Pray Like a Champion
Excerpt from Lead Like Reagan – Principles of Dynamic Leadership
Photo Courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library
“I’ve always believed that we were, each of us, put here for a reason, that there is a plan, somehow a divine plan for all of us. I know now that whatever days are left to me belong to Him.”
– Ronald Reagan at the National Day of Prayer Breakfast, Washington, D.C., Feb. 4, 1982.
I was reminded of my father when I came across this excerpt of Ronald Reagan’s radio address to the nation that he gave on Christmas Eve in 1983.
“The image of George Washington kneeling in prayer in the snow is one of the most famous in American history. He personified a people who knew it was not enough to depend on their own courage and goodness; they must also seek help from God, their Father and Preserver.”
One of my earliest recollections of my father, James Scanlon, was when I woke up to find myself slung over his shoulder, halfway up the staircase. I had fallen asleep that night on the couch watching television and he was carrying me up to bed. I vividly remember that feeling of being very high up in the air. I then closed my eyes and fell back to sleep, knowing that I was in good hands.
Photograph and Audio Clip Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library
As he approached the microphone at Brandenburg Gate, with a wall of bulletproof glass behind him, I wonder if Ronald Reagan knew that the words he would speak that day would be heard by billions of people spanning across multiple generations, into the future.
“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” These words might represent the pinnacle of the Great Communicator’s impact through words. Though his advisors continually tried to temper his words, President Reagan had a sense of history, public sentiment, and timing.
Here are 11 techniques Ronald Reagan used that can help you become a great communicator:
Photo courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library
Be Described a Gentleman is an excerpt from Lead Like Reagan, Principles of Dynamic Leadership …
In doing research for my book on the leadership style of Ronald Reagan, time and time again I recognized in Reagan some of the same strengths and attributes I saw in my father, James Scanlon. They were both gentlemen.
Those who were closest to Ronald Reagan are very consistent in the words they choose to describe the type of person he was, and the type of person he was not. There seems to be a wide consensus of what Ronald Reagan was not, by those who worked with him, wrote about him, protected him, fought for him, and lived with him. Ronald Reagan was:
Imagine that you are Ronald Reagan when he was 65 years old. You have just spent the last 20 years of your life dedicated to implementing a policy of political leadership that you believe will help your country and the world. All of your efforts to touch hearts and garner support for your vision comes down to a single vote at the national convention in 1976. The vote is 1,187 to 1,070 … and you lose.
Ronald Reagan at Camp David with Nancy Reagan, Photo courtesy of Ronald Reagan Library
Smile When They Say You’re Too Old to Lead
Excerpt from Lead Like Reagan – Principles of Dynamic Leadership:
“One of my favorite quotes from Thomas Jefferson is when he said, ‘We should never judge a president by his age, but by his acts.’ And ever since he told me that…”
– Ronald Reagan, Annual Salute to Congress Dinner, February 1981.
Losing the Primary at Age 65
This is what happened to Ronald Reagan. He had just lost the convention vote to be the nominee for president of the United States to incumbent president Gerald Ford. He was 65 years old and had the financial security to retire in style. He had a large family, lots of friends, good health and many interests. He loved to spend time on his beautiful ranch in California, riding horses and working chores. I often wonder if Ronald Reagan was tempted to ride off into the sunset and spend the rest of his days in well-earned retirement.
As cabinet members and advisors debated various issues, there was a reason why Ronald Reagan reached for the jellybeans.
It was Reagan’s management style to listen to his advisors argue all sides of an issue. With no shortage of egos among these strong-willed and talented people, things could sometimes get heated during these discussions and debates. At these moments, Reagan was likely to sift through the assorted jellybeans searching for his favorite flavor, licorice.
Care Less about What the New York Times Says
“The best sign that our economic program is working is that they don’t call it Reaganomics anymore.”
– Ronald Reagan on several occasions.
Many people attribute Ronald Reagan’s success to the fact that he was one of the few politicians in recent history who really didn’t care what his critics wrote about him. Reagan was relatively unconcerned with the opinions of the reporters and editorialists who covered his political career.
He understood that a free press was vital to a healthy democracy. By his own account, from a very young age, Reagan was a voracious reader. He did not isolate himself from other people’s thoughts and opinions. On the contrary, Reagan relished open debate on every issue.
However, his background as a broadcaster, actor, union leader, apeaker, and