“Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR, was the thirty-second President of the United States. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms. A central figure of the 20th century during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war, he has consistently been ranked as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents in scholarly surveys.
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Roosevelt created the New Deal to provide relief for the unemployed, recovery of the economy, and reform of the economic and banking systems. Although recovery of the economy was incomplete until almost 1940, many programs initiated in the Roosevelt administration continue to have instrumental roles in the nation’s commerce, such as the FDIC, TVA, and the SEC. One of his most important legacies is the Social Security system.”
“The New Deal had three components: direct relief, economic recovery, and financial reform. These goals were also called the ‘Three Rs.’”
- “Relief was the immediate effort to help the one-third of the population most affected by the depression.
- Recovery was the effort in many programs to restore normal economic health.
- Reform was based on the idea that the Great Depression was caused by market instability and that government intervention was necessary to balance the interests of farmers, business and labor.”
President Roosevelt was a man of great accomplishment:
- Domestically—“On the homefront his term saw the vast expansion of industry, the achievement of full employment, restoration of prosperity and new opportunities opened for African-Americans and women.”
- Internationally, At War—Additionally, during World War II, “Roosevelt…provided decisive leadership against Nazi Germany and made the United States the principal arms supplier and financier of the Allies who later, alongside the United States, defeated Germany, Italy and Japan.”
- Internationally, At Peace—“Roosevelt played a critical role in shaping the post-war world, particularly through the Yalta Conference and the creation of the United Nations.”
- Personally—FDR showed amazing courage and was determined to regain use of his legs (that had been laid waste from the disease polio) through swimming.
(adapted from Wikipedia)
Wow, what an amazing President!
FDR was the impedemy of a doer and fighter. When the world was in chaos, whether from the Great Depression, World War II, or on a personal level when he contracted Polio at age 39, he came out with a plan and acted on it—whether the war he was fighting was povery and social ills, fascism and totalitarianism, or personal illness—FDR was a man of action and achievement, and this country was the great beneficiary.
FDR “brought hope as he promised prompt, vigorous action, and asserted in his Inaugural Address, ‘the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’” (http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/fr32.html)
FDR is a role model for leadership, but to me, he is also a paradigm for User-centric EA. Why? EA done correctly is not only about having a plan OR about taking action, but rather it is about developing a sound plan AND executing on it the way FDR did over and over again over 4 terms as President. He came up with the plan for the New Deal and successfully executed it, so that 75 years later many elements are still fundamental to our system of social and economic policy and administration. Also, FDR came up with a plan to defeat the Axis in WWII and he with Winston Churchill led us to success. Unfortunately, no amount of planning or execution could successfully fight Polio before the discovery of a vaccine by Jonas Salk.
In summary, EA is not only about planning and governance, but it’s about helping the organization to execute and achieve on its plan. EA does this by developing the transition plan, which logically sequences incremental change for the organization, as well as by working closely with leadership, subject matter experts and stakeholders to actually guide and influence positive change.
All EA practitioners can learn to plan and execute from the master, FDR!