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Teddy Roosevelt on Engagement

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Summary

As we celebrate another Presidents Day, it’s a good enough time as any to get presidential about employee engagement.

As we celebrate another Presidents Day, it’s a good enough time as any to get presidential about employee engagement. Probably more than most jobs, Presidents of sovereign democracies need to know how to motivate a staff, and no one was better at it than the trust-buster himself, our 26th President and New York native, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt.

True Leadership

Before becoming President, Roosevelt previously held jobs as the New York City Police Commissioner, New York City Governor, Commander of the Navy, and Vice President. At age 42, he was the youngest person to ever take the office, a position thrust upon him after President McKinley’s assassination in 1901. He went on to become one of the great leaders in history, and nowadays you can see his face on Mount Rushmore. We as a people loved the man so much we invented Teddy Bears in his honor.

Softly Speaking

Were Teddy Roosevelt able to comment on the current state of employee engagement, he might choose these quotes, as relevant as they were when he first said them:

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.

“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.

“Politeness is a sign of dignity, not subservience.

In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.

I don’t know about you, but I think Teddy Roosevelt would have made a pretty decent boss. Enjoy your President’s Day – T.R. sends his best.

This post was originally published on the halorecognition.com blog in 2015

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