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Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way

Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way

Timeless Strategies from the First Lady of Courage

by Robin Gerber


“Women, whether subtly or vociferously, have always been a tremendous power in the destiny of the world”

- Eleanor Roosevelt


  • Decisiveness & bold action. Character built on firm values

  • Support for the leadership of others

  • UN delegate

  • She firmly believed and constantly advocated that women’s leadership was important in every sphere. She saw her life as a continual process of breaking down barriers and moving towards new and greater goals.Her strategy and her strength came through leadership and through refining her ideas about motivating others in the pursuit of mutual goals and passions.

  • She pushed ahead with projects that would make real change in people’s lives

  • She did radio broadcasts (podcasts) gave countless speeches and she never stopped promoting opportunities for women.

  • Eleanor came to belly that learning and growing, remaining curious, and being open to change were essential elements of leadership

  • Her ability to motivate those around her to take responsibility and work for change

  • Leadership is out change

  • Although many aspects of society must change for women to achieve true equality of opportunity, women can start my making personal change.

  • We can work to develop and exercise our leadership to achieve our individual visions of change

  • I hope it will encourage you to act, to challenge yourself, to believe enough in your dreams to turn them into reality. I hope you will discover, or further develop, the leadership you already possess. All of us can be leaders.

  • The first step towards leadership is taking personal responsibility.

  • We are personally responsible for who we become, who we choose to be.


“Today is a challenge for women… tomorrow will see how (you) answer the challenge!”


  • You don’t have to be special to lead a special life

  • Her leadership revolved around building larger and larger circles of followers and collaborators. She joined countless organisations, multiplying her ability to influence other,find allies and take leadership.

  • Her greatest leadership strength - her ability to connect with other people. The ability to motivate other people, to move them towards an idea or vision.

  • Leadership is a learning process


“In leadership, at its finest, the leader symbolises the best in the community, the best in its traditions, values and purpose”

  • As we develop leadership skills, we all need mentors to guide and support us

  • Your mentor is out there waiting to help. With focus and persistence, you will find her and others who will help you develop as a leader.

  • You can do anything you have to do - get out and try

  • You do not and cannot control others. In fact, the harder, you try to change other people’s behaviour, to make them act as you think they should, the less successful you will be.

  • Nothing ever happens to us except what happens in our minds

  • She focused on her own growth.

  • The influence you exert is through your own life and what you become yourself

  • The one person she could change was herself.

  • Leadership starts with self-leadership, with truly understanding yourself in every circumstance and finding your sources of strength.

  • You will get stronger as you successfully negotiate the hard points of life, but only if you take action.

  • Leaders choose action over inaction; they choose to heal, recover, and move forward with life

  • You must be willing to work, “with the forces of change”

  • You cannot avoid your share of personal challenges, difficulties and disasters. It is how you handle them that will determine how your leadership develops

  • Understand you cannot change or control others; you can only change and control yourself.

  • Search for optimism and affirmation in even the darkest experiences.

  • Finding your leadership passion or mission means being true to your nature. It means finding your “certain thing” as Eleanor did.

  • You can be a leader in many venues and in many ways, but you will find your greatest opportunities for leadership when you have found the job, issue, situation, or cause that touches you deeply. When you do (and if you try hard enough, you will), your power to lead will flourish. You will get a greater understanding of yourself, other people and the world.

  • What you are passionate about may change over time.

  • Eleanor would repeatedly choose to follow her ideals despite the repercussions she faced.