Day 14 – Lessons from Lincoln

When I think of strong leadership, I think of Abraham Lincoln. But as much as I hate to admit this, I really don’t know much about the guy. He just has a reputation, still to this day, as someone who knew his stuff and led with integrity and courage. We all know the “Honest Abe” nickname from when we were kids right? Well, as I have been doing my research for this series it seems to add up. Here are a few leadership characteristics to be gained from Honest Abe’s life:

1) Don’t separate yourself from your peeps. Be one of them. Apparently Lincoln was pretty hard to guard and protect because he was constantly out and about. I love that though. Have you ever been led by someone who seemed so out of touch with the realities of your organization? I’ll never forget assisting executives back in the day who couldn’t remember how to make copies or transfer calls. I’ll even give them this: They did try at times! But inevitably I’d get called in to help! It’s not that hard people!!! As a leader, stay in touch with the minute aspects of the job as well as the wants/needs of the people working for you.

2) Get comfortable in front of a group. As president, Lincoln did his share of public speaking. Leaders need to develop their public speaking skills or at least get comfortable communicating in an articulate way. Communicate your vision for the organization clearly and passionately so that others jump on board.

3) Become a storyteller. Why do you think most people become so invested in the lives of film and TV characters? We love to be a part of their stories. They mean something to us. Lincoln was known as a storyteller. When you can paint a picture with your words, it is easy to inspire people. Learn how to deliver messages using stories, colors, pictures and of course, passion.

Lincoln left a legacy worth paying attention to so I suggest we all learn a thing or two from this former President!

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