Agility is the hallmark of every scrappy and successful leader. Identifying the weaknesses and opportunities of products, services and team members with accuracy and introspection enhances your organization’s capacity to achieve its goals. Translating that information into action, however, is where many entrepreneurs fall short.
Through my mentorship with entrepreneurs, I’ve often found them clinging to their preliminary concept for dear life, regardless of the mountains of evidence that suggest a course correction is not only likely to be more profitable, but even essential for the company’s life.
But here’s the catch: great entrepreneurs and leaders are neither synonymous nor mutually exclusive. Strong leaders empower teams to act, make course corrections and chart new courses. Great entrepreneurs are inspired by ideas, while maintaining just enough awareness to avoid idea stagnation. The magic equation: If you combine the two, the result is a business superhero who can balance these qualities to replicate success in any environment, regardless of the product or service they sell.
Roosevelt-Style Agility and Entrepreneurialism
The book Leadership in Turbulent Times, by Pulitzer Prize Winner Doris Kearns Goodwin leaves me inspired by the entrepreneurialism and leadership of our U.S. Presidents. Franklin Roosevelt, for example, endured a childhood filled with adversity, but refused to let circumstances derail his dreams of becoming president. He demonstrated agility in the face of staggering challenges, including paralysis. He surrounded himself with loyal advisors, created support systems, and took action to overcome obstacles quickly. During his presidential campaign he said…
“If You Ask Me: Essential Advice from Eleanor Roosevelt”
by Eleanor Roosevelt, edited by Mary Jo Binker
c.1946, 1974, 2018, Atria Books
$25.00 / $34.00 Canada
What should you do?
When relationships break down, what then? Or you lose your job and your bank account is depleted, your home is in foreclosure, you’re a victim of discrimination, what do you do? You ask yourself “What next?” then you reach for help, and with the new book “If You Ask Me: Essential Advice from Eleanor Roosevelt,” edited by Mary Jo Binker, the advice you get might be decades old.
Arguments on immigration, world issues, patriotism, and messy politics. Minority issues, equal pay, family problems, and Constitutional matters. Though these may seem to be problems strictly of the modern age, from 1921 until 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of our 32nd president, also tackled these same topics in her books and magazine articles. In those 41 years, she ultimately penned more than 600 pieces.
People from every walk of life consulted Mrs. Roosevelt for advice: politicians asked her and women sought her out. Men looked toward her wisdom and, says Binker, she had a particular affection for…
Martin Halpern is professor emeritus of history at Henderson State University and the author of UAW Politics in the Cold War Era and Unions, Radicals, and Democratic Presidents: Seeking Social Change in the Twentieth Century.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Sam Rayburn, and Alben Barkley
Seventy-five years ago this week, there was a serious conflict between President Franklin Roosevelt and Congress. The United States was at war, indisputably a national emergency. Today we face a serious conflict between President Donald Trump and Congress. President Trump has declared a national emergency in order to spend monies appropriated by Congress for other purposes in order to build a wall between the United States and Mexico. Only Trump’s supporters, a minority of the country, see an emergency. If Trump is not stopped, we will have taken a serious step toward authoritarian government. We may draw some lessons from the conflict between Roosevelt and Congress in 1944 that may be helpful today.
As a follow-up to his call for an Economic Bill of Rights in his January 11, 1944, State of the Union address, Roosevelt had proposed to raise $10.5 billion for the prosecution of the war and domestic needs. The resulting Revenue Act raised only $2.1 billion and included tax cuts and new benefits for bondholders and the airline, lumber, and natural gas industries. On February 22, 1944, Roosevelt issued a veto message, charging that the measure enacted by Congress was “not a tax bill but a tax relief bill providing relief not for the needy but for the greedy.” Although Roosevelt was right in his criticism, the reaction on Capitol Hill was outrage.
The next morning, Senate Majority Leader Alben Barkley of Kentucky, hitherto a close supporter of the president, charged that…
FDR used his understanding of history to advance liberal democracy. Trump uses historical ignorance to advance demagoguery. To succeed, both leaders depend on the acceptance of their ideas by a more-or-less informed electorate. Are we now finally experiencing what Francis Fukuyama famously called the “end of history” in 1989? Will historical ignorance—rather than the end of ideology—spell just the opposite of what Fukuyama predicted—the demise of western liberal democracy?
About the speaker: CYNTHIA M. KOCH is Historian in Residence and Director of History Programing for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation at Adams House, Harvard University. She was Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York and subsequently Senior Adviser to the Office of Presidential Libraries, National Archives, Washington, D.C. From 2013-16 she was Public Historian in Residence at Bard College, where she taught courses in public history and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. Her most recent publications are “They Hated Eleanor, Too,” “Hillary R[oosevelt] Clinton,” “Demagogues and Democracy,” and “Democracy and the Election” are published online by the FDR Foundation http://fdrfoundation.org/.
Previously Dr. Koch was Associate Director of the Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community, a national public policy research group at the University of Pennsylvania. She served as Executive Director (1993-1997) of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was Director (1979-1993) of the National Historic Landmark Old Barracks Museum in Trenton, New Jersey.
During World War II, as FDR developed his vision for a post-war global order, he made a surprising decision. Against the wishes of his closest ally, Winston Churchill, FDR envisioned a world where China played a leading role as a great power. Given China’s dim prospects at the time, Roosevelt’s prediction was remarkably foresighted.
Come learn about the main trends that will affect China’s strategic behavior in the near future with the European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), a joint EU-NATO project.
Experts from over a dozen EU and NATO countries will be at Adams House in April preparing a set of reports on the internal and external factors that will drive China’s strategic behavior over the next few years. The experts* have agreed to share their initial findings with the Harvard community on Friday, April 26, 11:00am-12:30pm, in the Lower Common Room of Adams House (26 Plympton St., Cambridge).
*Gunther Hauser, Una Bērziņa-Čerenkova, Matti Nojonen, and Juliette Genevaz will be presenting on behalf of the 14 experts
More information on the Hybrid CoE, below.
The European Center of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid CoE), joint EU-NATO Center of Excellence is an international hub operating through our networks of practitioners and experts. Our goal is to build member states’ and institutions’ capabilities and enhance EU-NATO cooperation in countering hybrid threats.
20 participating countries: Austria, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands, the UK, the US.
Hybrid threat can be characterized as coordinated and synchronized action, that deliberately targets democratic states’ and institutions systemic vulnerabilities, through a wide range of means
The functions of Hybrid CoE include the following:
to investigate and examine hybrid influencing targeted to Western democracies by state and non-state actors and to map participants vulnerabilities and improve their resilience and response
to conduct tailored training and arrange scenario-based exercises for practitioners aimed at enhancing the member states individual capabilities, as well as interoperability between and among member states, the EU and NATO for countering hybrid threats;
to conduct research and analysis into hybrid threats and methods to counter such threats;
to engage with and invite dialogue with governmental, non-governmental experts and practitioners from a wide range of professional sectors and disciplines aiming at improving situational awareness of hybrid threats.
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Bradley W. Hart, California State University, Fresno –
(THE CONVERSATION) Americans have spent the last 18 months wondering about Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Charges have already been filed against 12 Russian intelligence officers for interfering with the 2016 presidential campaign, as special counsel Robert Mueller continues investigating the extent of the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.
A Senate report concluded that the Russians’ interference was aimed at influencing the outcome of the election.
If true, the president would not be the first U.S. politician that foreign powers tried to help.
In fact, two campaigns, in 1940 and 1960, featured bold attempts by hostile foreign powers to put their preferred candidates in the Oval Office.
While neither was successful, both highlight a vulnerability in the American political system…