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...

The Boston Celtic’s inspirational leader, Bill Russell, turns 87 today.  He belongs in the American team sports “Greatest Of All Time” (GOAT) conversation.  Russell led the Celtics to 11 NBA Championships in his 13 years with the team during the 1950’s-60’s.  He was the first African American NBA Head Coach (and winner of two titles in that role).  A Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient, he was a “T3” role model, demonstrating historic “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity®” in the following ways:   TEAMWORK:  “The most important measure of how good a game I played was how much better I made my teammates...

During this Super Bowl LV week, one of the NFL’s all-time great champions celebrated his 79th birthday: Roger Staubach.  “Roger The Dodger” was a role model leader in every way, demonstrating “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity” on and off the field.  He was a two-time Super Bowl Champ during 11 years as the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback from 1969-1980, a Super Bowl MVP, the Heisman Trophy winner in 1963 as a Midshipman at the U.S Naval Academy (the last Service Academy player to win the Heisman), a Naval Officer who served in Vietnam and a successful entrepreneur and businessman following his athletic career. ...

Leaders blaze trails where others haven’t traveled. They accept risk, demonstrate courage and display resolve in order to achieve goals.  Jackie Robinson was such an inspirational, trail-blazing leader.  Born on January 31,1919 in Georgia, the grandson of slaves, he not only changed the history of sports but the history of America when in 1947 he became the first African American to play Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Brooklyn Dodgers  Jackie wasn’t just a showpiece. He was a Rookie of the Year, two years later the league's Most Valuable Player and then a stalwart on the Dodgers’ 1955 World Series...

Frank Shankwitz, co-founder of the "Make-A-Wish" Foundation, passed away yesterday from cancer at age 78 in Prescott, AZ.  Frank was my friend. I've rarely known a more inspirational leader or caring human being. We first met in NYC as recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor Award some years ago. Frank and I later shared the stage as motivational keynote speakers. An ardent patriot, former member of the USAF and an Arizona Highway Patrolman, Frank co-founded “Make-A-Wish” in 1980. Throughout his amazing life, he was an exemplar “T3” servant leader, always putting others before self. Here’s how: TEAMWORK:  ...

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January, 15 1929.  He was more than America’s greatest civil rights leader.  He was one of America’s greatest leaders, period. A Nobel Peace Prize winner, he is the only non-President to have a national holiday named in their honor.  Inspirational leaders have a vision of what needs to be done and the energetic drive that influences others to help them achieve common goals.  MLK did that and more.  He built coalitions, always chose the inspirational, non-violent high road and persevered with purpose in pursuit of racial equality.  Examples of his “T3” leadership style include:  TEAMWORK:  MLK...

Elvis Presley, “The King of Rock ’n Roll” was born January 8, 1935.   He was a daring, charismatic pioneer of a new style music (and dance moves).  His fusion of white country and black rhythm & blues changed American pop culture forever.   As a leader, Elvis was the full package of “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity®” (T3). TEAMWORK:   Extraordinarily generous with charitable organizations and inpiduals throughout his career.  Beloved by his backup performers and business colleagues: "The Jordanaires,” "The Taking Care of Business Band" and “The Memphis Mafia.”  Elvis was especially public service minded: In 1956 his polio vaccine was...

Joan of Arc, Patron Saint of France, was born January 6, 1412.  The  legendary heroine is known for her devout religious belief, intrepid devotion to duty and distinctive ability to motivate others.  She was a “T3” exemplar, demonstrating historic “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity®”.  Here’s some specifics: TEAMWORK:  Successfully planned and led a French Army's audacious assault to break the English Siege at Orleans at age 17.  This was a turning point of The Hundred Years War and fulfilled a prophecy she delivered to King Charles VII.  Wounded twice, Joan returned to the front each time to motivate her troops.  She subsequently planned...