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“To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” George Washington

George Washington was elected as the first President as the unanimous choice of the electors in 1788, and he served two terms in office. He oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that maintained neutrality in the wars raging in Europe, suppressed the rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types.

His leadership style established many forms and rituals of government that has been used since, such as using a cabinet system and delivering an inaugural address. Washington was hailed as the “father of his country” even during his lifetime.

I want to note a few things about President Washington. Even though his wartime efforts were extraordinary and made substantial sacrifices for the country we live in, it is important to note the foundation that he set up (i.e., the cabinet system). This foundation laid the groundwork for many successful presidents. I mention this because preparation requires a lot of work before we see the benefits.

It is the preparation that allows us to be qualified to make decisions. It is the preparation that gives us knowledge. It is the preparation that defines us and gives us direction in how we want to live our lives. If you look into Washington’s life, you will be amazed at all the concepts and work he put into creating this great nation. Now, I am not saying that Washington was a perfect person, but the vision he had to create these systems was brilliant.

You may ask why I chose this quote. I like this quote because it is a measurement of what can be done when you prepare. I don’t think Washington loved pursuing war. I don’t think he sought after the war either. This was a time that sacrifices had to be made for the welfare of those that wanted religious freedom. His quote shows me he was always prepared for war but would rather select the peaceful route if able.

I want you to think about what preparations you make to avoid what may be inevitable. What do you do routinely to help yourself prepare for life’s challenges? Every leader should have a routine that helps them to prepare for difficult choices. Think about what you should be doing every day, every week, and every month to help you be the leader you want to be. When you make a mistake, make sure you understand why and develop habits that will help you to improve. I think every leader needs to prepare for even the easy choices that need to be made. Would there be easy choices to make if we were not prepared?

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