Whenever you start-give it your best. The opportunities are there to be anything you want to be. But wanting to be someone isn't enough; dreaming about it isn't enough; thinking about it isn't enough. You've got to study for it, work for it, fight for it with all your heart and soul, because nobody is going to hand it to you.
Good leaders set vision, missions, and goals. Great leaders inspire every follower at every level to internalize their purpose, and to understand that their purpose goes far beyond the mere details of their job. When everyone is united in purpose, a positive purpose that serves not only the organization but also, hopefully, the world beyond it, you have a winning team.
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Service-learning is a particularly fertile way of involving young people in community service, because it ties helping others to what they are learning in the classroom. It enables them to apply academic disciplines to practical, everyday problems. In the process, it provides a compelling answer to the adolescent's perennial question, 'Why do I need to learn this stuff?
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We believe, from everything we have been told by the intelligence community, by 12 years of history with Iraq, by the experience of the U.N. inspectors and by other intelligence agencies in other countries that Saddam Hussein had the intention to develop weapons of mass destruction and to have such weapons, and that was a sound judgment which I still believe to this day because he had had them in the past, he'd used them in the past.
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Fear is a normal human emotion. It is not in itself a killer. We can learn to be aware when fear grips us, and can train to operate through and in spite of our fear. If, on the other hand, we don't understand that fear is normal and has to be controlled and overcome, it will paralyze us and stop us in our tracks. We will no longer think clearly or analyze rationally. We prepare for it and control it; we never let it control us. It if does, we cannot lead.
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Don't be afraid to challenge the pros, even in their own backyard. Learn from the pros, observe them, seek them out as mentors and partners. But remember that even the pros may have leveled out in terms of their learning and skills. Sometimes even the pros can become complacent and lazy.
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own lives in peace.
Being kind doesn't mean being soft or a wuss. Kindness is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of confidence. If you have developed a reputation for kindness and consideration, then even the most unpleasant decisions will go down easier because everyone will understand why you are doing what you are doing. They will realize that your decision must be necessary, and is not arbitrary or without empathy. As the old saying puts it, 'To the world, you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.'
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Our senior officers knew the war was going badly. Yet they bowed to groupthink pressure and kept up pretenses. ...Many of my generation, the career captains, majors, and lieutenant colonels seasoned in that war, vowed that when our turn came to call the shots, we would not quietly acquiesce in halfhearted warfare for half-baked reasons that the American people could not understand.
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Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. And the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. And that's despicable.
You should see what our Founding Fathers used to say to each other and in the early part of our nation. But what they were able to do, especially in Philadelphia in 1787, four months, they argued about what a House should be, what a Senate should be, the power of the president, the Congress, the Supreme Court. And they had to deal with slavery.
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President's personal staff has a unique role. They're his intimate personal advisers, and the tradition and the precedent has been, even when I was national security adviser, that people in that position do not testify before the Congress. They talk to the Congress. They have meetings with the Congress.