Mandate for Leadership is a set of books made by a group called The Heritage Foundation, which is a bunch of conservative thinkers in Washington, D.C. These books are like instruction manuals that suggest ways to make the government in the United States smaller and less involved in things. They usually release these books when a new President starts their job. The most recent one came out in April 2023.

In 1979, during a meeting of the people in charge of The Heritage Foundation, a guy named Jack Eckerd, who used to be in charge of a government office under President Gerald Ford, had an idea. He suggested that The Heritage Foundation should make a plan for the next President who would start in January 1981. Another person named Robert Krieble said they should make a guidebook to help the people in charge make the government smaller and work better.

A man named Charles Heatherly, who used to work with a group called the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, took charge of making this plan. In late January 1980, Heatherly wrote a short outline called “Mandate for Leadership.” He said the goal of this project was to give clear ideas on how to make the economy better, keep the country safe, and stop the government in Washington from having too much power.

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They talked to both the Reagan and Carter campaigns about this project, but only the Reagan-Bush campaign responded. In July 1980, Edwin Meese, who worked with Reagan, unexpectedly showed up at a dinner The Heritage Foundation was having for the people in charge of this project. Meese liked the ideas in the Heritage study, and this showed that the Reagan administration was interested in what they were doing.

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