lessons from old country

Donna Shalala – Lessons from the Old Country

by Bernie Swain
I was a Kennedy Kid.  I was a nineteen-year-old sophomore at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio when John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960. JFK was young and charismatic, energetic and idealistic. In his inauguration speech in January 1961, he famously said: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” I felt as if he was speaking directly to me, and I took his challenge to heart. Peace … Continue reading "Donna Shalala – Lessons from the Old Country"

chief of staff reagan

James Baker III – Did I Make Them Proud?

by Bernie Swain
James Baker III is an American statesman and attorney. He served as White House Chief of Staff and the United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, and as U.S. Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush. He is the best of what we want in a public statesman. He is the man who made Washington work. He is what Donald Trump can use now. I’m a product of Texas. … Continue reading "James Baker III – Did I Make Them Proud?"

what made me who I am

The Most Powerful Lessons In Life

by Bernie Swain
We receive and absorb good advice and lessons about life and success from countless resources: business executives, thought leaders, and achievers of all kinds. These lessons go a long way to supplying us with the experience and knowledge of others that we can use in our own lives.  A general sampling of those lessons includes (1) lead by example, (2) focus on what is important, (3) be positive, (4) accept failure and adversity as part of learning, and (5) embrace … Continue reading "The Most Powerful Lessons In Life"

Senator Edward M. Kennedy

Melody Barnes – A Life That Was Well Lived

by Bernie Swain
As a lawyer and political advisor, Melody Barnes served as an aide and chief counsel to Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy. She also worked on the 2008 Obama campaign and was appointed the Director of Domestic Policy Council. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia. My family was middle-class, and I had a happy childhood. But growing up African-American in the South I was always aware of those who came before me and paved the way. I think about my parents and … Continue reading "Melody Barnes – A Life That Was Well Lived"

Mike McCurry: Using Humor and Honesty to Defuse Tension

by Bernie Swain
Mike McCurry, press secretary during the tumultuous Clinton years, shares how humor is a humanizing and unifying force, capable of defusing tension and rebooting a discussion. I was born in Charleston, South Carolina. My Dad, William “Joe” McCurry was a country boy, but was also the first in his family to go to college. My Mom, Rosemary, grew up on a farm south of Indianapolis, in the little town of Franklin, Indiana. Faith was important in our family. We were … Continue reading "Mike McCurry: Using Humor and Honesty to Defuse Tension"