Fresh Look at Familiar Leaders

If you have not read the book 1776 by David McCullough, I recommend you put this Pulitzer Prize winner on your 2010 reading list. Or if you already have read it, take it off the bookshelf, dust it off and give it a second pass.

Considering the challenges we all faced in 2009, you’re likely to find new insights and renewed appreciation for the inspiring leaders who founded our country with such boldness and clarity of purpose.

McCullough’s 1776 is a riveting story of our Founding Fathers and the courage they displayed in the midst of daunting, freedom-hanging-by-a-thread moments. George Washington was just 43 years of age when he led the Constitutional Army; Thomas Jefferson was 32 years old and John Adams was 40 years old.

Our founders were intrepid leaders who clearly knew what was at stake. And not to be underestimated, they were also highly effective communicators.  There are several pivotal moments in 1776 that spotlight the power of communications, especially with Washington and how he motivated his men. I won’t spoil it for you but take note of how Washington leaned on his communications and leadership skills while crossing the Delaware with his weary troops.

This leads me to two questions:

  • What makes for an effective communicator? 
  • What makes for effective communications?