inspirational leadership

Inspirational Leadership: 3 Examples from Annie Oakley

  • American icon Annie Oakley was born this week in 1860.  One of the most famous Americans of her time, she proved women as capable as men when given a chance.   
  • A Sharpshooter, Performer and International Superstar from “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” in the late 1800’s, Annie learned to shoot out of necessity hunting game for her family in rural Ohio.
  • During her career she strongly advocated for female service in the military and was a generous Philanthropist for women’s causes.
  • A Member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, she was the subject of books, movies and the inspiration for the smash Broadway play “Annie Get Your Gun.”
  • Like many Midwesterners, Annie let her “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity” actions do her talking.  She wasn’t a professional motivational speaker, but when she did speak her words were impactful.

Three Annie Oakley motivational citations emphasize key principles of leadership that are relevant today:

  • TEAMWORK “A crowned queen was never treated with more reverence than I was by those whole-souled western boys [of “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show] … And for 17 years I was their sister, sharing both their news of joy and sorrow from home.” – Annie was acknowledged as one of the most approachable, enthusiastic and empathetic member of the hundreds of performers on her team.
  • TONE: “After traveling through 14 foreign countries and appearing before royalty and nobility,  I have only one wish today. That is that when my eyes are closed in death that they will bury me back in that quiet little farm land where I was born.”  – There’s no more humble, sincere form of patriotism than this type love of country
  • TENACITY“Aim at a high mark and you’ll hit it. No, not the first time, nor the second time. Maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect.”   – Annie showed that achieving one’s goals is hard work that demands perseverance with a purpose

Paul Becker is a motivational keynote speaker and author who inspires leaders and organizations on how to overcome adversity and achieve their maximum achievement through “Teamwork, Tone, Tenacity.”™ Paul draws on decades of experience successfully leading, large, diverse teams in complex and unpredictable situations.  His “T3” principles provide a framework for turning tragedy into triumph when faced with the unexpected, and directly translate into corporate pillars of performance, productivity and profit.

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