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Fri Feb 1, 2013, 05:18 PM

15 Great Leadership Lessons From John Kerry's Senate Farewell

Some actual thinking about what the speech said. Good to read. For those who have not yet seen the speech, it is at the end of the webpage. Click on the URL.

http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2013/02/15-leadership-lessons-john-kerry-taught-senate-and-all-us-his-farewell/61041/

After 28 years in the Senate, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts bid farewell to his colleagues in an emotional address rich in wisdom and perspective on the challenges of our times. In a 50 minute address last Wednesday, he encapsulated the problems—and solutions—to the Senate’s gridlock as well as what it means to be a servant leader and statesmen. As he departs to become America’s chief diplomat, an honor his Senate colleagues voted to give him 94 - 3, his address was the perfect transition—cataloging everything in between his first appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations committee as a young activist in 1971 and his second, just last week, as he was confirmed as Secretary of State.

Below are excerpts of his speech, boiled down into 15 key lessons that he taught his Senate colleagues--and all of us. His long address makes this an uncharacteristically long post--though I've done my best to keep it succinct and free of too much commentary. The entire speech is well worth watching or reading. Like the great oratories of Senate giants past, it will certainly be revisited in classrooms generations from now as a lesson in eloquence, leadership and statesmanship.

1. Failure is important—it teaches us humility.
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2. Acknowledgement matters—give thanks to the big and little giants whose shoulders you stand on.

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3. Federal workers should be celebrated, not demonized.

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4. Respect America’s institutions—they’re bigger than any one person and unite us.

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5. Servant leadership is the truest kind of leadership--and it demands courage.

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6. Divided we will certainly fail.

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7. We must lead for our times and for all times.

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8. Our choices, not process and rules, define us.

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9. Our problems are manmade, so they can be solved by man.

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10. The Senate faces three challenges: lack of respect, the corrupting influence of money and the disregard for fact.

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11. Leadership must be by example.

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12. Relationships matter.

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13. Diversity strengthens us.

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14. Youth shouldn’t stop you from sharing your voice—or listening to others.

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15. Finally, listening, above all else, is what matters most.

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Reply 15 Great Leadership Lessons From John Kerry's Senate Farewell (Original post)
Mass Feb 2013 OP
Cha Feb 2013 #1
patrice Feb 2013 #2

Response to Mass (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:01 PM

1. Very excellent "key lessons".. thank you Mass.

too bad John McCain didn't learn the Lesson Numero Uno!

1. Failure is important—it teaches us humility.

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Response to Mass (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:16 PM

2. Listening, above all else, is what matters most.

I am feeling hopeful that we have one of the best teams ever in place right now.

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