When President Reagan took office on January 20, 1981, the nation was suffering from the longest and most sustained period of inflation in national history. Gas lines. High unemployment. High interest rates. The prime rate reached 21%. People had 18% seconds on their homes.
Yet, within 24 hours of being sworn in, President Reagan verbalized sentiments like:
It’s morning again, in America . . .
It’s a new dawn, in America . . .
There’s a shining city on the hill, and we are it . . .
Let's be honest, was the economy any different on January 20, 1981 than it was on January 19, 1981? Of course not.
What was different though on January 20, 1981? Attitude. Optimism. Leadership.
One of the things I love about life, if we have a legacy leadership mindset, is the opportunity to course correct and chart a new path. Can we change yesterday? No, yesterday is gone. Can we change this morning? This morning is gone too.
What can we change and influence? We can change and influence the here and now for the better. We can change and influence the rest of today for the better. We can create an optimistic trajectory for tomorrow and the days following.
Regardless of what has happened in our businesses or professional life. Regardless of what has happened in our families or personal life. Regardless of the dumb decision we made yesterday or the terse words we hurled this morning, we can change our perspective, point others toward a better perspective, and then do the hard work to get there.
We can say to ourselves and in so many words to those around us:
It’s morning again. It’s a new dawn. There is a shining family, a shining company, a shining business, a shining team on the hill. And we are it. Here are our goals. And here is how we, together, will get there.
If you’re in a leadership position, your people want that, they crave it. They need you to be that optimistic leader for them to be engaged and stay loyal.
They need you to set the dot on the horizon and then motivate them to get there. Build them up. Inspire. Coach. Don’t demoralize, degrade, and demean.
And then do the hard work to get there.
The past is the past and you can’t do a thing about it. Again, regardless of your past patterns of flying off the handle, motivating through fear, not prioritizing your family the way they need and deserve, or whatever you struggle with (because we all have our stumbling blocks), you can declare, its a new dawn.
Then do the hard work to get there. You certainly won’t be perfect. But your actions and rhetoric better start to align for those around you to believe it’s a new dawn.
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Learn more about Dan as a leadership keynote speaker and invite Dan to inspire your team to lead with purpose, direction, and optimism.