107 years ago today, Theodore Roosevelt delivered a speech called “Citizenship In A Republic” at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France. In that speech, he included a section known as “The Man in the Arena.”
To this day, it remains my favorite Roosevelt speech because it reminds me of my time in the military and the years I spent improving manufacturing businesses. As a leader, I’ve always felt like the man in the arena and not the critic in the stands. Take a look and let me know what you think.
The Man in the Arena
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.