In the 150 years since his death there has not been a single US President better than Abraham Lincoln. A survey in February 2015 still ranked him top.
This is a man who led America through its time of greatest churning: the moral, constitutional, and political crisis that was its Civil War. And he did so in a way that preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernised the economy.
How did he achieve this? What was his philosophy of leadership?
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”
Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy was to know his own purpose and values, to stay true to them whether he succeeded or not, and to align himself with other people who shared his purpose and values.
This is Inner Leadership. In our own time of churning we would do well to learn from him.
Adapted from Inner Leadership: tools for building inspiration in times of change.
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