At a very young age, George Washington Carver took a strong grip on his destiny. This dynamic leader prevailed over getting born without a name into slavery, overcoming poverty, and prejudice to commit his life in helping others achieve a better livelihood. Through his actions, he was able to earn high levels of respect of self-worth, dignity, honor, and infinite achievement. Booker T. Washington was the first president and principal of the Tuskegee Institute in 1896. Booker T. Washington sent an invitation to George W. Carver to reside over the Agriculture Department. For 47 years Carver developed, taught, and applied constant research in working to develop several methods from using crop-based materials. Carver was the innovator of going green. Through his tenure he worked with two additional college presidents that supported the zealous work of Carver.
His discovering and teaching methods of crop rotation while introducing several alternative money crops for farmers that simultaneously improving the soil of heavily cultivated cotton fields would motivate and inspire many Black students to follow suite in his techniques. (Kouzes & Posner, 2009) “A leader’s dynamic does not come from special powers. It comes from a strong belief in a purpose and a willingness to express that conviction.” In leadership, Carver designed a mobile classroom that brought education to the fields of the farmers. His so-called ‘Jesup wagon’ (named after Morris Ketchum Jesup), well honored for Mr. Jesup a philanthropist and New York financier fully supported and funded the program.
Carver had many duties as an administrator, such as administer the
Agriculture Experiment Station Farms. He manages the sale and production of farm products that generated revenues for the institute. His academic career as a teacher and researcher was stellar. What made Carver different from other professors and administrators is his determination to fulfill what he believed to be right. There were many times Booker T. Washington would voice his frustrations through letters to Carver because to the way he would administer his duties, Washington would always praise Carver for the great discoveries and hard work that has taken place. (G.W. Carver, 2011) Education is the key to unlock the golden door of opportunity.” This is how his leadership is different from the rest.
He proves exactly what he stated to his life. His work became very high profile because of his more than 300 uses for peanuts, pecans, sweet potatoes and soybeans with the majority of his accomplishments of conquering the mundane. Every invention came after hours during peaceful nature walks, observing, and later testing in his laboratory. After Carver came to success, he did not cite ingenuity, though he was very blessed with it. On the contrary, he remarked that 99% of the failures come about people who have the habit of making excuses. Carver also well notes that, “When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world” pg. 143 of Frontage Magazine.
George W. Carver is someone whom many can only look up too when problems come into our lives for comparison sake. Carver beats the odds so well that his name should never had been heard of. His mission, determination, and story defy the odds. Being born into slavery a raider kidnapped him as an infant, and was not expected to live past the age of 21 because of poor health and being a Black scientist in the harsh times of racial segregation is beyond the norm. After the death of Carver, the United States Government erected the first national monument to honor someone other that a president.
Effective Leader – Common Measures
George W. Carver was best known in his time as a man of faith who believes in God as science as a gift from God. He would constantly acknowledge that his work was inspired by the works of God and God’s inspiring, and guiding him in his work. When those who wanted things from Carver such as his secrets without the desire to work for the knowledge, Carvers replay would be, ‘God refuses to reveal the secrets of the humankind and the universe.
Within the readings and teachings of the text, Carver proves his effective leadership skills for success present. To be a leader whom everyone will want to immolate, it takes the extraordinary levels of strong will, determination, someone who can listen and follow, and the ability effectively to move those whom you lead in a positive direction fostering a successful outcome.
Carver’s faith was his concern of character that his students whom he regularly taught would follow a set of cardinal virtues:
● Do not look up the rich nor down to the poor
● Be clean both inside and out
● Win without bragging
● Lose if needed but without squealing
● Be too brave to lie
● Always be considerate of women, children, and other people
● Be too generous to cheat
● Take your share of the world and let others take theirs. The world needs more women and men like George Washington Carver – people who cannot complain, strive hard and overcome adversity while focusing on the finish line ahead. Everyone does not possess the skill and knowledge of George Washington Carver but he has left us a milestone of character traits that can allow us to use as a guide while striving to achieve our goals here in this life. I like what Langston Hughes states on page 159 of Through the Fire, “Hold fast to dreams, for it dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” This goes back to how George Washington Carver spoke about excuses; they are just that, an excuse to fail. Live right, stay positive, follow the plan, persevere, and finish the race, you will for sure win.
Carver, G. W. (2011). Greatest Leaders of America History. Frontage Magazine, 32(4), 112 – 113. p.113 Kauzes, J., & Posner, B. (2009, April). See what
today will bring when you are done thinking. Whole and Complete Places, 8(13), 78 -84. p.83 Livingstrom, J. T. (1974). Through the Fire (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Harper Collins. p.154
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