Ronald Reagan's Leadership Lessons
, from the editors of New Word City. This is another in their business shorts series.
Ronald Reagan was a product of America's heartland, a kid who had a Huck Finn childhood and never lost his aw-shucks, all-American optimism. He moved to Hollywood, became a minor film star, and got involved in politics-at first on the left. But in the shadow of the 1950s anti-Communism furor, he moved to the right and began a steady rise to the pinnacle of power. Initially derided as a lightweight, a none-too-bright actor incapable of leading a nation, he proved his detractors wrong. Using extraordinary charm, conviction, communication skills, and stagecraft, Reagan became one of the most beloved, admired, and influential presidents in American history.
Of all American presidents, few could match Ronald Wilson Reagan in the art of leadership. He knew America. Ronald came into office in 1980-when the national mood was glum and the future looked problematic (sound familiar?)-and he lifted the country's spirits on a wave of hope, purpose, and unabashed patriotism. In the years that followed, productivity and prosperity-at least for the upper and middle classes-increased at home, the Berlin Wall came down, and the Soviet Union collapsed, making America the de facto winner of the Cold War. Ronald's policies played a part, of course, but it wasn't just his management style that captured the heart of America. He brought something intangible to the national stage, an innate optimism that simply made Americans feel better.