment with a single person. But occasionally an event or an entire organization takes on iconic significance. Those events’ images and memories motivate and remind us of collective triumphs.   That is the case here.   On This Date in 1860, the first Pony Express service began moving mail from Missouri to California (at $5 per ounce).  It covered 1900 miles in an amazing 10 DAYS!  It was an innovative way to overcome an incredibly difficult obstacle.  The Pony Express...

Harriet Tubman died on March 10, 1913.  An icon of leadership, courage and freedom, Tubman was a conductor on the “Underground Railroad” that brought slaves from bondage in the South to freedom in the North. She was also a Union Army Nurse, Armed Scout and Spy who was valiant in South Carolina combat.  In her later years Tubman was a nationally renown Suffragist in Auburn, NY, taking on the injustice of women’s lack of voting rights. TEAMWORK:  “Moses” as she was called by those she rescued,  connected a covert network of safe houses and sympathizers during many life-threatening missions through...

Happy B’Day -1904, Dr. Seuss (Ted Geisel), inspirational author, illustrator and literary leader.   UP FRONT: I don’t believe his works represent “Orientalism, Anti-Blackness and White Supremacy” as the Loudon, VA Board of Education has recently opined.  His 60 books are rich in universal morality.  They touch on themes such as environmentalism, inclusiveness, arms control, racial integration, anti-authoritarianism, and consumerism.   Here are some examples:   TEAMWORK:  Dr. Seuss embraced diversity with stories deriding discrimination.  Most notably "The Sneetches And Other Stories." Here’s an excerpt:  “But because they had stars, all the star-bellied Sneetches,       Would brag: “We’re the best kind of...