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Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

Gabrielle Giffords: The Courage and Wisdom to Step Back


This past weekend, I watched one of the more moving and inspirational videos I've seen in awhile. It's this two minute announcement from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that she is resigning from Congress this week. It's been just over a year since a gunman shot Giffords in the head and almost killed her at a constituent meet and greet outside an Arizona supermarket. Since then, her recovery has been beyond remarkable.

The video clearly shows how far she's come.

As reported in the Washington Post, there was a lot of speculation and hope that Giffords would run for reelection or perhaps even run for the Senate. Her fundraising was strong and the polling suggested she could have easily kept her seat in Congress.

She sorted through all that and concluded that her ongoing recovery was her first and most important priority. She had the courage to say no and the wisdom to step back from short term opportunities to devote her time and attention to the longer term. When you watch the video, it's clear that she intends to return to public life at some point. I hope she does. For now, though, I have enormous admiration and respect for a leader with remarkable courage and the wisdom to act on her priorities.

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

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