5 Leadership Lessons to Learn From Abraham Lincoln – The Civil War Hero
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
Whenever someone remembers the greatest personalities who contributed immensely into changing the world, names like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr pops up in our head. The list also includes a man who is till day termed as the greatest leader world’s largest economy has ever seen.
The 16th President of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln is the undisputable hero of the masses. Known for leading America through the Civil War, the highly appreciated politician fought the battle against slavery, played an instrumental role in setting up a national banking system for America and made constant efforts to keep the nation united.
Not just politicians but entrepreneurs can also learn many things from this great leader. Here are 5 leadership lessons to learn from Abraham Lincoln:
Have you read the story about Lincoln’s childhood in school? If not, here’s something you should know. He had little formal education and spent most of his childhood doing farm work to help out his father. His interest in books and learning prompted him to self-educate himself despite the adverse circumstances. Years after joining politics, his urge to learn pushed him to complete his education to become a lawyer.
Takeaway: Learning is an ongoing process. No amount of success should halt your steps from gaining knowledge.
Unlike the past leaders who spent most of their time cooped up inside their offices signing away legal documents, Lincoln was known for spending more time outside the White House. It is believed he met every single Union soldier who enlisted early in the Civil War. Moreover, the President had an open door policy to allow his subordinates access to him at any point of time, generating a sense of trust and affection for him among the masses.
Takeaway: Accessibility builds trust
No, he didn’t order people around as most would expect from a man with presidential powers in his hands but rather persuaded them with his mindfulness. Lincoln once said, “I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” Not so surprisingly, people prefer to say yes to requests over orders.
Takeaway: No amount of power should snatch your humble roots.
Lincoln always encouraged innovation. He is the only American president to patent an invention to lift boats over shoals and obstructions in a river. Historians said he used the telegraph to communicate with generals, much in the way we use email today. Even while working, he always pushed his employees to come up with distinctive ideas to embrace technology.
Takeaway: Push your employees to innovate, not too much though
The gifted storyteller is best remembered for his Gettysburg Address. A 3-minute speech that is termed as the best ever in the world. His short speech after the Union victory at the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 defined the War as dedicated to the principles of liberty & equality for all.
Takeaway: Speak short but speak wisely