February 16

Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day & Leadership

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“The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.” Theodore M. Hesburgh

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day & Leadership - Signing the Constitution
Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day & Leadership – Signing the Constitution

James Madison and George Washington are the only presidents who signed the Constitution.
George Washington was the only president voted into office and elected unanimously; all of the state representatives voted for him.
Franklin D. Roosevelt met President Grover Cleveland when he was five years old. Cleveland said “I am making a wish for you. It is that you may never become president of the United States”.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to appear on television during a 1939 broadcast from the World’s Fair.
James K. Polk was the first president to have his photograph taken while in office.
At 42 years, 10 months, 18 days old Teddy Roosevelt was the youngest man to hold the office of president. Ronald Reagan was the oldest at 69 years 11 months. John F. Kennedy was the youngest to be elected president.
James Madison was the shortest president at 5 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 100 pounds. Abraham Lincoln was the tallest president at 6 feet 4 inches tall (Lyndon B. Johnson was also 6′ 4″).
William Henry Harrison died just 32 days after becoming president. He died from a cold he got while standing the rain giving his inauguration speech.Fun Facts from Ducksters.com

Paragon shift: A state of extreme perception, reflexes and dexterity. When one triggers or experiences a paragon shift, he or she knows exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. Urban Dictionary.com

How did Presidents’ Day evolve? For starters,  it was a special day to honor the birthday of our first president –  George Washington  and over time, it became a celebration in honor of two of America’s greatest Presidents; George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  In 1968, the 90th Congress voted to shift three federal holidays, including George Washington’s Birthday to the 3rd Monday of February. This decision led to the creation of  a new holiday – Presidents’ Day.  Some states and elected officials resisted the change but advocates of the new holiday were resilient and eventually it became law in 1971. What is the correct form when we write it? Some people refer to it as President’s Day though the more appropriate punctuation is Presidents’ Day in honor of two not one President with a February birthday.

Today is Presidents’ Day and it is an important time to revisit the history of this great country and contemplate the qualities of leadership. One thing that should be clear by now is that each leader leads with a unique set of qualities and qualifications. All leaders experience moments of paragon shifts that help them take decisive action for good or bad. It is this paragon shift that each of us needs to adopt in our lives to help us move forward and soar. What will aid such a shift? Self knowledge, Courage, Vision, and a willingness to set aside the Fear of Failure. You see, some of us think a leader should be perfect, charismatic and supremely qualified. That is arrant nonsense. We are all flawed and perfection is unattainable. What a leader needs amongst a long list of qualities is Vision and a Spirit of Service.  Each of us can be leaders in our own way through service and decisive action.


“To leave the world a better place … to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day & Leadership - President Abraham Lincoln
Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day & Leadership – President Abraham Lincoln

John Adams died on the same day as Thomas Jefferson, July 4th, 1826. This day was also the 50th anniversary of the approval of the Declaration of Independence!
Thomas Jefferson was also an accomplished architect. He designed his famous home at Monticello as well as buildings for the University of Virginia.
James Monroe was the 5th president, but the 3rd to die on the 4th of July.
John F. Kennedy was the first president who was a Boy Scout.
On the day he was shot, Lincoln told his bodyguard that he had dreamt he would be assassinated.
Abraham Lincoln often stored things like letters and documents in his tall stove-piped hat.
Teddy Roosevelt was blind in his left eye due to an injury in a boxing match.
When Ronald Reagan was shot by an assassin in 1981, he joked “I forgot to duck”.
The “S” in Harry S. Truman does not stand for anything.Fun Facts from Ducksters.com

Paradigm Shift: An adjustment in thinking that comes about as the result of new discoveries, inventions, or real-world experiences. FreeDictionary.com A change in the basic assumptions, or paradigms, within the ruling theory of science. Wikipedia

What type of leader do you aspire to become? To lead, you must learn to serve. Good leadership requires qualities such as trust, authenticity, vision, integrity, and service. To lead effectively, you must examine your motivations and then decide what type of leader you will be. Some lead to make a difference, others lead for power and position, a few have it thrust upon them, and yet another group lead for self discovery. How we lead is a choice we all get to make. It is important that we are clear about our desire to lead and, like every successful goal we achieve, we must have a plan and purpose. What does this tell us? It teaches us that we need to make paradigm shifts to set aside limiting beliefs about our worthiness. If you believe that you are not deserving of certain roles and responsibilities then, your wish will be your outcome. We must be motivated to change the things that hold us back and pursue what we desire. Wish yourself and others well and then move forward with your plan of action. To help us see the range of our past and present presidents, I’ve included some fun facts for you to read and mull over. Do you see yourself in any of the tidbits shared? Think about it.

