Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy

August 27, 2009

by Courtney
We lost a true statesman this week. As Time Magazine said, Senator Edward Kennedy is “…one of the greatest legislators in American history.” Every form of media is covering his passing, recapturing his iconic life as a Kennedy in all its glory and controversy. For the next week much will be said about his life – Facts given and opinions shared on all his professional and personal strides and stumbles.
Of all his accomplishments that will be highlighted, it is Kennedy's overall approach to work and life that has impacted and inspired me the most. Professionally, Senator Kennedy had a thorough, three-phased approach to problem solving. When addressing an issue, he would gather a group of experts and listen to them discuss the issue from every angle. He would sit there silently, taking it all in but not making any comments until they were finished. At that point, he would begin a grueling question and answer session where he would sharpen his knowledge and begin to shape his opinion. This was Phase 1. In Phase 2, he would begin his political maneuvering, meticulously researching, influencing and assembling his diverse group of supporters. Then, in Phase 3 he would map out and execute his strategy. Simple, effective and impactful.
Personally, it is the simple things that I most admire about Ted Kennedy. He was known as a dear friend, loving uncle and compassionate person who sent “thank you” notes within 24 hours, usually on hand-painted cards. I respected and appreciated that whenever I would see him sailing in Hyannis harbor on his beloved “Mya” (which was his brother's, President John F. Kennedy), he would always wave. He did not know who we were. He had nothing to gain by taking the time and effort to wave. But he did, to every boat that passed. Genuine, kind and influential.
Rest in peace, Senator Kennedy.

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