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Home > Blog > A Reagan Legacy Worth Remembering
Out of Our Minds
Monday, June 07, 2004 10:25 PM
A Reagan Legacy Worth Remembering
Kevin Salwen on Culture

Debate the Reagan legacy all you like: economic visionary or irresponsible deficit spender; leader or marionette; conquerer of Communism or fortunate fumbler. But this much is for certain: Ronald Reagan understood the power of optimism in leadership. The Great Communicator was unparalleled at taking advantage of his telegenic good looks and demeanor. It was his words, though, during a high-inflation, high-unemployment, low-morale era that made the U.S. feel upbeat again.

It's a message many in management at all levels would do well to remember: People want to follow leaders with a can-do spirit. Sometimes when the going gets tough, fake it a little. But bring the positive energy; it's contagious.


4 comments

David Weinberger - 6/12/2004 8:31:14 AM
Along with his Can-Do spirit came a belief that the poor Just-Wouldn't. For me, his mean-spirited war on the poor was the dark side of his rich man's optimism.
Ty Moddelmog - 6/10/2004 2:52:09 PM
How optimistic did the residents of Grenada and Lebanon feel during Reagan's tenure?
Rennie - 6/8/2004 5:48:55 PM
This contagious optimism was mentioned on Ted Koppel last night as an important part of his legacy. Agree it helps leadership ability, whether in a country or a company. People need hope.

It was probably also reassuring that he apparently had a strong marriage, which is turning into one of the most intesting aspects of his legacy.
Dean - 6/7/2004 11:48:31 PM
I agree totally. There was a different tone and mood when he took office. Very impressive to me at the time and still is. He was indeed a can-do spirit.

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