Leadership and History: James Polk
Learn how the vision and clear objectives set by James K. Polk made America a nation that stretched from sea to shining sea.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Leadership and History: James Polk
Manifest Destiny was the buzzword during the Age of
Jackson. Many of his endeavors during his term were bent
around shaping this vision to fruition.
It was this vision that helped drive his administration and
every effort and decision made under his reign.
This is the primary use of vision, to guide all efforts of a team
through indirect ways of influence.
Polk executed this formation of a vision extremely well.
Have a Vision
Upon entering the presidency, Polk had four clear and
• Extend the United States from Sea to Shining Sea by
Acquiring California and New Mexico
• Resolve the Oregon Boundary Dispute
• Reduce Tariffs
• Establish the Independent Treasury System
Set Clear Goals
Polk firmly claimed victory on all four of these objectives by
the close of his single term.
Not only did he avoid war with Britain by refusing to act on
the anti-British fervor of the time, but he also launched a
successful territorial campaign against Mexico to obtain the
California and New Mexico territories he had planned to
obtain from the start of his presidency.
Vigorously Pursue Them
Shortly after the end of his single term, Polk suffered from
debilitating diarrhea and died.
It is said that he worked himself to death during his office
and that, after ceasing this level of work, his body no longer
had the will to go on.
His track record of long hours during his presidency make this
No Substitute for Hard
While this interpretation of the historical record is up for
debate, one does not have to work to the death to
accomplish great things.
Certainly having a balance between work and personal
pursuits create a clarity in the direction on pursues daily.
However, there inevitably is no substitute for old fashioned
rolling up of one’s sleeves.
Read this excellent book about the times of Manifest Destiny
and how our nation that stretches from sea to shining sea
came to be: