As 2017 continues with speed in what is now confirmed a most significant year, marked by policy somersaults in the US, the trigger of UK Article 50, the ouster of Italy’s Prime Minister (by a no-vote Ref?), and the rise of Le Pen in France, progressives remain hopeful that some light would emerge from these situations ….. After all, real leadership moments happen when the best plans appear to have failed…. 

The Leadership Moment 1 cited great leaders including Lyndon Johnson, who defined the leadership moment by taking the “Nothing and Thankless” job; while Leadership Moment 2 discussed Steve Jobs winning edge–that true Leadership is not a popularity contest, but impacting lives meaningfully through vision, mission, and passion, executed by a diligent, competent, and diverse group, under providence (my emphasis).

In this edition, it is heartwarming to share insights from Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2005 lessonson Abraham Lincoln’s leadership in times of War.

Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln faced the deepest crisis of his time squarely by making some unlikely choicesHe had a limited understanding of the military and the art of war….but he had an understanding of the times ….He defined his leadership moment by choosing National benefit above the emotional and personal; perhaps he understood the brevity of time. Lincoln enlisted and courted men greater than himself to produce solutions greater than himself in a land which, although, was torn by war, slavery, and bondage; has now become a truly Great Nation. 

He refused to rule by division and choose forgiveness above the glaring rivalries within his constituencies. Today, Lincoln lives on…as one of the most researched leaders in the world. More books have been written about Lincoln in the history of world leaders because of his feats and life lessons. Present day leaders cannot but draw lessons from Lincoln’s examples….How he grappled with war, chaos, turbulence, seeming defeat, mockery, treachery, envy, incompetence, losses, lack, betrayal, and yet moved on to leave an indelible mark in the sands of time.

Let’s take a look at what separated Lincoln from the boys….

  • A Cause: He understood that each person has been called to address a challenge, a need, a solution, a person, a gap.. somewhere, somehow….Some have found their Cause, some are on the journey, some are struggling to find it… but there is Cause…. a purpose….
  • A Purpose: That Life can be a tedious journey but finding and living a life of purpose makes the journey simpler….
  • A Focus: He understood that resistance held the power to destabilize the pursuit of purpose. However, whether resistance is subtle, implied, head-on, or orchestrated, a Single-minded Focus on Purpose would get you on the way to your destination.

Read More….

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