Learning from America’s greatest president

Abraham Lincoln Memorial

This Sunday, 12th February, is the 208th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

In the 150 years since his death there has not been a single US President better than Lincoln. A survey in February 2015 still ranked him top.

This is a man who knew how to lead in a time of churning. He led the United States through its Civil War (its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis), he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernised the economy.

How did he achieve so much, especially in a time of turmoil? What was his leadership philosophy? Did he pander to the crowds? Did he simply do what was convenient?

Lincoln said:

“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.”

Lincoln’s philosophy was to know his own purpose and values, to stay true to them whether or not he succeeded, 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.

Photo By Scott Robinson via StockPholio.com

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