“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” — USA Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

This week in the United States of America, there is the traditional “4th of July” holiday, celebrating the writing of the Declaration of Independence.

As I thought about the meaning of this holiday, I was inspired to read similar documents from other countries.  Here is a small sample of quotes.

Constitution of South Africa, Chapter 2, Bill of Rights.
Section 9: everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and the benefit of the law. Prohibited grounds of discrimination include race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth.

The Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Article 19.2.3 Man and woman shall enjoy equal rights and freedoms and have equal possibilities to exercise them.

The Constitution of the United Mexican States.
Article 1. Discrimination based on ethical or national origin as well as discrimination based on gender, age, disabilities of any kind, social status, health condition, religious opinions, preferences of any kind, civil status or any other reason which attempts against human dignity and which is directed to either cancel or restrain the individuals’ privileges and immunities shall be prohibited.

Words like these are not written into a constitution unless there is a fundamental need to establish clarity in what we aspire to be.

As leaders, we must hold high aspirations about the way we want to see the world and communicate those ideas with clarity.

Most importantly, we must act to make those self-evident truths evident not just in words, but in how we lead.  Our words and actions influence the people and the world around us to also rise to those aspirations.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett
You may also like:

Endurance Is Not Always a Virtue

I have seen leaders show great endurance in leading marathon projects. They are putting in marathon hours. The sweat sheen on them and their teams is obvious, even heroic.

Do You Need a Win?

A client wrote to me recently with a note that said simply “I need a win.” Have you been there, where it feels like you have faced a sudden losing streak and quite simply there is a need for a win? I have. I expect Elon Musk is looking for one with Tesla.

The Reader’s Edge

The exceptional leaders are voracious consumers of information. They listen to audio books, they read books, they seek out others to hear their stories. The things they read spans multiple genres, time periods, and cultures.


"Ritual is important to us as human beings. It ties us to our traditions and our histories." — Miller Williams, Poet My wife and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. Even though real work of building a life together happens in the minutes and hours between...


"Welcome to Sherwood!" — Robin Hood Father's Day was a delight for me. My family treated me a number of fun things. I was served breakfast in a hammock. I was treated to a delicious cold milkshake at a local ice-cream shop. My daughter and I have a plan to go buy some...


"I have never had to face anything that could overwhelm the native optimism and stubborn perseverance I was blessed with. " — Sonia Sotomayor One of my best clients and I were enjoying the start of our day at a local coffee cafe. We covered a range of topics and one...


"Language is the means of getting an idea from my brain into yours without surgery. " — Mark Amidon The Washington DC zoo has this very interesting roulette-style wheel located just past the cheetah exhibit. You spin the wheel to find out if you caught your prey, your...


"A strategic inflection point is a time in the life of a business when its fundamentals are about to change. that change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end." — Andrew Grover There are a wave of...


"Even though it is not always easy… being a planetary scientist is one of the coolest jobs on the planet!" — Elizabeth (Zibi) Turtle   Imagine exploring Titan! And to be clear, I am not referring to the planet Titan of Thanos (Avengers), I am referring to a...

Making the Leap

Paradigm leaps take need, courage, and sweat. You will notice a different look and feel to the newsletter this week. Earlier this year, I became unsatisfied with a few key things and decided to make some changes.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This