Lincoln on Leadership
Lincoln on Leadership
Abraham Lincoln was one of the greatest presidents in United States history. His leadership abilities were just as significant and influential. Today, his leadership styles can be used in practice every day and in the healthcare field. The Civil War had a dramatic impact on the leadership skills Lincoln possessed. His self-confidence, ability to work collaboratively with war generals, cabinet members, and keeping his best people by his side kept the nation together during in the time of crisis. Leadership is something that comes from within the individual and this is a key component in nursing. Without leadership, patient care and quality will suffer as well as the work environment.
There were many different leadership qualities that were talked about in this novel. One of which was the interaction and how well Abraham Lincoln was able to deal with people. Interaction, communication and collaboration with employees, and people were what Abraham Lincoln was known for. Instead of staying in the White House and listening to the information that was being brought to him, he was leaving the office and going out into the battlefield and talking to the troops. “All leaders must seek and require access to reliable and up-to-date information” (CITE). Lincoln went out to War Department telegraph’s office so he can access to important information, as well as tour the Navy Yard, and
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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.
April 15, 1865 was a highly anticipated evening at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. President Abraham Lincoln, along with Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward were scheduled to attend a showing of Our American Cousin. This enjoyable gathering soon turned to tragedy for the American leaders. In the middle of the performance, shots were fired and blood was shed while the unassuming audience sat oblivious to the events unfolding. John Wilkes Booth executed his scheme to assassinate President Lincoln, one of the most important and influential men in American history, who inspired the masses with his unexpected rise to power.
It is hard not to agree with David Herbert Donald in his biography of Abraham Lincoln. He does his best to not give his professional opinion of anything and only writes about the topics from which he has proof of. The main ideas that the author has throughout the text is greatly supported with Lincoln’s own papers and from written first-hand accounts of his generation. Donald accounts for the changes of position on slavery and the equality of blacks throughout his presidency. I think that this book is a great depiction of Abrahams Lincoln’s life.
Another great leadership ability that Lincoln possessed was his ability to appoint the right people for the right jobs in his Cabinet. Even though they were some of the greatest minds of his time, some of his Cabinet members were also some of his biggest political adversaries. Through his great leadership, he was able to assemble this group and to pull them together to make it work. Lincoln also had the ability to make a mistake, learn from it and then move on, creating an environment of learning in his administration. Also, when the administration was successful, Lincoln was willing to share the credit with his administration, not taking all the credit for himself. This ability can be a great motivator, since it gives people a sense of accomplishment (Moreton, 2008).
Across time, political leaders have often been remembered for their greatness by how they faced challenges than with what particular skills or abilities they had during their time in office. This statement is known to be true as political leaders are often expected to solve certain issues or challenges when in office and if their contributions benefit the state or country. Additionally, history books, records, and scholarly journals will take note of a leader’s response to challenges, how they are handled, and if the issue is solved more than whether they adequately used certain skills and abilities to solve the problem. In short, challenges, when faced, allow the political leaders to be remembered more so than their talents.
Lincoln won for president in 1860, this was a huge step in what was yet to come for both the north and south. Lincoln makes his decision and on April 12, 1861 at Fort Sumter the war began. In 1862 Political Dissension grew louder, there was no talent in the south and the war seemed to be factional, petty, and personal. The big turn around happened in 1863 with the emcaipation proclamation which was the aboloshment of slavery. In 1865 the war was over and history was about to be changed forever regarding slaves and all personel being treated with equality. All of the events that occured in the four years of war had significant meaning at the time. Without one there would not be another, for example without Lincoln who knows what would have
Honesty and integrity were also important aspects of Lincoln’s leadership. He understood that honesty was the best policy. Leaders are supposed to do the right thing and being honest is part of that. A truthful leader will have greater respect from his subordinates and they will also have more trust in a leader they can believe. In order to be known as honest Lincoln knew his words, deeds, and actions would need to be beyond reproach so he even refused to have dealings with dishonest people. He knew he needed to lead by example and if he was known to associate with questionable people that it could damage what he was trying to accomplish. Lincoln knew that honesty and integrity were qualities that will help a leader hold an organization together. He had firsthand experience at this by trying to keep our country united.
Abraham Lincoln was one of the key leaders that had determined the outcome of the Civil War. Despite his inadequacy with being a commander in chief of the Union, his job as a self taught lawyer permitted him to learn more quickly. He had read many different pieces and books about war and different strategies to better understand how to be a good war leader. He had patience, approached situations with caution (McPherson). Being the timid and soft spoken man that he was, most of his ideas given to military generals had been ‘brushed off’. Lincoln then found himself at a turning point. He started to take a more of a firm, assertive approach. After Lincoln’s adjustment in his style of leadership, The Union had a streak of victories, most prominently at the Battle of Vicksburg and Battle of Gettysburg, Gettysburg marking the turning point of the war.
