Athlete, Gymnast and Politician: What We Can Learn from His Side of the Desk

Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State


1.  Never give up – this may seem obvious, but, at the same time, is so hard to forget, especially when trouble and bad times hit.  Although Jesse was told that he would not be able to become Secretary of State, he did.  When he was told he could not root out the corruption and make improvements to the office, he did.
2.  Hope can be found anywhere – if you were to tell most people that starting a gymnastics tumbling team would bring hope to thousands of kids in underprivileged areas of a city like Chicago, you might think the idea was crazy.  However, Jesse White saw the possibilities and has turned it into one of the premiere programs in the country.
3.  Discharge your duties to the best of your ability – even if you fail, at least you would have given it your all.   If you cannot do this one thing, then nothing you accomplish will mean much of anything.  And if you do take a job, be sure you are willing and capable of performing the duties required.
4.  Be passionate about your work – if there is one thing that constituents of Illinois can say about Jesse White is that he is passionate.  He is passionate about the Jesse White Tumblers.  He is passionate about being Secretary of State.  He is passionate about organ and tissue donation.  He has turned those passions into his daily job and incorporated them into his office to make sure he can focus on them every day.
5.  Be thankful – Secretary White repeatedly thanks the people of Illinois who have elected him and re-elected him several times.  By doing so, he has made improvements that they have appreciated and, in turn, have continued to put their trust in him and re-elect him time and again.  By the end of his most recent term, he will be the longest-serving Secretary of State in Illinois history.

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