One of the greatest contributors to the significant success of our 32nd president, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was his personality. Roosevelt was friendly and outgoing; he genuinely enjoyed being with people. He naturally exuded confidence, optimism and energy – extraordinary and admirable traits considering the physical hardships he dealt with on a daily basis.
Roosevelt was paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the debilitating disease commonly known as polio, which he contracted at the age of 39 – eleven years before becoming President. Despite decades of treatment and rehabilitation, he never recovered the full use of his legs. Roosevelt’s illness and resulting handicap may have slowed him, but it certainly didn’t stop him. He had such a robust, energetic and positive attitude that most Americans during his lifetime never realized the full extent of his disability.
Roosevelt was elected to the office of President for an unprecedented four terms; he offered the nation something they desperately needed – hope for the future. He courageously led the nation through the Great Depression, and continued to lead as America faced the crisis of World War II, which ended just a few months after his sudden death in 1945.
Roosevelt possessed many admirable and important qualities, including courage, intelligence, and ambition, but it was his personable character and his ability to empathize and connect with the American people that won their affection and respect.
The example of Franklin D. Roosevelt reminds me of an important success principle, “They won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Roosevelt was highly successful and a great leader because he deeply cared about the nation he was given the responsibility of leading. He loved the American people, and as their leader, he did everything in his power to improve their wellbeing.
The same is true for you. For the most part, people won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care! Are you doing all that you can to improve the wellbeing of those around you?
In all areas of your life, genuinely enjoy and love people. Tend to their wellbeing – and they will take care of you!
Discussion: What other personality traits do you feel mark a great leader?