Out of all the US presidents, only a few have stood out. The United States always has and always will need someone who is willing to guide the citizens who reside there. Especially in times of turmoil, an outstanding individual is needed to step up and take a position of leadership. One of the greatest men who took that position was Abraham Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln, or "The Great Emancipator" (Stone 8), was a powerful man with knowledge and empathy.
After studying Lincolns life and specifically his time in office, I strongly disagree with Statement 1. This statement not only undermines the president’s major role in the victory, but also overstates the North’s advantage in human and material resources. In fact, many of the advantages that the North did have, were the result of Lincoln’s leadership. Regardless of the North’s advantage in size and resources, Lincoln made several key decisions that helped result in the Union’s victory. During Lincoln’s time in office, his primary concern was the Civil war. As he states several times in his inaugural address, his central conflict consisted of upholding the nation. In order to do so, Lincoln made several strategic decisions and focused on many aspects of the war that were crucial in defeating the Confederacy. Among these important decisions and acts are his response to Fort Sumter, important foreign policy negotiations, and the Emancipation Proclamation.
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. Many people believed that he was a great president, which history has proven to be true. He was known not only as a great leader, but also as a hero. One of the factors that contributed to Lincoln becoming a great leader was his dedication towards unifying the country while he helped abolish slavery. Lincoln always displayed a desire to learn even in the midst of difficult circumstances. Abraham Lincoln went through extraordinary measures to attain knowledge, such as having to walk two to three hours in order to attend school. He became an excellent multi tasker by filling the demands of both farming and schooling. Abraham Lincoln was the kind of guy to not give up; which shows dedication. That is important because dedication is a
Lincoln on Leadership is a book that discusses all of Abraham Lincoln’s leadership styles and strategies and talks about how successful he was because of these attributes as our President. The main character of the book is President Abraham Lincoln. He grew up in a poor background and worked his way to where he was as President. Lincoln tried many careers such as a postmaster, a surveyor, and a lawyer so that he could have a life of success. He always learned from his failures and worked very hard to make it in life because he was from such a disadvantaged background. He was devoted to human rights, innovation, and compassion. He was an amazing leader with leadership styles that kept the United States as one. Leaders today should be able to use these guidelines and to try to an effective leader no matter what setting this is in whether it is business, politics, or healthcare.
Lincoln had many strategies when it came to his leadership, and from the book, “Lincoln on Leadership,” his ideas and techniques are showcased in detail. From the many strategies that Lincoln had employed, I had identified three techniques from three different chapters in Lincoln on Leadership for analysis. The first strategy that I will discuss is from chapter two; “Showing your compassionate and caring nature will aid you in forging successful relationships.” The second strategy is from chapter three, and it is as follows; “A good leader avoids issuing orders, preferring to request, imply, or make suggestions.” Lastly, the third and final strategy that I will discuss if from Chapter six; “Do the very best you know how – the very best you can – and keep doing so until the end.” I chose these specific strategies in accordance to their applicability to my leadership style, as I find myself identifying with these rather comfortably. I will begin to explain this through the first strategy regarding compassion and a caring nature.
Donald T. Phillips’ book, Lincoln on Leadership, explores the life and practices of Abraham Lincoln as the leader of the United States of America. Without question, Lincoln’s legacy lies as one of the greatest leaders in the history of the country. Lincoln’s style of leadership, which facilitated his accomplishment of one of the most complicated tasks in a divided country, have only recently become the foundation for developing concepts of leadership in both private and public organizations. Throughout Lincoln on Leadership, Phillips discusses over one hundred of Lincoln’s principles of leadership and practices, practices which still inspire and motivate persons in all aspects of society.
He often would walk from his office to the Secretary of War’s office to discuss strategies to win the war. David T. Phillips stated in his book Lincoln on Leadership that, “Lincoln spent most of his time among the troops” (p.13). Lincoln rode his horse most of the time to the camp of the Union soldiers and cheered them up. He also motivated them by letting them know the importance of winning the war. The Core Lesson under Individual Consideration states that, “The leader empathizes with and supports each follower and keeps channels of communication open” [BCEE] (2014a, p.13). We have discussed Lincoln as Visionary Leader now let’s move on to Lincoln as Ethical Leader.