Exploring Human Potential

Giving Thanks for Principled Leaders.

Posted on | November 23, 2021 | 2 Comments

Mike Magee

This Thanksgiving, more than most, our country finds itself reaching for guidance and direction. Join me in giving thanks for principled leaders.

The principles most people aspire to live by come quite naturally to mind because they simply feel right, or sound right to the majority. We make choices – good over evil, love over hate, gentleness over cruelty.

Individuals, families, and societies fight over principles, some say because it is simpler than living up to those principles. We equate certain virtues with success – sincerity, justice, chastity, humility, and industry. But whether this is true is more about how we define success (long-term vs. short-term, ourselves vs. others, material vs. spiritual).

Whose success are we talking about, the principled or the unprincipled?

Principled people seem to feel comfortable in their own skin.

Principled people do not seem to surround themselves with unprincipled people.

Principled people are viewed as valuable rather than successful.

Principled people are self-directed from within.  The measure of their principles can be taken by where they spend their time and the objects they pursue.

Principles provide the direction and the pathway to a worthy destination.


Additional Readings:

“Intelligence is derived from two words – inter and legere – inter meaning ‘between’ and legere meaning ‘to choose’. An intelligent person, therefore, is one who has learned ‘to choose between’. He knows that good is better than evil, that confidence should supersede fear, that love is superior to hate, that gentleness is better than cruelty, forbearance than intolerance, compassion than arrogance, and that truth has more virtue than ignorance.”   J. Martin Klotsche

“It is often easier to fight for principles than to live up to them.”
Adlai Stevenson

“Thirteen virtues necessary for true success: temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Beware all enterprises that require new clothes.”
Henry David Thoreau

“Who lies for you will lie against you.”  
Bosnian proverb

“Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value.”
Albert Einstein

“Doing what’s right isn’t the problem. It’s knowing what’s right.”
Lyndon B. Johnson

“We trust, sir, that God is on our side. It is more important to know that we are on God’s side.”
Abraham Lincoln

“The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. The man who tries methods, ignoring principles, is sure to have trouble.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
Ancient Buddhist Proverb


Happy Thanksgiving to all!


2 Responses to “Giving Thanks for Principled Leaders.”

  1. She Ross
    November 24th, 2021 @ 8:06 am

    I love that last quote.

  2. Mike Magee
    November 24th, 2021 @ 10:27 am

    Yes, bears repeating: “If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” You are the North star!

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