Willingness to Serve
Franklin Roosevelts closest adviser during much of his presidency was a man named Harry Hopkins. During World War II, when his influence with Roosevelt was at its peak, Hopkins held no official Cabinet position. Moreover, Hopkinss closeness to Roosevelt caused many to regard him as a shadowy, sinister figure. As a result he was a major political liability to the President.
A political foe once asked Roosevelt, “Why do you keep Hopkins so close to you? You surely realize that people distrust him and resent his influence.” Roosevelt replied, “Someday you may well be sitting here where I am now as President of the United States. And when you are, youll be looking at that door over there and knowing that practically everybody who walks through it wants something out of you. Youll learn what a lonely job this is, and youll discover the need for somebody like Harry Hopkins, who asks for nothing except to serve you.”
Winston Churchill rated Hopkins as one of the half-dozen most powerful men in the world in the early 1940s. And the sole source of Hopkinss power was his willingness to serve.