Bakers and suppliers absorbed leadership principles embraced by the first POTUS, George Washington, via the George Washington Leadership Institute at Mount Vernon, led by retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Dr. Peter Cressy.
Dr. Cressy cited specific examples of Washington’s military and political career and the traits and characteristics that made him a born leader and able to lead his troops into battle to win the Revolutionary War. Washington’s greatest asset was his credibility; he knew that character was equivalent to reputation and that one cannot exist without the other. Dr. Cressy said credibility gave him the influence to transform a nation.
Dr. Cressy explored additional traits possessed and strategies Washington executed that made him a great leader. Washington understood the importance of strategic vision and knew it was the key to creating common purpose. Washington always saw the bigger picture, the common goal, and was strategic and patient in accomplishing his mission and to do so, integrating leadership and management must go hand in hand.
Keys to his success were his ability to listen and communicate; in particular he practiced “patient” communication, always adjusting to his audience and the situation and being persistent, patient and respectful with Congress and Governors.
Another thing that made him a great leader was that he “walked the walk.” He was always out in front of the troops willing to face the battle himself.
Other elements that made Washington a great leader. Washington:
- Understood that the keys to Change are Communication, Credibility, Collaboration
- Understood that Credibility, Perception, and Patience are the keys to Communication
- Personally Adaptable, Constantly Learning
- Adapted to a Multi-Cultural Environment
- Remarkably Perceptive – Great Sense of Timing
- Became an Effective Actor – Played Many Roles
- Utilized Strategic Vision as a Communication Tool
Washington maintained his strategic vision but often adjusted tactical goals to support collaboration in support of a united effort. By practicing strategic patience, he was able to pick the right moment for action and in the end, it helped him win the war.
View the photo gallery to check out highlights from the 2018 NextGenBaker Public Policy Forum.