Corresponding Author

Elizabeth Summerfield


President Theodore Roosevelt is frequently portrayed as a rugged, hypermasculine cowboy. But this depiction ignores the powerful modelling for masculine leadership provided by his father, Theodore Roosevelt senior. A closer examination of the private and public spheres that framed the latter’s life offers another route into understanding the ethical and rational motivations that characterised his progressive Presidency, not least in the area of natural resource management, where his policy innovations were both unprecedented and sustained over time. What emerges is a more complex portrait than the above stereotype, a leader who used his heart, head and experience to think and act in and on the world in wholes, rather than in self-contained parts. As the systems thinking becomes increasingly recognised by governments as an essential tool for effective leadership, including in environmental problems, the mentoring of Roosevelt junior by Roosevelt senior offers a case study of first principles for learning and leading ethically.