To say that Orrin Woodward “studies” character would be a gross understatement. In his new book Resolved – 13 Resolutions for Life, he addresses it throughout the book, stating that “leadership is character in motion”. So he’s studied (and continues to study) those individuals throughout human history, who’ve displayed incredibly high levels of character while in very difficult circumstances.
One such example comes from his latest blog regarding the building and development of character of George Washington. May someone speak this highly of you at your eulogy!
The ending quotation summarizes character-based training beautifully – “the soul can be schooled”. Washington attended this class daily on his way to developing the nobility of character needed to unite the American colonies. General Henry Knox spoke truthfully when he shared that it was the strength of Washington’s character, not the laws of the new Constitution, that held the young republic together. In a tribute to his friend, Congressman Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee eulogized Washington, saying, “First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen, he was second to none in humble and enduring scenes of private life. Pious, just, humane, temperate, and sincere; uniform, dignified, and commanding; his example was as edifying to all around him as were the effects of that example lasting…Correct throughout, vice shuddered in his presence and virtue always felt his fostering hand. The purity of his private character gave effulgence to his public virtues…Such was the man for whom our nation mourns.” Lee’s tribute testifies to Washington’s faithful application of his resolutions into his life, living his maxims both privately and publicly.
What Orrin and the Founders of LIFE, along with the leaders of the Team who are following in their footsteps, are ‘schooling their souls’ on a daily basis in order to strengthen their character and thus increase their leadership, to handle the challenges that lie ahead for all of us.
May we, like Orrin, get beyond the basic history of Washington and the like, that we are ‘taught’ in school. Then turn, and implement those same maxims that Washington used to lead his country. For the record, this is your country too!
God bless, John Graff