TWEET YOUR VOTE TODAY! http://shortyawards.com/ElizObihFrank
TWEET YOUR VOTE TODAY! http://shortyawards.com/ElizObihFrank


The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for February are:
02/02 – Attitude
02/09 – Love
02/16 – Leadership – Honoring Presidents’ Day
02/26 – Celebration
03/02 – READ

More Below!

“To be prepared is half the victory”. Miguel de Cervantes

Motivation Mondays: Presidents' Day & Leadership - President George Washington
Motivation Mondays: Presidents’ Day & Leadership – President George Washington

Woodrow Wilson was buried at the Washington National Cathedral. He is the only president buried in Washington D.C.
Andrew Jackson was shot in the chest during a gun dual, but managed to stay standing and shoot and kill his opponent. The bullet could not be safely removed and remained in his chest for the next 40 years.
George W. Bush is the only president to have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.
Barack Obama won a Grammy Award in 2006 for his voice on the audio book Dreams From My Father.
After working at a Baskin-Robbins as a teen, President Obama no longer likes ice cream.
Bill Clinton enjoys playing the saxophone and was a member of a band called “Three Blind Mice” in high school.
Martin Van Buren was the first president to be born as a citizen of the United States. However, he spoke English as a second language since Dutch was his first. The presidents before him were born as British subjects.
William Henry Harrison was the 9th president. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, was the 23rd president.
John Tyler had 15 children. Fun Facts from Ducksters.com

How do you lead? Are you a collaborator? A Pacifist? A Dictator?  Think about it and then consider the best way you can lead through service to others. Be clear. Be bold. Be prepared. Leadership is not reserved for a special group of people because we are all special in our own way. We can bring our life experiences and vision to a position or a role and impact others in the world. I believe that no matter where we are on the leadership ladder, the hot seat of influence, the food chain of authority as it were, be it at the bottom or the top, WE can make a difference in the lives of others. Go for it and have a productive and successful week ahead!

Positive Motivation Tip: Vision, Courage and Service are key components for leadership, but don’t forget compassion. We all need it to thrive.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for end of November and all of December below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM

Related Posts


PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos: Signing of Constitution, President G. Washington, Pres Abe Lincoln, via Wikipedia.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


#MotvnM, leadership, love, Motivation, Motivation Mondays, positive attitude, postaday, reflections, US Presidents Day

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  • Interesting fun facts, Elizabeth. We’ve come a long way from the time when standing in the rain could lead to death.

  • I always love reading your posts. They always have the perfect combination of information, entertainment, and motivation. Thanks!

  • I think good leaders are people who never stop learning. They are people who are leading to help/serve others, like you said.

  • There were so many great leaders in the history of our country. I am proud to have had such great leaders in the past.

  • It takes a lot of great qualities to become president and that’s definitely something to be admired. Thanks for the inspirational post!

  • Being from Canada i don’t know much about your Presidents but I love learning and hearing about them!

    Congrats on your nomination, very well deserved!

  • I think it’s best to be a servant leader. This means that you’re someone leading the group and hearing out everyone’s view and opinion and then leading them toward a common goal to achieve.

  • I think it’s best to be a servant leader. It means hearing out everyone’s views and opinions and then leading them toward achieving the same goal.

  • To lead is to serve. That is very true indeed.
    It is also true that you rise up to be a leader when you set aside fear and self-doubt. Even if it was to lead thyself. I have experience that a couple of times and while the experience is scary and stressful at first, it becomes exhilarating and liberating.

    If there are no struggle, there is no progress — Frederick Douglass

    Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.
    Action has magic, grace and power in it. — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

  • I’d also like to share what our President shared to us, a somehow, related statement. He said: “Guys, we are taking in 5,000 new enrollees. Don’t think about higher profits and revenues, they are just numbers. Don’t think of more students to pay our school huge some of money. Think about 5,000 families that you’re going to change. These are humans with families. Change just one student, and you might change the life of one family. Our impact is exponential. So right now, when you think of one student, think of one family. Do your job right! Create a positive impact in each of these families!”

  • I am curious what our founders would think of the way our country in today’s times. I know that the Constitution was built upon biblical principles and over the years those principles are slowly fading away especially in the last 8 years. I’m praying our new president would go back to our country’s roots instead of conforming to our human ways.

  • I think its important to recognize this day. Great leadership has been very important to American history and we need to appreciate that.

