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 Maryland and Delaware before reaching freedom in Pennsylvania. Her ability to influence others toward achieving a common goal, despite the dangers, was inspirational. 
  • TONE:  Harriet Tubman didn’t have modern standard academic elegance, but she was a crystal clear communicator with an inspirational outlook.  “There was one of two things I had a right to: liberty or death. If I could not have one, I would have the other; for no man will take me alive” 
  • TENACITY:  Slight in stature at 5 ft, 90 lbs, Tubman was fierce in determination.  Over 10 years she made 19 trips to her native Maryland Eastern Shore bringing back several hundred slaves to freedom, risking her own life to guide them mostly during treacherous winter and nighttime conditions.  Tubman was especially proud that she “never ran my train off the track or lost a passenger”  

Harriet Tubman was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2015, one of only about a dozen women (or groups of women) to be so decorated in our nation’s history.  For someone born into the worst imaginable circumstances, hers is a legacy of resiliency, intrepidity, love and sacrifice.  Can’t wait to see her featured on the $20 bill!

– Rear Admiral Paul Becker, USN (Ret) is a leadership expert.  He is the CEO of The Becker T3 Group, a platform for his motivational and national security keynote speaking. A former Naval Intelligence Officer, he’s successfully led large, diverse, high-performing teams afloat and ashore in peace, crisis and combat.  In 2016, The Naval Intelligence Community established “The Rear Admiral Becker ‘Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity Award for Leadership” in his honor

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