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Yesterday I had the distinct privilege of watching President Obama bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom, with distinction, the highest U.S. civil honour, on Vice President Joe Biden. President Obama referred to him as “the finest Vice-President we have ever seen.” Coming a day after President-elect Donald Trump’s bizarre news conference, it was an extraordinary ceremony. It highlighted some key elements that are part of any successful business or personal relationship.

Eight and a half years ago, President Obama asked the then Senator Biden to become his Vice President. It should not be forgotten that Joe Biden ran against him to become the democratic nominee of his party. In selecting Biden, President Obama undoubtedly was looking for someone with extensive government experience but also someone with extensive life experience. Yesterday’s remarkable tribute said a lot of about their relationship and about the components of a truly successful relationship. Here are few take-aways from the speeches of the two men.

Shared Values Created a Strong Bond

The two men came from modest beginnings. The president was raised by his mother and her parents. His father played a minimal role in his life. He initially worked as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago. President Obama is a devoted husband and father.

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I grew up in the Muhammad Ali era. Back in the 60's and 70's, heavyweight boxing was a major sport. The Championship fights between Ali and Frazier and Ali and Foreman ranked right up there with the Super Bowl. I have great memories of Don Dunphy and Howard Cosell calling the top boxing matches on radio and television. I had the privilege of seeing many of Muhammad Ali’s fights on television and watching many of his interviews.

There is much to learn from his life. Muhammad Ali was a very gifted boxer, perhaps the greatest of all time. He had a unique blend of size, speed and power. At six feet three inches, two hundred and ten pounds, he was a formidable presence in and out of the ring. But Ali’s success came from far more than his boxing skills. It should be noted that he was not a great student and never learned to read well.

However, he was a very intelligent fellow who possessed a quick wit. His success can be attributed to a number of key factors.

He had a set of principles and beliefs that guided his life

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