Story: I wore No. 41 playing football in both high school and college. When I pulled the jersey over my shoulder pads, a sense of fierce obligation to my teammates and commitment to victory soaked into my whole being. It became my lucky number. So this blog is dedicated to the No. 41, and of course this past week, that number served to accompany a worldwide tribute to the passing of the 41st President of the United States, George Herbert Walker Bush. This commentary is a NOT intended to be a maudlin, over-bloated, blind statement of praise toward GHW. He has plenty of imperfections, both political and personal (beyond broccoli and his short golf game) for historians and pundits to feast on. However, as an observer of LEADERSHIP, there is much to appreciate in No. 41 throughout his entire human journey.
In his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1989, President H.W. Bush had turned to the leaders of Congress and declared, “I take as my guide the hope of a saint: In crucial things, unity; in important things, diversity; in all things, generosity.”
Key Point: The best of leadership values survive the vagaries of current trends and circumstance. Compassion, Courage, Commitment accompanied by Kindness, Humility, Generosity, Forgiveness, Care, Service, Humor and more were the values that permeated most days throughout Bush’s well documented life. He imperfectly lived them daily, and with integrity did more than simply announce them. I believe in 2018 we need to pause and honor this way of leading and living. We need to celebrate where and when these values win the day for the advancement of humankind. Perhaps President George H.W. Bush said it best at his inaugural address (as noted below). I think our reflection on this statement and George H.W.’s better self, even if it’s a brief moment, makes No. 41 a lucky number.
“We are not the sum of our possessions. They are not the measure of our lives. In our hearts we know what matters. We cannot hope only to leave our children a bigger car, a bigger bank account. We must hope to give them a sense of what it means to be a loyal friend; a loving parent; a citizen who leaves his home, his neighborhood, and town better than he found it.”
– George H.W. Bush
Lead Yourself Moves:
- In your heart, you know what matters. Do that!
- Live the imperfect best of No. 41.
Lead Others Moves:
- Same as above.
Living Lucky No. 41 in Personal Leadership,
One Millennial View: Funny enough, according to Affinity Numerology (whatever that may be), the No. 41 “tends to express an innate sense of personal freedom with building a secure foundation for the future.” When analyzing the values believed and practiced by George H.W. Bush, after a lifetime of service for freedom, at the very least that’s an interesting coincidence. And perhaps numbers really can be as lucky as we think.
Edited and published by Garrett Rubis