Leadership Legacy of Abraham Lincoln

Leadership Lessons from Lincoln

Recently I had a chance to go see the new Abraham Lincoln movie called the “Conspirator”. The impact of Abraham Lincoln’s leadership changed America. He paid the ultimate price for his political position and personal convictions. What can we learn from his leadership style and how can it be applied to today? There is a new book out on his leadership called Lincoln Lessons on Leadership. I found this review on amazon below – Might be a great read…I plan to check it out.  

Lincoln on Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times (Paperback) Abraham Lincoln was the President of the United States during one of the most challenging times in our history. Most would agree that he was one of our best presidents, but fewer have considered the basis of his success. Lincoln was not an outgoing, dynamic leader in the mode of today’s hard-driving CEOs or media-savvy politicians. He practiced the virtues of Leading Quietly.
“Lincoln tempered his unusually intense drive to achieve with an equally strong capacity to care,” pointing out that, “many leaders are unable to combine these two principles effectively” (p. 177). This caring capacity extended to the South, as well, as evidenced in his Second Inaugural Address: “With malice toward none, with charity for all … let us strive on to finish this work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds … to do all which may achieve lasting peace among ourselves” (p. 178).
Donald Phillips has distilled Lincoln’s leadership style into fifteen principles, each elaborated in its own chapter with examples and supporting sub-principles. The author organizes them into categories of People (3), Character (4), Endeavor (5), and Communication (3). These major principles are listed below.

1. Get out of the office and circulate among the troops.
2. Build strong alliances.
3. Persuade rather than coerce.
4. Honesty and integrity are the best policies.
5. Never act out of vengeance or spite.
6. Have the courage to handle unjust criticism.
7. Be a master of paradox.
8. Exercise a strong hand–be decisive.
9. Lead by being led.
10. Set goals and be results-oriented.
11. Keep searching until you find your “Grant.”
12. Encourage innovation.
13. Master the art of public speaking.
14. Influence people through conversation and storytelling.
15. Preach a vision and continually reaffirm it.

These are some good leadership skills that are still needed today – don’t you think? GTR

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