The WhiteHouse.Gov site explains that Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States used his leadership to empower those who had no power. In 1863, following years of civil war, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation that declared slaves within the Confederacy were forever free.
There was surely a time in Abraham Lincoln’s life when he felt powerless as well. He had struggled like many people of his time. He wrote:
“I was born Feb. 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. My parents were both born in Virginia, of undistinguished families–second families, perhaps I should say. My mother, who died in my tenth year, was of a family of the name of Hanks…. My father … removed from Kentucky to … Indiana, in my eighth year…. It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up…. Of course when I came of age I did not know much. Still somehow, I could read, write, and cipher … but that was all.”
Nevertheless, Lincoln worked hard on the farm, gaining knowledge at every opportunity. He was described by his law partner: “His ambition was a little engine that knew no rest.”
Abraham Lincoln was guided by the principles of leadership that I identify in my book, SELF Centered Leadership: Becoming Influential, Intentional, and Exceptional. He understood sacrifice for, empowerment of, love for, and friendship of all his countrymen. He lived a humble life of service, and was guided by principles of moral good.
Inscribed on one wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. are his words:
“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds…. “
It is my hope that you and I will live a life guided by these same principles, that we will have ambition without rest to empower and enhance the lives of those within our influence. May we strive to be EXCEPTIONAL LEADERS, as was Abraham Lincoln.
I invite you to share your thoughts about this, or any other great leader by commenting on this post. Thank you so much for reading it.