Lincoln on Leadership

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Lincoln on Leadership

I start this project on Lincoln’s leadership very reluctantly. I am a history buff and have always viewed his leadership through the eyes of jaded historians. They have portrayed him as a dictator, incompetent, and a buffoon at some points. After reading the Donald T. Phillips book Lincoln on Leadership, my mindset was totally changed. This book broke down four key areas that produced an effective leader in Lincoln. These areas are character, people, endeavor, and communication. I will be sharing a principal from each key area that I found important and then conclude with an overall thought. The first key area in Lincoln’s Leadership was his interaction with people. Historians have often scoffed at the idea that he was hardly in the White House and it was true but they did not understand why. Phillips discusses Lincoln’s open door policy and his philosophy of “roving leadership” in that he was constantly leaving his office. D. Phillips (1992) tells us one of the reasons why he did this with, “All leaders must seek and require access to reliable and up-to-date information” (pg 21). Leaders need to leave their office to truly understand what is going on in their organization. Lincoln knew this well and this is why he was always out getting information from military leaders, constituents, staff, and sometimes even opponents. The second reason for this idea of “roving leadership” should be adopted by most leaders of today including me. Phillips discusses how people feel that a leader cares when he talks to them directly. Their opinion matters to upper management and those that follow feel empowered The second key area that Lincoln used as an effect leader was his own character. In this day and age this aspect is missing from most leaders in the corporate world. Something I have always admired about Lincoln was his legendary…...

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