  • This is the best motivations to human, not only for the citizen, but also for the leaders of the countries and some organizations. But unluckily, we have some unconditionally leaders these days. Hope everything’s gonna change and fine.

  • Hmmm… What kind of leader do I want to be? I always want to be an influencer, to be able to help others and direct others in the right and positive way. And being a leader leads, but somehow, it always link to fear. I hope to influence without instilling fear!

  • I believe each one of us has a little flame for leadership, but only few allow this flame to grow. It is very nice to look back and see amazing leaders we had in the past and be inspired by them 😉

  • It’s so interesting to hear about how the date of President’s Day was changed. Have you thought about adding Instagram for Motivation Mondays as well? Mine (posted on Instagram) this week was “Be happy with what you have while working for what you want”. I’ll hashtag it on my Instagram photo so you can have a look!

  • Wow what great information! I didn’t realize Wilson was the only president buried in D.C., I would have thought more would have chosen that place.

  • These are so interesting points and facts – I loved the reminders and what I never knew – thank you for this great post for this Presidents’ Day!

  • I am inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi, she is a hero and a true leader. Determination, perseverance and sacrifice for the country brings freedom for her people.

  • There are times that I think I would rather follow than lead. But then again, I’m also the type of person that would prefer to work on my own.

  • I tend to shy away and not lead because of how I think others will think of me! I loved this post and loved seeing how you can lead without being loud and boisterous (even though that is the style of some leaders). Neat post!

  • Thanks for all the helpful information. I have always wondered how Presidents Day started.

  • Great post on leadership and what Presidents day is all about. I did not even know it was President’s Day and I had the day off yesterday until around 10:00am

  • It is very true that a leader needs a long vision & spirit of service to succeed & to motivate the followers. These are absolutely great information about 2 great leaders George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Thanks for inspiring.

  • Well written and very informative! I am a Canadian so I am not so familiar with this holiday. However I found it a very interesting read.

  • So people keep details such James K. Polk was the first president to have his photograph taken while in office. Anyway to lead, you must learn to serve, this is a hallmark for a true leader.

  • We’ve had some wonderful leaders in this country who’ve instituted great changes. I don’t consider myself much of a leader though. I prefer to stay in the background quietly. lol

  • Another great post!!!! Even if I have not totally loved the last few presidents…. They really are motivational people. The stories of how they gotta where they are… Incredible….

  • As a Canadian I’ve always been interested in learning more about the US presidents. Interesting info – thanks for sharing.

  • that Ralph Waldo Emerson quote is so true. i think more of us need to try and live by it.

  • I love learning about our Presidents…there are a lot of interesting facts out there. I also can only imagine about some of the facts we don’t (and will never) know about.

  • I’ve seen some car commercials giving promo on what they call “Presidents Day’ sale while watching NBA games last week. so this is what it is all about. thanks for enlightening us about this US event.

  • Great fun facts about former Presidents. It’s great to hear some of their light moments before they even became Presidents too!~

  • It’s really great to commemorate Presidents day. It would really honor the great men and how their leadership changed the world.

  • I never got into Presidents Day, mostly because of religion reasons. However, these are some wonderful (and true) quotes!

  • I had fun reading all those presidential trivia with my kids. I am sure they will come in handy in a Trivial Pursuit game in the future. Very interesting trivia! – Fred

  • I dunno to if my previous comments were accepted. I am not a leader. I often wor on the background. -Katrinan Centeno

  • Interesting story about how the Presidents Day came about and liked all the fun facts about various presidents. Especial surprised to read about William Henry Harrison who died a few days sfter becoming because of a cold he caught while giving his inaugural speech

  • “To leave the world a better place … to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived. This is to have succeeded.” Ralph Waldo Emerson I love this quote. We so need to get back to this way of thinking. Thanks for sharing about the history of Presidents Day.

  • What we need from our leaders is respect for each and everyone. If there’s respect, I believe everything else will follow.

  • Can you imagine an anonymous vote these days? 😉 I’ve always been fascinated by the history of the presidents.

  • My husband is really smart when it comes to our presidents. He loved history and at one time wanted to be a history teacher. Myself on the other hand didn’t have a love of history class (or science) as math and the arts suited me so much better.

  • Abraham Lincoln, and other great leaders of America are truly inspiring to learn their lives and works. For them, I owed some insights with my life. I studied these great men during my college days.

  • It takes a lot of qualities to be a leader. I have always admired people with a genuine ability to engage the audience and make it follow him. Unfortunately, I am not one of them. My favorite leader is Martin Luther King.

  • This is cool info that I didn’t know about the holiday. Happy President’s Day to you!

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