Lincoln’s Leadership Concepts for Today’s Leader

Many historians call Abraham Lincoln one of our greatest leaders. I have always been impressed by his core leadership concepts.

Here are the top four in my book:

  1. Get Out of the Office and Circulate Among the Troops
  2. Persuade Rather than Coerce
  3. Lead by Being Led
  4. Keep Searching Until You Find your Grant

What do those four bullets mean for today’s business leader?

Let’s take them one at a time:

Get Out of the Office and Circulate Among the Troops

Manage by walking around; be visible to your team.

Travel in the field with your salespeople.

Meet your customers.

Listen to what both have to say, know your competition, etc.

Persuade Rather than Coerce

Use your words—rather than your title—to lead.

Utilize outcome-based thinking, look for win/win outcomes, and get others to do what you want them to do because they want to do it!

Lead by Being Led

Show that you’re willing to learn from others.

Let your team know you don’t have all the answers; admit it when you make a mistake.

Guide people without feeling threatened; be open-minded and flexible.  

Keep Searching Until You Find Your Grant

Never settle when making a hire.

Take your time… don’t be rushed by artificial deadlines.

Promote people from within… but only when they’re ready.

Hold people accountable.

And finally… hire people that are better than you and that can take your job one day!

Following Lincoln’s Leadership

By employing Lincoln’s core leadership concepts above you will be able to lead your team more effectively.

The reason… each team member will be able to reach their full potential!