I recently spent a day exploring George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate in Virginia. I toured his home, walked his gardens, and visited his tomb where I had the rare opportunity to read his Prayer For His Country. Some assorted impressions and lessons from my visit.
After visiting Washington’s home, and seeing first-hand where and how he lived and what he thought was important, I’ve come to the conclusion that character was his single most important quality as a leader. Washington decided early in his life that his social behavior, his ethics and integrity, were essential for everyday life. His character, I believe, is what carried him through a life of leadership that continues to encourage us today.
As always, I found a good book to read. The Unexpected George Washington: His Private Life, by Harlow Giles Unger, provides personal insights into Washington’s life as a private man and as a leader that I had never read in other materials.