Category: Famous Leaders

Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew: prime minister of Singapore for over 30 years.

Born September 16, 1923

I was a product of the times, the war, the occupation, the reoccupation, my 4 years in Britain, admiring but at the same time questioning whether they are able to do a better job than we can.

Lee Kuan Yew used his place in the world to change the face of it.

In a different world we need to find a niche for ourselves, little corners where in spite of our small size we can perform a role which will be useful to the world. To do that, you will need people at the top, decision-makers who have got foresight, good minds, who are open to ideas, who can seize opportunities like we did… My job really was to find my successors. I found them, they are there; their job is to find their successors. So there must be this continuous renewal of talented, dedicated, honest, able people who will do things not for themselves but for their people and for their country. If they can do that, they will carry on for another one generation and so it goes on. The moment that breaks, it’s gone.

His determination has inspired many.

Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up.

George Washington

George Washington: First President of the United States.

Born:  February 22, 1732

Died:  December 14, 1799

First in war, first in peace, first in the hearts of his countrymen.

But not always first in his class.  Fortunately, little George Washington had a mother that would not settle for second.

My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute all my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.

Throughout his life, Washington was a master of learning from his mistakes, and the mistakes of others.

We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.

Like many a military man turned political leader, Washington valued people, and the ties that bound them together.

A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.

He left many wise words for us toe live by, but perhaps none so wise as these.

True friendship is a plant of slow growth, and must undergo and withstand the shocks of adversity, before it is entitled to the appellation.

Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (The Mormons).

Born: December 23, 1805

Died: June 27, 1844

Joseph Smith was always very clear about his lack of education.

I am not learned, but I have as good feelings as any man.

Throughout his life, Smith remained steadfast in his belief in himself.

Every man who has a calling to minister to the inhabitants of the world was ordained to that very purpose in the Grand Council of heaven before this world was. I suppose I was ordained to this very office in that Grand Council.

He also believed strongly in his message.

I see no faults in the Church, and therefore let me be resurrected with the Saints, whether I ascend to heaven or descend to hell, or go to any other place. And if we go to hell, we will turn the devils out of doors and make a heaven of it.

Perhaps because of being taunted as a child, Smith always valued the friendship of his peers.

If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself.

While not everyone will share Smith’s religious beliefs, he certain spoke some words of encouragement that anyone can appreciate.
Never be discouraged. If I were sunk in the lowest pits of Nova Scotia, with the Rocky Mountains piled on me, I would hang on, exercise faith, and keep up good courage, and I would come out on top.

Thomas Jefferson

Thomas Jefferson - famous dyslexic

Thomas Jefferson - famous dyslexic

Thomas Jefferson: Author of the Declaration of Independence, Third President of the United States, founder of the University of Virginia.
Born: April 13, 1743
Died: July 4, 1826

Thomas Jefferson is unique in that he appears to have many of the advantages that go along with being dyslexic with few of the difficulties. He appears to have read well and understood mathematics to such a degree that had it not been for his amazing abilities as an inventor and engineer, he would not have been recognized today as having some symptoms of what some would call a disability.

I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way.

His words encourage balance in all things, even learning.

Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.

He believed in the importance of education.

To penetrate and dissipate these clouds of darkness, the general mind must be strengthened by education.

Where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.

But more so in the power of determination.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy: 35th president of the United States.
Born May 29, 1917
Died November 22, 1963

As a child, no one expected Jack Kennedy to amount to very much. He was the younger son, living in the shadow of his older, smarter brother Joseph, Jr. Joe starred in the classroom and on the playing field while sickly Jack bounced from one school to another. And though a prankster as a boy, as a man he appreciated education.

A child miseducated is a child lost.

But he still was not above making light of his many schools.

It might be said now that I have the best of both worlds. A Harvard education and a Yale degree.

As a leader he saw education as the key to the nation’s future.

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other

As president he was able to rally the nation around the idea of advancing education.

Our progress as a nation can be no swifter than our progress in education. The human mind is our fundamental resource.

With his determination he began a renewal of American education that continues today.

We stand today on the edge of a new frontier – the frontier of the 1960′s – a frontier of unknown opportunities and perils – a frontier of unfulfilled hopes and threats.

George S. Patton

George S. Patton: World War II American general.
Born: November 11, 1885
Died: December 21, 1945

General Patton led the world to victory against the Nazis, but young George could not even read or write until he was well into his teens. Fortunately, his father understood.

General Harry H. Semmes, a longtime friend remembers:

His father’s theory of education consisted almost entirely of the child’s being read to by his elders. It was founded on the belief that the youthful mind should be led along a path that parallels the development of the mind of the race. The books should be read aloud to the child until his early teens, because his ability to absorb by ear is far greater than his ability to read, and the rhythm and beauty of sound adds a great deal to the pleasure.

So, when Patton entered school at 11, he could neither read nor write, but knew more great literature than any other boy in his class. And though he never did master spelling and it took him five years to finish West Point, he ended his life with one of the largest and most extensively studied military libraries in the world.

Of course he inspired others. That was his job.

The time to take counsel of your fears is before you make an important battle decision. That’s the time to listen to every fear you can imagine! When you have collected all the facts and fears and made your decision, turn off all your fears and go ahead!

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