PMP:017 Leadership Lessons from the Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Studying other leaders can help give us insights and lessons that influence our own.
From another great historic read, Episode 17 looks at the life of the legendary Theodore Roosevelt, taken from Edmund Morris’s biography, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt.
Listen in for 8 inspiring takeaways from his early life! Here’s a link to the original post that accompanies this audio version.

Episode 17 Show-Notes

Morris’s biography of Roosevelt paints the picture of a boy who began life frail and sickly, who developed his mind and imagination through reading and travel, who beat all odds through intense self-improvement, and who lived a life of eagerness to fight at every opportunity:
1. Never underestimate the power of early education.
You never know what future leader you may be developing when you expose a young mind to opportunities to learn deeply.
2. Never underestimate the influence of strong parental values.
The legacy of a great leader often begins when an adult mentor models those qualities first.
3. Never underestimate the benefits of vigorous self improvement.
Robust physical health not only makes you feel better, it provides amazing energy for learning.
4. Never underestimate the power of Providence.
It is a healthy practice to recognize how often our lives are touched by circumstances that verge on the impossible if not seen as providential.
5. Death is not always the end; sometimes it is the beginning.
Sometimes our most creative, productive achievements are born out of our deepest times of loss.
6. Publicity is a powerful promotional tool.
Communication of your ideas with a vast audience is a great way to grow momentum for a worthy cause.
7. A solitary focus on your enemies, instead of friends, will lead to an inevitable dead end.
Learning to count your cost before a battle, even by seeking common ground with those who may resist you, is a smarter path to change than one-man victories.
8. Courage is inspiring.
When you are confronted by difficulty, remember that your response affects not only the situation but how those around you may respond to their own difficulties. So make it a courageous response.


Theodore Roosevelt’s early life is both inspiring and challenging. He is a man who accomplished more in his early years than most of us will in our lifetime. But his example shows us truths from which we can all benefit. He learned deep lessons from his wrestlings with grief, understood the power of communication, benefited from defeats as well as victories, and often chose the more difficult paths when he knew they were the right ones. As a result, he made a difference. With God’s help, we can make a difference too.

Now It’s Your Turn

How have you learned to turn difficulties into opportunities? Share one way you have grown through adversity.

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker