American Swiss Foundation

Leader Spotlight

NORQUISTGGrover Norquist (Young Leader 1993)

Founder and President, Americans for Tax Reform

What can Americans learn from the Swiss?
The value of real federalism, allowing cantons/states to compete with each other to provide the best government at the lowest cost.  Recognizing that there is often no "one best rule” for an entire country.  We learn from the experimentation and real life experience of cantons/states trying different approaches and learning what works and what does not.

What can the Swiss learn from the Americans?
The same lesson: federalism works.  Sometimes America forgets and sometimes Switzerland forgets.

What defines your leadership style? 
I try to spend twice as much time learning as doing.  Listen a lot.  Double check. Get a second opinion more than once. Watch what works in the real world.  Then lead in a way that allows others to follow your example as much as your direction.  

What quality do you most admire in a person?
Hard work.  Being demanding of oneself while understanding of others.  We can only demand perfection in ourselves, but must be wise enough to know we will not find it even there.  There is never any point in being disappointed in others.  We can learn for the future from those times  we disappoint ourselves.

What is your greatest strength?
Hard work. Understanding the needs, fears and desires of others—particularly one’s opponents.

What is your greatest weakness? 
Too many to count.  

Where do you live? 
Washington, D.C.

Where are you from? 
Boston, Massachusetts.  But I later emigrated to the United States.

What is your favorite leisure activity? 
Reading murder mysteries.

What is your goal in life?  
To reduce the size and scope and cost of government in the United States in half as a percentage of the economy.

 


 

About Grover Norquist

Grover is Founder and President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals, and businesses opposed to higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. ATR organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases. In the 113th Congress, 219 Representatives and 39 Senators have taken the Pledge never to raise income taxes. Grover also serves on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association of America and the American Conservative Union and as president of the American Society of Competitiveness. Grover recently wrote and released the Harper Collins book Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government's Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives.

 
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