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Dan's Leadership Podcast | Create That Shining City on a Hill

Episode 049 of my leadership podcast is an ode to and a charge from my favorite leader in the pantheon of leaders—President Ronald Reagan.

President Ronald Reagan again cast a vision for leaders at all levels in his speech at the dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on November 4, 1991. 

You can listen to a reading of this speech on episode 049 of Garage to Goliath | Leaders Building Legacies podcast:

You don’t have to be the leader of the free world to lead like Reagan. There are four leadership gems from his November 4, 1991 speech that are still relevant as ever.

Be a paragon of leadership in your own sphere of influence. Inspired from excerpts of that dedication speech, below are 4 ways you can lead others to that shining city on a hill. 

1. Be humble.

Together we gather for a single purpose. To give to the American people and the world a Presidential library and as we do, I hope we do not unduly focus on one man, one political party, or even one country. Instead our focus should be on the enduring, fundamental principles that ennoble mankind.

This is the dedication of his library. Yet, for him it was and is always bigger than one man. He was committed to the betterment of those around him, his fellow man, and to amplifying the bigger principles that transcend generations.  

2. Honor the best in people.

And I remember a story-telling salesman, Jack Reagan, with the Irish gift of laughter and a certain restlessness. Who took his family to many new beginnings.
Jack had dreams. Nelle hard drive.

President Reagan’s father struggled with alcoholism and often in keeping steady employment. Yet, President Reagan honored the best in his father. This is not a call to be willfully blind to problems or hurt. However, recognize we’re all just people. We all have our struggles. We all have our crosses to bear. We all make less than ideal decisions. And yet, we can still honor the best in others.

3. Humanize people and be real community.   

And we were part of a very special extended family. I grew up in a town where everyone cared about one another because everyone knew one another. Not as statistics in a government but as neighbors in need.

Through constant “connectivity” it is increasingly easier to other (as a verb) faceless, nameless people online. It’s easy to lump people into collective categories and generalized groups. In collectivizing people, we reduce the power of the individual.  Don’t generalize or collectivize. See the individual. Celebrate the individual. Care for the individual in your individual community.

4. Always appeal to man's better angels.

And I know that in my heart, man is good. And that what is right will always, eventually triumph. And that there is purpose and worth to each and every life.

He believed in man's better angels and he appealed to man's better angels. I hope each of us will find a new way to do the same.

Read the text of the speech below.

Lead well,

Dan-Quiggle-Leadership-Keynote-Speaker

P.S. Thanks for listening! >> Please subscribe to, rate, and review my leadership podcast on iTunesSpotify, or SoundCloud. <<

Garage to Goliath on iTunes Garage to Goliath on Spotify

 

Excerpts from President Ronald Reagan's Speech to Dedicate the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library given on November 4, 1991 

Together we gather for a single purpose. To give to the American people and the world a Presidential library and as we do, I hope we do not unduly focus on one man, one political party, or even one country. Instead our focus should be on the enduring, fundamental principles that ennoble mankind.

If the Reagan Library is anything like its counterparts, most who enter these doors will not be academics. No, they will be ordinary people of all ages, background, and political persuasions eager to explore their past and examine a history not always learned in school.

No doubt many visitors will stand in the replica of my Oval Office. Perhaps they will sense a little of the loneliness that comes with decision making on a global scale, or the stabbing pain inflicted by a terrorist bomb half-a-world away, or the dreaded sound of the telephone in the middle of the night with news of hostile actions.

They will also feel some of the immense pride that comes to any President in that office as he comes into contact with the American heroes whose faith in themselves, and their mission, and their mandate is a never ending source of emotional renewal.

Age has its privileges and on this day of memory and reflection, I hope you will indulge me in recalling some very special people. I remember a small woman with auburn hair and unquenchable optimism. Her name was Nelle Reagan and she believed with all her heart that there were no such things as accidents in life. Everything was part of God’s plan. If something went wrong, you didn’t wring your hands, you rolled up your sleeves.

And I remember a story-telling salesman, Jack Reagan, with the Irish gift of laughter and a certain restlessness. Who took his family to many new beginnings.

Jack had dreams. Nelle hard drive.

The Reagans of Dixon, Illinois may have had little in material terms, but we were emotionally wealthy beyond imagination—for we were Americans—young people, in a young land, with the best days ahead.  

And we were part of a very special extended family. I grew up in a town where everyone cared about one another because everyone knew one another. Not as statistics in a government but as neighbors in need.

Is that nostalgic? I don’t think so. I think it’s still what sets this nation apart from every other nation on the face of the earth. Our neighbors were never ashamed to kneel in prayer to their maker, nor were they ever embarrassed to feel a lump in their throat as Ole Glory passed by…

I’ve seen what men can do for each other and do to each other. I’ve seen war and peace, feast and famine, depression and prosperity, sickness and health. I’ve seen the depths of suffering and the peaks of triumph. And I know that in my heart, man is good. And that what is right will always, eventually triumph. And that there is purpose and worth to each and every life.

My fondest hope is that Americans will travel the road extending forward from the arch of experience, never forgetting our heroic origins, never failing to seek divine guidance, as we march boldly, bravely into a future limited only by our capacity to dream.

May everyday be a new beginning. And every dawn bring us closer to that shining city up on the hill.

Thank you. God bless you all. And God bless America.

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