Leadership 150: Lessons from 1861 | Mark Persall

Dead men tell no tales.  Really?  Have you ever read the Gettysburg Address?  The leadership of President Lincoln still tells tales.  In Lincoln on Leadership, Donald Phillips gives excellent advice on how to lead in difficult times.  However daunting your leadership future seems, learn from a man who conquered civil war.

  1.  Invest time and money in the ins and outs of human nature.  Leaders need to know why people do what they do.  You must also learn to project behavioral responses.
  2.  Refrain from dictatorial leadership.  People follow dictators out of fear, not respect.  Dictatorial leadership cannot be sustained.
  3.  Seek casual contact with direct reports.  Spending time on their territory affirms their value to the organization while allowing you to gain necessary information.
  4. Set goals and values that motivate your organization to action.  Effective leaders have a vision for the future; complete with goals and actions plans.  Excellent leaders develop people to embrace organizational goals.
  5. Organizations take on the personality of the top leader.  Whatever adjectives are used to describe the senior leader can also describe the organization.  Once a personality weakness is exposed, what the leader does in moderation will be practiced in excess among the team.  Character development starts with senior leaders.

Effective leadership requires constantly learning and adjusting to meet the needs of the moment with implications to the future.  What personality traits affirm your leadership?  Which ones challenge your leadership?

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