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Lead Like Reagan: Timeless Lessons from Our 40th President

Tuesday, May 27, 2014 8:08 am EDT
"Ronald Reagan lived a life of impact—not only on the world stage, but also by investing personally in individuals all around him—and was able to accomplish extraordinary things"

Twenty-five years after his presidency and ten years since his death (June 5th marks the 10th anniversary of his passing), Ronald Reagan remains a household name (and in some circles, even a rallying cry) whose influence on our nation’s politics is still deeply felt. And even many who didn’t agree with him politically remember and respect the “Great Communicator” as one of the most instinctive, intuitive, and emotionally intelligent leaders in recent history—and for good reason.

According to Dan Quiggle, Reagan’s brand of leadership was calibrated to be effective at all levels, even the very highest. And, he says, today’s emerging leaders in all fields still have a lot to learn from our 40th president.

“Ronald Reagan lived a life of impact—not only on the world stage, but also by investing personally in individuals all around him—and was able to accomplish extraordinary things,” says Quiggle, author of the new book Lead Like Reagan: Strategies to Motivate, Communicate, and Inspire (Wiley, June 2014, ISBN: 978-1-118-92845-5, $25.00, “When you look at Reagan’s leadership style, you see that his accomplishments weren’t a coincidence. Patterns, traits, and leadership maxims emerge that can be applied throughout all industries and professions to achieve personal growth and professional success.”

Quiggle, who began his professional career in Ronald Reagan’s California post-presidency office and is now a successful entrepreneur, witnessed firsthand the traits, habits, and principles that made Reagan so effective.

“President Reagan understood that internal and interpersonal qualities—not technical competency—often make the difference in politics,” he states. “Reagan’s world-changing power as a leader came not from flexing his political muscle but from an authentic consistency of both thought and action that personified humility, loyalty, and respect. And the same thing is often true in business. In fact, when I address groups of top CEOs, they agree when I say we hire people for technical ability and fire people for social inability.

“The good news is, even if this side of leadership doesn’t come naturally to you, it’s possible to learn, apply, and master the ‘soft’ skills that will enable you to tangibly affect performance within your sphere of influence,” he adds.

In Lead Like Reagan, Quiggle uses Reagan’s example, as well as that of other prominent and influential business leaders, to highlight key skills for leaders to develop. Read on for an overview:

  • Creating a Vision. Crafted and nurtured effectively, the images of greatness you envision for the future can inspire others to action. Learn how Reagan reclaimed greatness for America by creating a vision, articulating the role everyone would play in it, and showing how they would benefit from being part of it.
  • Assembling a Team. You are only as good as the people with whom you surround yourself. Learn how President Reagan returned America to economic prosperity and pursued the end of oppressive regimes worldwide by fully engaging and empowering an exceptional team of widely qualified, deeply committed experts.
  • Communicating a Message. Connecting with and inspiring others can make the difference between overall success and utter failure. Learn how Ronald Reagan successfully connected with individuals of every age, race, demographic—and even political party—by making them feel noticed, appreciated, and valued.
  • Leading by Example. You’ll win support and build alliances only when you are willing to lead the way in finding agreement and solutions. Learn how Reagan’s commitment to building warm, personal relationships with fellow heads of state led to worldwide change and the beginning of the end of the Cold War.
  • Taking Action. Not all action is created equal. Learn how President Reagan set priorities, used the power of teams, nurtured resiliency, challenged the status quo, and more to have the greatest impact in expanding freedom, both domestically and abroad, throughout the 1980s.
  • Handling Crisis. Crisis is inevitable. Only a true leader can enable a team to emerge from it stronger, savvier, more seasoned, and better prepared for the next storm. Learn how Ronald Reagan responded to events like the Challenger disaster and navigated the nation through tough, disappointing times.
  • Changing the World. What will people remember about how you lived? How you led? Learn how Reagan lived in a way that enabled him to create a legacy that was, in his typically humble words, “…not bad—not bad at all.”

“Whether he intended to or not, Ronald Reagan created a formula for success that we can all follow to become better leaders who inspire others,” says Quiggle. “And while not everyone will have the opportunity to affect as many people as President Reagan did, each of us has a chance to positively influence our families, our friends, our communities, our companies—and perhaps, in some way, even the world.

“So invest in yourself. Invest in others. Evaluate your trajectory. And remember, whether you’re building on what you’ve already established or are starting anew, the journey to greater impact is never complete.”


Melissa Connors, 201-748-6834
Publicity Manager

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