The Presidential Leadership Scholars Class of 2015 Graduates

PLSThe Miles Foundation has been honored to be a part of the inaugural Presidential Leadership Scholars program, the first collaboration of its kind between four presidential centers: the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the Clinton Foundation, the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation. On Thursday, July 9, 2015, the first class of Scholars graduated at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas. The Presidential Leadership Scholars program brought together 60 individuals from across the United States and various sectors, including private, public, non-profit, military, and academia. Launched in February 2015, the program focused on developing the Scholars’ leadership skills through a series of visits to the partnering presidential centers, as well as a kick-off meeting at Mount Vernon. Throughout the program, participants were given the opportunity to glean insights from former presidents, key administration officials, and leading academics – in addition to networking with their peers.

President George W. Bush, President Bill Clinton, and Mark Cuban spoke at the graduation ceremony. Presidents Bush and Clinton shared many insights about leadership, growth, collaboration, and change. Mark Cuban had one of the most memorable quotes of the evening, in response to a question about how to face a leadership setback. He said, “You think for a second, ‘What can I change?’; you think for another second, ‘What have I learned so I can do it differently next time?’; and then you move forward.”

Certainly an attitude of ongoing learning, adaptation, and resiliency is a trait these Scholars share, and one that will help them continue to make a difference in their respective businesses and communities. Their final send-off assignment was to begin implementing the personal leadership project they designed while participating in the program, which will require innovation, adaptation, and iteration. As exemplified by Mr. Cuban, moving forward – in spite of obstacles – distinguishes the best leaders from the rest.

We wish the exceptional leaders of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program the best of luck in their future endeavors, and are grateful to have been a small part of this historical inaugural program.

To watch the full 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholars graduation ceremony, click here.