Abraham Lincoln Leadership Essay

Abraham Lincoln On Leadership Essay

Introduction
Throughout time it has been said that Abraham Lincoln is one our country’s most recognizable leaders. Until the 1990’s no one had written a book incorporating his leadership skills into every day leadership concepts. Donald T. Phillips was surprised by this realization and made it his mission to write a book about the leadership skills Lincoln possessed while also relating it to the modern leadership theories we use in life and in business, today.
Summary
Lincoln on Leadership demonstrates Lincoln’s leadership styles he fine-tuned while holding the office of Presidency. Lincoln had no military experience and he only served one term as a Congressman; he was considered to be very inexperienced by the time he took the Presidency (Phillips. P. 9). Yet he has become the essence of leadership. The book is broken into four main sections, People, Character, Endeavor, and Communication. Phillips describes many of Lincoln’s leadership traits, such as, honesty, communication skills, his empathy for people, and his dedication to the rights of the people.
Take-Aways
Most of the things I found interesting in Lincoln on Leadership are historical facts I was unaware of until I read this book. In 1857 there was an economic panic that resulted in a recession and low unemployment. Due to the war efforts and what debt was already accumulated prior to Lincoln’s presidency, the country had a high deficit but it had been all paid off prior to his death (Phillips. P.175). He incorporated a national income tax to help pay off the deficit. Branches of the government were implemented under his Presidency, such as, the Internal Revenue System; he implemented paper money, and he assembled a national banking system (Phillips. P. 176). To this day we still utilize these facets of the government, which demonstrates Lincoln’s foresight to what the country needed to sustain and be prosperous. The fact that we utilize the changes he implemented goes to show his leadership skills are still consistent with our country’s needs. What I took away from a leadership stand point is not to immediately respond to situations. Lincoln would digest what information that confronted him. He would then sit down and write a letter, either to the person or about the situation, and never send the letter (Phillips. P. 74, 83). It was a way for him to process the information without over react or saying something he may regret. After reading this book, I have implemented that same strategy into my own life. I think it is useful to not react immediately, depending on the situation that may not be possible, to absorb what we are confronted with and think about it with rationale instead of letting our emotions get the best of us. This is especially true in business. We cannot afford to burn bridges or fly of the handle at an employee’s expense. We need to be calm and calculated in our decision making; to me that is one component of being a good leader.
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