Much Ado about Lincoln?
There has been a lot of attention given to Lincoln lately. A major motion picture has highlighted his presidency and leads the Oscar nominations at a stunning dozen. Since the fall of 2011, Bill O’Reilly’s book, Killing Lincoln, has climbed the charts and has now sold over one million copies.
All this attention begs the question: is one solitary leader really worthy of this kind of focus, especially seven score and eight years after his death?
In LEADon’s opinion, and obviously millions of other Americans, the answer is yes—most definitely yes! Why? Because Lincoln’s leadership set a gold standard for those aiming for greatness to follow—and not just for aspiring politicians, but for people in every profession—past, present, and future.
Many of us recognize and revere Lincoln’s passion for unity and his willingness to sacrifice everything for fair and equal treatment of fellow human beings, yet it might surprise some individuals to discover that he struggled personally as well as professionally. Had he given in to the pressures that never seemed to elude him, the United States would no doubt be a very different entity than it is today.
Instead, this man of character and deep, inner strength pressed forward. Lincoln recognized his limitations, but he was determined not to be limited by them. One quote attributed to him sums up this philosophy:
“I’m a slow walker, but I never walk back.”
As we take time this month to reflect upon leaders of the past, let’s remember that they aren’t simply characters in the annals of history. They were real leaders, just like you. They struggled, just like we all do from time to time. Yet it was the indomitable character of individuals like Lincoln that the crucible of adversity purified—producing a legacy that much ado should and will be made of for generations. May the same be true for you, too.