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Happy Thanksgiving! Lessons We Can Learn from Myles Standish

Celebrating a 401-Year Standish Legacy: 1620 – 2021 After 401 years, the legacy of great leadership endures.

Captain Myles Standish was instrumental in planning and executing the Mayflower voyage that in 1620 landed the Pilgrims in what became the Plymouth Colony. He planned, endured and followed through, staying on to assure a successful colonization.

His strategy, resolve, results and follow-through influenced our continuing American culture (also the naming of our firm, and the design of the Standish Model©). His discipline, pragmatism and dedication serve as a model for us and our continuing commitment to clients and colleagues. These traits are also reflected in the culture of our clients and the character of our candidates.

Myles Standish provided hands-on leadership during the Pilgrim’s brutal first winter, and he simultaneously balanced the defenses against, and alliances with, the Colony’s indigenous population. He was also successful in leading Plymouth’s commercial dealings in Europe, and he left a legacy of structure, culture and successors to sustain the Colony, and to bolster the eventual growth and expansion of America.

While perfection was elusive for Captain Standish (as it is for all of us!), his example of leadership has endured.

After surviving their first year’s hardships there was great reason for the Pilgrim’s thanks. We now look forward to recognizing the 401-year anniversary of that first Thanksgiving, and to giving thanks for surviving the hardships of the past year.

The Pilgrims in 1620 faced great adversity. Our challenges in 2021 differ in kind, yet continue. As we recognize and address our challenges, let’s be thankful for all that is good and right. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!


Stan Davis is the Founding Principal of Standish Executive Search, a New England-based firm that advises business owners, executives and boards who are positioning their companies for accelerated growth, change or succession.

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