For many of us, John W. Gardner was a great hero. He served six U.S. presidents in various leadership capacities, including as secretary of health, education, and welfare; founded Common Cause and cofounded Independent Sector; and authored numerous eloquent books, including Excellence, Self-Renewal, and On Leadership. His life and language shaped our lives. In his very last speech, shortly before he died, he delivered a powerful message calling us to serve: "I keep running into highly capable people all over this country who literally never give a thought to the well-being of their community. And I keep wondering who gave them permission to stand aside! I'm asking you to issue a wake-up call to those people—a bugle ...

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