What makes a leader influential – his position or his ideas?
Thomas Jefferson was a real smart guy with a white wig who believed that ideas are more influential than positions and titles.
And he was kinda influential in early America. Here are some of his accomplishments:
– 1783 Elected delegate to Congress
– 1790 Appointed 1st United States Secretary of State
– 1797 Elected United States Vice President
– 1801 Elected United States President
– 1805 Doubled the size of America with the Louisiana Purchase
But, why was Jefferson influential – because of his titles or his ideas?
TJ wanted to be remembered for what he thought were his 3 greatest accomplishments. All three had more to do with intellectual ideas than political positions. Jefferson’s tombstone listed these top 3 accomplishments:
“Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and father of the University of Virginia.”
Jefferson was more impressed with his ideas in the Declaration of Independence, his ideas of religious freedom and the founding of a university – than with any of
his elected political positions.
Jefferson knew that ideas change the world and he wanted to be remembered for his ideas, not his positions.
What do you want to be remembered for?