… I rejoice in the prospect of a pacification with England. in what degree it is owing to the past or present administration [my Presidency or Madison’s] is not worth a thought. whatever claims the former might have, mr Madison had the principal agency, and the latter acts are entirely his. I always considered it as among the happiest circumstances of my administration that the harmony & cordiality which subsisted among all it’s members amalgamated us into one mind. we had never a question who had a right to the merit or demerit of any particular measure; for in truth all measures of importance were the measures of all…
To John Minor, July 10 , 1809
Patrick Lee’s Explanation
A really good leader builds a team of “harmony and cordiality.”
Minor, like many others, had congratulated Jefferson on his Presidency. He thanked Minor, but included his Secretary of State and now President, James Madison, as equally deserving of praise. He went on to praise all of his cabinet members, and the unity that pervaded all their deliberations.
If something went well, they all enjoyed the results. If poorly, they all accepted responsibility. Their work was never “mine” or “yours” but always “ours.”