Three Great Lessons from Lincoln

Jun 26, 2023

 “Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as one of the greatest American presidents.

He’s usually high on the list of historical figures people want to meet.

After reading lots of books and hearing accounts of his life, it seems he was almost superhuman in his leadership abilities. 

In the end, he was simply a man. He lived regular days just like the rest of us.

What made him great wasn’t simply the feats we read about in the history books. Those were results from much smaller disciplines that are often overlooked. History tends to glorify the big accomplishments (or mistakes) and gloss over the small actions that lead to them.

Of his many leadership qualities, there are three I want to focus on today. Three great powers of leadership that any one of us can work on developing in our own life. I’m not saying you’ll end up like Abraham Lincoln, but I can guarantee you’ll be a better leader. 

1. Singular Focus.

  • As Russel Conwell points out in his speech, "Acres of Diamonds” “This was his (Lincoln’s) rule: Whatever he had to do at all, he put his whole mind into it and held it all there until that was all done. That makes men great almost anywhere.”

2. Sought Opposing Opinions.

  • He was not afraid if others disagreed with him. In fact, he sought out opposing opinions. He wanted to see the flaws in his own thinking. Even in his presidency he surrounded himself with political officers who fought and even ran against him. Lincoln understood that when we remove our need to be right, we communicate better and come to better solutions.

3. Taught in Parables.

  • Lincoln was famous for telling stories to illustrate important points. Similar to how Jesus taught. There is endless research around the connection people have to stories. Many times the most in-depth principles can be best understood through a simple parable. It’s important for people to come to their own conclusions via story rather than trying to make them understand. All great communicators have used stories to illustrate complex ideas.

The more I read about Lincoln the more interested I become. He was one of the dynamic characters of history who had a big impact on the world we know today. But he didn’t do it alone and in fact had no superpowers.

I’ve had a lot on my mind this week and this quote brought me some much needed peace of mind.

"The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time."~ Abraham Lincoln

I hope you have a great week and let Lincoln’s example inspire you to action!


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