Masthead header

Harry Truman

FULL NAME: Harry S. Truman 

LIFESPAN: 88 years (1884 – 1972) 

TERM: 33rd President (D) 1945 – 1953

DUTIFUL - performing without hesitation the duties expected or required of one. Devoted, faithful, committed, honorable; responsible, accountable, reliable, dependable. 

Actions really do speak louder than words. Some leaders, and politicians in particular, have a reputation for speaking empty words; they say great things but don’t follow through. When leaders don’t do what they’ve promised, it leads to distrust and disillusionment. Dutiful leaders are dependable and have a strong sense of responsibility; they are accountable for their commitments, no matter how difficult.


UNDAUNTED - not giving way to fear; undismayed, intrepid, resolute, steadfast, undiscouraged. 

Strong and successful leaders are not easily daunted, swayed, or deterred. They are firm and decisive, able to hold their ground and make difficult decisions regardless of opposition. Undaunted leaders remain steadfast, and persevere in the face of adversity, allowing them to lead with confidence and equanimity.


EFFECTIVE - focusing on and accomplishing that which is most important; making good use of resources; productive, efficient, capable, competent, skillful. 

Truly effective leaders focus on pursuing and achieving their most important goals. They place more value on the quality of performance than on quantity of work done. Efficient and competent, effective leaders make good use of their resources and get a lot done, while identifying and focusing on highest priorities and leading their people to achieve what matters most.


VIRTUOUS - possessing a strong sense of morality; honest, principled, upright, just, fair-minded. 

Not only does ethical and moral behavior help keep leaders and their followers out of trouble, but it also lays a foundation of trustworthiness critical for honest communication and relationship building. Virtuous leaders with a reputation of integrity and of being fair-minded receive greater opportunities and ultimately go further than those deemed untrustworthy or unprincipled.

“A pessimist is one who makes difficulties of his opportunities and an optimist is one
who makes 
opportunities of his difficulties.”


“In reading the lives of great men, I found that the first victory they won
was over themselves... self-discipline with all of them came first.” 


“In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous,
skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”


More Quotes >>

Harry Truman Presidential Library & Museum



LOCATION: Independence, MO

OPENED: July 6, 1957


E x p l o r e