Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Roosevelt Room

Theodore Roosevelt

Harvard graduate, naturalist, historian, author, New York state assemblyman, rancher, deputy sheriff, Civil Service Commissioner, New York City Police Commissioner, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, commanding officer of the “Rough Riders,” war hero, Governor of New York, Vice President, and President of the United States – what a list of accomplishments! Theodore Roosevelt achieved all of this by the time he reached 42 years of age.

A rising young politician, Theodore Roosevelt unexpectedly became the 26th president of the United States in September 1901, after the assassination of William McKinley. His time in this role brought much needed energy to the White House. As a result, Roosevelt went on to serve a second term in 1904. During his time as President, Roosevelt confronted a struggle between management and labor. Due to his work to break up industrial combinations under the Sherman Antitrust Act, he became known as the great “trust buster.” Additionally, Roosevelt was also a strict conservationist. He set aside roughly 200 million acres to be used as national forests, reserves and wildlife refuges. Roosevelt also won a Nobel Peace Prize. He was given this honor for his negotiations to end the Russo-Japanese War and begin construction on the Panama Canal.

So what does this have to do with Interstates? And why does Interstates have a meeting room named after Theodore Roosevelt? Surprisingly, many of Roosevelt’s leadership principles align with our own Leadership Model.

The Right Kind of Smart

Interstates leaders strive to be both “book smart” and “street smart.” At the end of the day, the result of our work is a successfully running industrial plant. The result of our leadership is a company that is built to last and teams that live out our values.  Theodore Roosevelt exemplified both of these characteristics. Harvard graduate and cattle rancher?  Naturalist and “Rough Rider”? Enough said!

Living With Purpose

Living with purpose is knowing who you are, what your “North Star” is, how you will make decisions, and what your unique contribution will be. Interstates leaders strive to live authentic lives and serve others. Roosevelt also lived with a deep sense of purpose. From his early days as politician, he fought for the common man. Even though he was the product of a wealthy family, he often sided with labor over business. His experiences in the West taught him that the purity needed to be preserved, leading him to set aside what we know today as many of our beloved National Parks.  He built up our country’s Navy in a time of extreme isolationism. All of these things point to Roosevelt living out what he believed was his true purpose. Now that’s leading the Interstates way!


Jaron VandeHoef, Interstates Business Development


Check out our previous Leadership Series posts:

1) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Wythe Room

2) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Lincoln Room

3) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Marshall Room

4) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Wooden Huddle

5) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Franken Board Room

6) Leadership Series: Inspiration Behind the Barrett Hangar


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