Tag Archives: Abraham Lincoln

Leading silently

Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday we honor today, once said:

I am rather inclined to silence, and whether that be wise or not, it is at least more unusual nowadays to find a man who can hold his tongue than to find one who cannot.

Statue of Lincoln at Lincoln Memorial

Image source: Jeff Kubina (Wikimedia Commons)

I’m glad to hear that, for I too am rather inclined to silence. I like to think that, whatever my silence might cost me in terms of renown, it at least sets me apart from the crowd.

Lincoln certainly stands apart from other great historical figures, in that he was serenely confident in his own beliefs and abilities. When you have that kind of confidence, you don’t need to talk about it.

Lincoln surrounded himself with people who were not silent — men who were considered great in their time and who, in many cases, thought of themselves as great. Lincoln never worried about these men stealing the spotlight or claiming the credit. Yet, through persistence and determination, Lincoln always had the last word.

History has rightly judged him as greater than all the great men who shared the stage with him.

I appreciate Lincoln and the example he set: a silent leader, leading with humility and resolve.

The Gettysburg Address in 140 characters or less

We live in the age of the short attention span. Sound bites rule the airwaves. More and more, if it can’t be expressed in 140 characters or less, nobody has the patience to listen to it.

Original text of the Gettysburg AddressInstead of 150 years ago today, I wonder what it would’ve been like if Lincoln had written the Gettysburg Address in the age of Twitter. Something like this, I imagine Continue reading

The key to being the leader I want to be

Cover: Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns GoodwinI’m about halfway through Doris Kearns Goodwin’s Team of Rivals, which details the history of Abraham Lincoln, his rise to the presidency, and his relationships with the men who vied with him for prominence and then served on his cabinet.

As I read the story, I see two things about Lincoln’s unique style of leadership Continue reading