Byron's Babbles

Leading Audaciously!

Posted in Coaching, Education, Education Reform, Leadership by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on July 3, 2014

Dont TreadAs I write this post it is the eve of July 4th, 2014. I have had some incredible Fourth of July Celebrations, such as being the Grand Marshal of Lebanon, Indiana’s Fourth of July Parade in 2010. To read about that experience click here. This year, however, my family and I are spending the Fourth of July in our Nation’s Capitol. I am so excited that we will be watching the fireworks from the Washington Mall in view of all the monuments of our great leaders. Many people are writing and talking about doing audacious things these days, but what does that really mean.

In thinking about what it means to lead audaciously, I reflected on our founding fathers. Now there was some audacious leadership! These audacious leaders defied convention and stepped beyond the ‘norms.’ They provided us out of the box solutions for a group of colonies made up of people looking for something a little different. When we have the courage to live out our convictions, Walk the Talk,  we lead the way for others to do the same. In other words we are serving as trail blazers. Audacious Leadership works with people to make the changes within themselves to affect and create social change for the world around them. We are all far more audacious and powerful than we think we are. What would you do that would be considered audacious if you knew you could?

Signing of Declaration of Independence

Signing of Declaration of Independence

Even though the first Fourth of July happened in Philadelphia, not Washington D.C., and did not have any fireworks or really any signing ceremony to speak of; I am still in awe of the audacity of the leaders involved on that historic day! Really, not much is known about the day except that on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress was meeting in Philadelphia. It debated whether to adopt the Declaration of Independence. The delegates had come from the 13 original states. Many things, including the Stamp Act and other taxation without representation, to lead up to this point. Originally, the colonists thought boycotting British products would cause change. We all know, however, that even the Boston Tea Party was not audacious even to effect social change.

Printed Material Stamp

Printed Material Stamp

So, on June 7, 1776, the 2nd Continental Congress met and debated whether to break ties with Great Britain. The separation seemed likely, so the Congress assigned a committee to write an explanation of the decision. As we know, this committee then gave the job of writing to Thomas Jefferson.

Thomas Jefferson took two weeks to write the Declaration of Independence, so on July 4, 1776, Congress voted to adopt. John Hancock immediately signed in large print to signify his bold statement of committing treason. Pretty audacious, don’t you think? Then on August 4, 1776 the rest of Congress signed the Declaration of Independence.

I am truly in awe of the audacity of these leaders. They lead our nation to independence. That is about as anti-status-quo as you can get. Thomas Jefferson captured the ideals of the United states in writing. Those words inspired the original Patriots who audaciously fought against insurmountable odds. They have also inspired movements of Americans against slavery, for civil rights, for women’s rights, for education reform, and social justice in not only America, but around the globe.

On this July 4th I invite you to celebrate the audacity of our Founding Fathers and challenge you to lead audaciously to bring about social change for the people of our great nation and the peoples around the world! Happy Fourth of July!

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  1. […] our country’s founding and independence, which I reflected on in yesterday’s post Leading Audaciously, I continue to reflect on what this holiday means to us as the luckiest of leaders. We too should […]


  2. Authenticity 101 | Byron's Babbles said, on June 9, 2015 at 8:21 pm

    […] I have blogged about this before using my heroes the Wright Brothers as the example. Click here to read that post. Inman explains that when we dream big, we invite all of our saboteurs in for a […]


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