(Nov 23, 2021) Ara Norwood (http://aranorwood.com/) is Managing Partner of Leadership Development Systems. He promotes the principles of Leadership, which he believes is essential for a sustainable and progressive USA. He presents these concepts to groups, using as examples “Six Great Men” among the US Founding Fathers.
These Six are Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Ara spoke about their relationships with their parents, their intellectual acumen (five were geniuses and Washington was more a people person), and their views on slavery: Northerner Adams opposed it from the beginning and the others opposed it eventually. Washington, Jefferson and Madison were slave-owning plantation owners; Washington eventually released all of his slaves, although Jefferson and Madison did not.
In occupational background, Franklin was a printer, scientist and diplomat. Washington was a surveyor and planter and Army officer. Adams was a lawyer. Jefferson was a planter, lawyer and teacher. Madison was a planter. Hamilton was a military officer, lawyer and financier. In political views, Franklin and Washington were nonpartisan, Adams and Hamilton were Federalists (promoting the proposed Constitution), and Jefferson and Madison were Democratic-Republicans (a later group opposing the centralizing policies of Alexander Hamilton).
Franklin was greatly influenced by the Enlightenment philosophy in Europe at that time. He was pragmatic and tolerant of others. Washington was dignified, punctual, disciplined and a good listener (who turned down an offer to become “King George I” of the new nation, because he opposed the concept of monarchy). Adams was well educated but egotistical and defensive. Jefferson was very intellectual, charming, a poor speaker but brilliant writer. Madison was indecisive, shy and an awkward conversationalist. Hamilton was bold and confrontational. Hamilton was the first secretary of the treasury, where he promoted federal funding of the states’ Revolutionary war debts and creation of the Bank of the United States. His vehement political rivalry against Aaron Burr resulted in Burr killing him in a dual.
These 6 world-class leaders came from a US population of 2 million in 1776. With the same proportions, today’s US population of 331 million would produce 993 world-class leaders. Ara Norwood believes such potential leaders are out there and need to be developed for the future well-being of our country.