Sesquicentennial means “150th birthday celebration” – congrats to US Bank and Gustavus Adolphus College (Gustavus gave me this shirt!)

Happy Birthday to You, Happy birthday to you…it’s the most contagious tune in the Western world. When you reach 150 years old, you learn the word: sesquicentennial – pronounced
[ses’-kwi-sen-ten’-ē-əl] – meaning marking the completion of a period of 150 years. I just made it to 50 – 1/3 of the way there. Maybe medical science will extend a human lifetime so that sesquicentennial is a human possibility. Maybe someday, but I’m not counting on it.

A grand sesquicentennial celebration: U.S. Bancorp Chairman, President and CEO Richard Davis, CFO Andrew Cecere and some of the bank’s longest-serving employees rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on July 12, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Dario Cantatore/NYSE Euronext)

For now, I’m happy two of my favorite institutions are celebrating their Sesquicentennial: my alma mater, Gustavus Adolphus College and US Bank.  Last Friday, a team of long-term US Bank employees rang the bell at the New York Stock Exchange.  It’s an iconic image on the business landscape in America. I wonder if there is a Gustie in that image?

Lutheran Pastor Eric Norelius, founded Gustavus Adolphus College 150 years ago – the Sesquicentennial celebration just ended.

What does it take to sustain an organization over 150 years?  Four good things come to mind: rewarding excellence, demonstrating generosity, demonstrating fairness and spreading positivity. These are the cornerstone principles of Good Leadership – and they are alive and well at US Bank and Gustavus Adolphus College.  Banking and colleges are tricky business – a lot of complex people walk in and out of their doors everyday. It takes good leadership to stay out of trouble and consistently earn the public trust over 150 years.

Good leaders make a habit of embracing the challenges to earn the public trust. And they celebrate the major milestones in good style when the spotlight is shining.

What significant milestones are you celebrating?