Quotes

Platitudes of U.S. Presidents

Today is Presidents Day in the United States. With appreciation, I celebrate my admiration; renew my dedication; and strive to forget any aggravation, with the 42 men who’ve led this great, yet struggling nation.

Despite differences in viewpoints and policy, every President of the United States  has chosen to lead because of love for country. Therefore, I share with you the words they spoke as they led in love. I hope their words will inspire you to increase your love for leadership, and that you’ll love more those you lead.


George Washington 1789-1797
Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected”

John Adams 1797 – 1801
“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write”

Thomas Jefferson 1801 – 1809
“In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock”

James Madison 1809 – 1817
“Philosophy is common sense with big words”

James Monroe 1817 – 1825
“A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue”


John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams 1825-1829
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader”

Andrew Jackson 1829 – 1837
“Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in”

Martin Van Buren 1837 – 1841
“I cannot expect to perform the task with equal ability and success”

William Henry Harrison 1841 – 1841
“There is nothing more corrupting, nothing more destructive of the noblest and finest feelings of our nature, than the exercise of unlimited power”

John Tyler 1841 – 1845
“I can never consent to being dictated to”


Portrait Print of President James K. Polk after a Daguerrotype by Matthew Brady

James K. Polk 1845 – 1849
“No president who performs his duties faithfully and conscientiously can have any leisure”

Zachary Taylor 1849 – 1850
“I have always done my duty”

Millard Fillmore 1850 – 1853
“It is not strange…to mistake change for progress”

Franklin Pierce 1853 – 1857
“With the Union my best and dearest earthly hopes are entwined”

James Buchanan 1857 – 1861
“The test of leadership is not to put greatness into humanity, but to elicit it, for the greatness is already there”


Abraham Lincoln2

Abraham Lincoln 1861 – 1865
“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”

Andrew Johnson 1865 – 1869
“Honest conviction is my courage”

Ulysses S. Grant 1869 – 1877
“It is men who wait to be selected, and not those who seek, from whom we may expect the most efficient service”

Rutherford B. Hayes 1877 – 1881
“Must swear off from swearing. Bad habit”

James A. Garfield 1881 – 1881
“A pound of pluck is worth a ton of luck”


Chester A Arthur

Chester A. Arthur 1881 – 1885
“I may be president of the United States, but my private life is nobody’s damned business”

Grover Cleveland 1885 – 1889
“Someday I will be better remembered”

William McKinley 1889 – 1901
“That’s all a man can hope for during his lifetime – to set an example – and when he is dead, to be an inspiration for history”

Theodore Roosevelt 1901 – 1909
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”

William Howard Taft 1909 – 1913
“Enthusiasm for a cause sometimes warps judgement”


 

Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson 1913 – 1921
“Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together”

Warren G. Harding 1921 – 1923
“I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies all right. But my damn friends…they’re the ones that keep me walking the floor nights!”

Calvin Coolidge 1923 – 1929
“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave”

Herbert Hoover 1929 – 1933
“Words without actions are the assassins of idealism”

Franklin D. Roosevelt 1933 – 1945
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort”


President Harry S. Truman

Harry S. Truman 1945 – 1953
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit”

Dwight D. Eisenhower 1953 – 1961
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it”

John F. Kennedy 1961 – 1963
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction”

Lyndon B. Johnson 1963 – 1969
“The noblest search is the search for excellence”

Richard Nixon 1969 – 1974
“Always remember others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself”


Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford 1974 – 1977
“I had a lot of experience with people smarter than I am”

Jimmy Carter 1977 – 1981
“We must adjust to changing times and still hold to unchanging principles”

Ronald Reagan 1981 – 1989
“Some people wonder all their lives if they’ve made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem”

George H.W. Bush 1989 – 1993
“We must act on what we know. I take as my guide the hope of a saint: In crucial things, unity; in important things, diversity; in all things, generosity”

Bill Clinton 1993 – 2001
“Let us all take more responsibility, not only for ourselves and our families but for our communities and our country”

George W. Bush 2001-2009
“We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail”


Barak Obama

Barack Obama 2009 –
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change we seek”

Which quote is your favorite? Which president was/is your favorite? How will you improve your leadership?

If you’d like to be an exceptional leader, I invite you to read my book, SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional, and Exceptional now available on Amazon.