Great Leaders from Loss

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Many of the world’s great leaders have gained their wisdom and strength by experiencing personal loss. Bryant describes his favorite leaders, those who have weathered the storm and succeeded.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s perseverance through crippling polio led him to a four-term presidency. He steered America through the toughest times of economic depression and fascism.

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) founder Candice Lightner founded her life-saving cause after the loss of her teenage daughter to a drunk driver.

As a student leader during the South African apartheid regime, Leslie Maasdorp spent 13 months in jail. He managed to earn his degree and later lead post-apartheid South Africa in restructuring and privatizing state-owned enterprises.

Brazilian Rodrigo Hubner Mendes founded the Rodrigo Mendes Institute, a visual arts school dedicated to helping low-income minorities and people with disabilities. Mendes’ own loss of mobility after being shot drove his passion to help others.

Former President Bill Clinton’s well-publicized personal and political setbacks made him a strong and extraordinary global humanitarian leader post-presidency.

Dr. Martin Luther King never gave up, even when threatened personally. “Once you cope with that fear of death, you don’t have to fear nothing else.” He gave his “I Have a Dream” speech 100 times before the historical march on Washington, D.C.

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