Former President George W. Bush addresses executives at NACDS Annual

PALM BEACH, Fla. — Former President George W. Bush addressed attendees of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores' Annual meeting here Tuesday morning, followed by a question-and-answer session with new NACDS chairman Greg Wasson.

Wasson asked Bush to talk about the inclusion of prescription benefits to the Medicare program, which went into effect during Bush's administration in 2006. "It makes no sense to have a system that does not change with the time," Bush said. "The market moved, but the government system didn't," he said. "The benefit is Medicare in the first place. … To modernize it required prescription drugs."

The former president also spoke to the economy: "The goal ought to be private sector growth," he said, and any solutions to today's economic malaise needs to incorporate a close examination behind what drives that private sector growth and subsequent job creation: small businesses.

The former president also shared several insights on leading corporations out of his mémoire, "Decision Points."

One of the key attributes of a successful leader included "knowing what you don't know … and finding people who do know," Bush said. Incessant optimism also is a criteria for a good leader. "You cannot lead without being optimistic," Bush said. "[People need to know] the decisions you're making will lead to a better tomorrow."

Also, Bush noted that "firm beliefs and principles" are prerequisites to help guide an organization toward continued success.

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