GeneralHr Library

Leadership Lessons of Ronald Reagan

Source | linkedIn : By T. Boone Pickens

Today’s podcast is with former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. Haley and I first met in the 1980s courtesy of my daughter Liz. She was working in the Reagan White House, and Haley was President Reagan’s political director. Here are a few of Haley’s insights on this great leader.

People underestimated President Reagan. A lot of people typecast him as an actor. Yet he had been the president of the Screen Actors Guild, which is a very important organization, and the governor of California. The guy knew how to negotiate.

The best way to judge President Reagan is by the results of his leadership. They were so spectacular. We had a 25-year-long uninterrupted period of economic growth, and not just the United States. It was all over the world.

People forget that Ronald Reagan accomplished so much during his administration, and he did it with a divided Congress. Every day he was in the Oval Office, he faced an overwhelming Democratic majority in the House. But he knew how to get things done. He knew how to lead.

President Reagan didn’t let partisan politics get in the way of public service. He worked very closely with Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill. He relied on Danny Rostenkowski to help with the ’86 tax bill. And Bill Bradley was very helpful in the Senate. All three were Democrats.

President Reagan was very pragmatic, too. He knew that in politics people don’t always agree on everything. He used to say, “Remember, a fellow that agrees with you 80 percent of the time is your friend and ally. He’s not some 20 percent traitor.”

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