Last week vandals threw paint inside the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln freed the slaves and won the Civil War. Lincoln did what he thought was right, even though it meant losing half the country.
This week congress went home for summer recess. What did they accomplish during the most recent session?
Leaders must make tough choices. Today’s politicians often relay on polls. Polls can be like perfume, good t smell bad to drink.
Lincoln served as a Congressman from Illinois, fourteen years before being elected the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln might tell us his peers in congress had some fun at his expense. He might tell us that taught him how to dress, what fork to use at dinner for salad and how to be loyal. He was the only Whig member of the Illinois delegation; Lincoln voted the party line on nearly every vote.
Recently in Fast Company Miles Kohrman listed some ideas that Lincoln would suggest to Leaders. In his second inaugural address Lincoln said,” The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew….”
Lincoln was an entirely self-taught man. Exercising incomparable drive and determination, he was a voracious reader who used literature to transcend his circumstances. Seen with a book under his arm at all times, Lincoln devoured Aesop’s Fables and the works of Shakespeare, reading them so many times he could recite entire passages from memory.
Prior to being elected a U.S. congressman in his thirties, he learned the trades of boatman, clerk, merchant, postmaster, surveyor, and country lawyer. He pored over newspapers, and taught himself English grammar, geometry, and trigonometry. “In a time when young men were apprenticed to practicing lawyers while learning the law, Lincoln studied with nobody,” Doris Kearns Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer; historian, and an oft-seen political commentator. Her 2008 TED talk on Leaders speaks of Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson; leadership styles and why you want the opposition in your tent.
Lincoln might suggest, don’t be scared of competition–embrace it
You’ve just defeated your opponents and won the presidency. You have a lot of folks with different opinions? What do you do? How do you embrace learn from that difference?
If you’re Abraham Lincoln, you appoint them to your cabinet and turn rivalry into respect.
After his election in 1860, Lincoln filled his cabinet with the very men that opposed him for nomination, and political rivals from the North and South of the country.
Just because you disagree with someone, doesn’t mean their insight isn’t valuable.
Despite your gut reaction, enemies are actually good for business. Some would suggest that you should go out of your way to pick a fight.
As Lincoln himself said, “I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.”
And with that, we’ll leave you with one of our favorite quotes from the Great Emancipator:”Character is like a tree and reputation its shadow. The shadow is what we think it is and the tree is the real thing.”
Leaders make choices. Leaders make the tough choices.