No one questions the notion that Abe Lincoln was among the top three presidents. In fact, many believe he deserves to be number one. That’s extremely remarkable since it has been over 150 years since he served.
You will find his name on everything from money to streets to buildings. So there’s considerable proof that Lincoln made a remarkably deep impression on the country’s history.
He served as president during one of the most tumultuous times in the history of the country. Over 600,000 died during the United States Civil War. Over half the country hated him during his presidency, but nearly all love him now.
We are going to see a few reasons why.
Remarkably, unlike many famous leaders of our time, he was a self-made man. He began life in a one room cabin and lost his mother when he was only nine years old. He endured a life time of failures, but rose above it all and eventually became president.
Abraham Lincoln’s leadership attributes.
- Communications. Abe Lincoln used a combination of deprecating humor and superb storytelling in plain language to connect with nearly everyone during his presidency. One can still see the magic of his words today. His motto was, “listen and stay close”.
- Empathy. A cornerstone of Abraham Lincoln’s ability was the genuine capability to demonstrate empathy. He was able to see things from the other person’s perspective thus creating a bridge between himself and them.
- Self awareness. He was very well connected with his personal strengths and weaknesses. He knew that in order to grow one has to learn from the mistakes made.
- Character. He was considered an individual with a very strong moral compass. In fact, he is still referred to today as “Honest Abe”. Remember that Teddy Roosevelt said, “character is the decisive factor”.
- Continuous improvement. He believed that everyone needed to be steadily improving all of their skills. I have already mentioned that he made a considerable number of failures, but he used them as learning opportunities to propel his growth.
- Team building. He became a master of the art of team building largely because of his extreme confidence, security and purpose. These attributes allowed him to build the best possible team. He was very respectful and considerate of the team as well and frequently sought the advice of teams. He knew they would perform at a very high level when he assumed all of the responsibility and yet shared the successes.
- Limit ambitions. Of course Abe Lincoln was an ambitious individual. If he was not, he would have not become President of the United States. However, he knew he had to master his ambition and not be led by it.
- Self-control. He was stunningly successful at controlling his own emotions. This ability to keep his pride contained enabled him to develop a very high level of trust with his team.
- Determination. He was famously quoted as saying, “Be like a bulldog. Bite down and then chew and chew.”
- Humility. Above all else, Abraham Lincoln was a very humble individual. This humility attracted him to a wide spectrum of individuals and still does to this day. Proving that what we value will endure.
Make a list of the 10 leadership characteristics possessed by Abraham Lincoln. Then, score yourself in each of those areas. Going forward, make it a point to emphasize your strengths and minimize the weaknesses on that list.
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