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Presentation on theme: "NOTE: To change the image on this slide, select the picture and delete it. Then click the Pictures icon in the placeholder to insert your own image. THOUGHTS."— Presentation transcript:

1 NOTE: To change the image on this slide, select the picture and delete it. Then click the Pictures icon in the placeholder to insert your own image. THOUGHTS ON EXCELLENCE – JOHN W. GARDNER Jeremy L. McLaughlin LIBR Fall 2014 San Jose State University iSchool

2 John W. Gardner – An exceptional life Born: – Presidential Medal of Freedom 1966 – Public Welfare Medal (National Academy of Sciences) 1935 – B.S. Stanford 1936 – M.S. Stanford 1938 – PhD Berkeley – Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (Johnson) (Great Society) 1970 – Founded Common Cause 2000 – John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities established at Stanford 1984 – Stanford University Degree of Uncommon Man 1985 – Establishment of The John Gardner Fellowship Program at Stanford and Berkeley Died: 2002 WWII – U.S. Marine Corps Captain, early part of war with the Latin American section of the Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service 1955 – President – Carnegie Corp of New York and Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching 1980 – Founded Independent Sector 1973 – S. Roger Horchow Award for Greatest Public Service by a Private Citizen 1976 – Distinguished Achievement Medal of the Stanford Athletic Board 1978 – Commission on White House Fellows

3 Books Published Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? (1961) To Turn the Tide (1962) Self-Renewal: The Individual and Innovative Society (1964) No Easy Victories (1968) The Recovery of Confidence (1970) In Common Cause (1972) Morale (1978) Quotations of Wit and Wisdom (1980) Toward a Pluralistic But Coherent Society (1980) Cooperation and Conflict: The Public and Private Sectors in Higher Education (1985) On Leadership (1990) Living, Leading, and the American Dream (2003 Anthology)

4 Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? The big questions (written 1961): - Does every young American have a “right” to a college education? -Is it possible to achieve excellence if you don’t believe in anything? - Have Americans lost a sense of purpose and the drive to achieve excellence? Strive for both equality and excellence at all levels of society – be good at the common good. The importance of youth development, the cultivation of citizen leaders, and the conditions under which excellence is possible. Being free does not mean being complacent….nothing could be more hazardous to freedom. On the other hand, this does not mean excellence is owed to anyone or should be easy. On the contrary, it should be sought by every free person for the betterment of ourselves, our organizations, and our society.

5 Excellence: Can We Be Equal and Excellent Too? “the kinds of equality that can and must be honored, and the kinds that cannot be forced.” (p. xi). “the difficult, puzzling, delicate, and important business of toning up a whole society, of bringing a whole people to that fine edge of morale and conviction and zest that makes for greatness” (xiii). “We don't even know what skills may be needed in the years ahead. That is why we must train our young people in the fundamental fields of knowledge, and equip them to understand and cope with change. That is why we must give them the critical qualities of mind and durable qualities of character that will serve them in circumstances we cannot now even predict” (p. 35).

6 Gardner’s 6 Qualities of Leaders Think longer term Grasp relationship to larger realities (larger context) Reach and influence constituents beyond jurisdiction Intangibles of vision, value, motivation/Non-rational and unconscious aspects of leader-constituent interaction Can cope with multiple constituencies Think in terms of renewal – the next generations How John W. Gardner Inspires a New Generation of Leaders -

7 His Legacy – Words to lead by

8 His Legacy – Words to laugh by "If you set as your goal the unmasking of hypocrites, you will be ladling up the ocean with a teaspoon. Perhaps you have something more productive to work on." --Personal Journals "If a journalist had been present at the Sermon on the Mount, the caption in the morning papers would have read, 'Cleric Sees Take- over By Meek.'" --Personal Journals

9 His Legacy – Words to live by

10 References and Meme/Image Sources Gardner, J. W. (1961). Excellence: Can we be equal and excellent too?. WW Norton & Company. PBS. (2001). John Gardner: Uncommon American. Companion website. Accessed October 7, Stanford University. (2012). How John Gardner Inspires a New Generation of Leaders. YouTube. Accessed October 8,


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