Quotes from United States Presidents for Presidents’ Day

Presidents On Mount Rushmore Framed By Trees

Presidents’ Day

President George Washington died in 1799. Many celebrated his life on his birthday in February. Years later, Washington’s birthday became a federal holiday. Still later, Washington’s Birthday was replaced with President’s Day.

This year, most of the United States is endlessly focused on the current race for the highest office. Since we find these words splashed in the headlines, I thought it would be of interest to see some of the words spoken years ago.


44 Quotes from the 43 Presidents

Read that headline again. It’s true. We count Grover Cleveland twice because he was elected at two different times.

Here is a quote from each president in honor of the holiday:


“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” –George Washington


“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” –John Adams


“I cannot live without books.” –Thomas Jefferson


“The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money.” –James Madison


“A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue.” –James Monroe


“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams


“There is no pleasure in having nothing to do; the fun is having lots to do and not doing it.” –Andrew Jackson


“As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.” –Martin Van Buren


“But I contend that the strongest of all governments is that which is most free.” –William Henry Harrison


“Wealth can only be accumulated by the earnings of industry and the savings of frugality.” –John Tyler

Need a Laugh? Change Your Mood Instantly

Change Your Mood With Spam

All of us have spam that makes it through the email filters and lands in our inboxes. One scam after the next entices us. Your friend is trapped and needs money? Someone willed you a large fortune? Or the one that I recently noticed on Twitter was that I was related to someone who died in an airplane crash. The fortune was all mine if only I would send back all of my personal information. Ahem, I don’t think so…


“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” -e.e. cummings


It never ends. So what do you do with all of this spam?

If you do what I do and delete it, you’re missing an opportunity.

James Veitch is absolutely hilarious as he explains how he has been answering SPAM email for the last three years.

Warning: don’t watch this at your desk at work. You will not be able to stop yourself from laughing out loud.


“Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.” -Mark Twain


What I love about what James did is that he had an absolute blast. He turned something negative to positive, making the most of what’s usually an annoyance.


“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” -Charlie Chaplin



7 Game Changers To Improve Your Leadership Position

Shift Your State

Shift Your State

Anese Cavanaugh’s new work, Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization that Thrives is a terrific guide to upping your leadership and creating a positive, contagious atmosphere.

After our first interview, I thought to ask Anese about some of her tips for shifting someone’s state. Why? Because it’s one of the most important aspect of leadership. The ability to help someone from one state to another is a skill that every leader should master.


Leadership Tip: Increase your awareness of what is working and the impact your choices have.


7 Game Changers

In your work as an advisor and “thinking partner” to leaders and organizations, you developed 7 game changers to shift someone’s state. What has been your experience using them as a coaching tool?Anese Cavanaugh

I’ve found that even offering these as places for people to look can make them game changers within themselves. So much of this work is about awareness. Awareness as to what’s working – and what’s not, awareness of their role and impact in how things are and how their choices have led them here, awareness that they can choose, awareness that there’s dissatisfaction, awareness of the impact their relationships have on them (and vice versa), and awareness that they can very much in fact do something to shift things – even if that something is just getting a bit of extra water, finding ONE thing they’re grateful for, telling someone they see how great they are, taking ownership and cleaning something up, asking for help, or finding (and claiming) the request (or wish) that lives underneath their complaint. Once they have awareness that these 7 things have impact – they can get into action. Big or small.


7 Game Changers To Improve Your Leadership Position

1: Do your work. Be accountable for your choices.

2: Stop complaining and start resolving.

3: Ask for help-admit your glorious imperfections.

4: Surround yourself with good people.

5: Practice gratitude, even for the stuff that hurts.

6: Eat well. Really well. Move your body. Drink water.

7: Love your kids. Love your friends. Love your people. Love yourself. Remember who you are.


Simple ways to integrate these 7 points is to take each one and try it on for a day. For example, ask: Where do I need to show up bigger? Where can I be more accountable for the choices I’ve made? How did my choices lead me here? What choice can I make now to start shifting this in the right direction? How would I like things to be instead? Where do I need help? Where am I making “looking good” more important than asking for help or creating real and positive impact? Who’s my professional posse / my advisory board? How am I taking care of myself? (Truly?) What’s the littlest thing I can do to shift ANY of these? Little things make big ripples.


Shift From Complaining to Doing

How to Become An Authentic Leader

Be Authentic

A few months ago, I read Henna Inam’s new book, Wired for Authenticity: Seven Practices to Inspire, Adapt & Lead and subsequently posted an interview with her. Her work on leadership authenticity is not only fascinating, but is essential for any aspiring leader to master. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet Henna and talk more about being an authentic leader.

Throughout all of our discussion and throughout all of Henna’s writing, I noticed a key theme: service to others. Everything we do should be in a place of service. It’s one of the reasons I was drawn to her work.


“Authentic leadership is about leading from the core of who we are.” -Henna Inam


Here are a few lessons from Henna on becoming an authentic leader:


Defeat the Inner Saboteur