Sunday, April 28, 2013

Pride and Power

It's a dangerous combination when an individual is consumed with pride and is in a position of power.

In the book Founding Brothers, Joseph Ellis devotes a chapter on George Washington's farewell. George Washington deserves the honor of the best president not because he was our first president but because of his humility and his conscious act of stepping away from power.  "George III allegedly observed, "If he does that [retire from the Presidency], he will be the greatest man in the world". 

So on December 22, 1783 George Washington announced, " I will retire from the great theater of action.  In doing so, he became the supreme example of a leader who could be trusted with power because he was so ready to give it up".

The recent dedication of the George W. Bush presidential library gave us all a chance to see five of our presidents.  You can rank them from high to low on the pride and power scale.  Only then is real leadership visible.

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