…. let it be known that a fact is authentic, & what is it’s exact character, & then we may act on real & not hypothetical ground. the real facts arising will occupy all our time. if we spend any in hypothetical discussions, we shall want time for real business.
Source: To Robert Smith, August 14, 1801
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
Focused leaders devote time to what is, not what could be.
Smith was Secretary of Navy and involved in discussions with Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison concerning ships captured by other nations and brought to American ports. There was general agreement to prohibit all such “prizes” by all nations. Yet, foreign ambassadors, reading rumors about these prizes in the newspapers, were asking what American policy would be if these accounts were true.
Jefferson addressed this issue here. He did not want spend time on what might be. If they did, they would not have time to deal with what was.
“… your command of Mr. Jefferson’s persona and mind
and your facility in answering complex questions were impressive.”
Chair, The Louisiana Purchase Bicentennial 3 Flags Festival
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Originally posted at http://ThomasJeffersonLeadership.com
The Moral Liberal Thomas Jefferson Editor, Patrick Lee, is a professional speaker, actor and writer. Since 1990, he has inspired, entertained and educated audiences from Maine to Hawaii with his authentic, first person leadership presentations as President Thomas Jefferson, Frontiersman Daniel Boone, and Lewis & Clark Co-Leader William Clark. He also appears as himself, The Hopeful Humorist™, with a program of motivational humor, patriotism and inspiration.