I recently completed several books and articles about George Washington. This was a great study that reminded me of the important fundamentals of character and leadership.
One new thing I learned was Washington had a colossal temper. Yet, he effectively mastered self-restraint to exercise power wisely. He would lose his temper on occasion, but these were the exceptions to his standard gentlemanly behavior.
How was he able to master his temper? It had to do with his character – getting knowledge from his head to his heart. By age 16, he had hand-copied “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation”. This was a set of rules carefully crafted by French Jesuits in the late 1500s.
I believe Washington internalized these rules, which developed his character, and in turn equipped him to master his temper. The 110 Rules are a fascinating and interesting read.
Here is a link: “110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation”