Only to better express myself…
A few days ago some of us acknowledged the birth (February 12, 1809) of President Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Lincoln may be the most written about figure in the brief history of the United States and I have read quite a few of the volumes. Lincoln is an intriguing figure, but one thing I find most interesting is how he used anecdotes to get his point across. This was highlighted in a book Lincoln On Leadership and illustrated in the recent Lincoln movie starring Daniel Day Lewis. Here are some of my favorite Lincoln quote to honor the man.
“When Abraham Lincoln came to power in 1861, he found himself in a similar dilemma. The first Republican president elected by a minority of the popular vote, Lincoln was viewed by many as a gawky, second-rate country lawyer ill equipped to handle the chief executive office – his own cabinet considered him nothing more than a figurehead. Ten days before he took the oath of office, the Confederate States of America seceded from the Union, taking all Federal agencies, forts, and arsenals within their territory. The country was so stricken that rumors of a military coup and assassination abounded at the inauguration.”
In the tradition of John Galt, Steve Wynn has been an outspoken business leader and a refreshing contrast to other business people who are snuggling in to the federal government to gain special favors (i.e. GE’s Immelt). I named Mr. Wynn a True American Hero nearly a year ago and have not been disappointed in his pro-capitalist stance. Steve Wynn unloaded on the boy-president during a recent company conference call. Here are some of his thoughts,
“what I consider to be a total lack of leadership from the President and nothing’s going to get fixed until the President himself steps up.”
A few days ago I lamented about the weak slate of Republican presidential candidates lining up to take on Obama’s projected billion dollar war chest. There has been an intriguing development in the arena as former U.S. Ambassador to China, Jon Huntsman has entered the fray. Real Clear Politics has reported that Mr. Huntsman has formed a Political Action Committee to explore a potential run against Obama since he resigned his ambassadorship. Mr. Huntsman has an impressive resume before serving as Utah’s governor he worked in the Reagan, Bush 1, Bush 2, and Obama administrations. He also had a solid record as a businessman working for the Huntsman Corporation (started by his father).
Now that the dust has settled from the November 2 mid-term elections it is interesting how the left/progressives/liberals/Democrats are behaving. The media has grabbed the horn by the bull and proclaimed that the results were not a repudiation of Obama’s policies by the American people, was not about Obamacare (it is interesting that this label has stuck), was not a victory for the Tea Party, or the American electorate is just too stupid except where favored Democrats were re-elected. So why did the Democrats lose so badly? Some of the themes center around voter stupidity, racism, Obama being too centrist (WTF), and my favorite…Fox News. Scott Spiegel listed the “Top 10 excuses” at NewsRealBlog.
“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement”
There are a myriad of self improvement books and I often find it helpful to review tips and techniques from these knowledgeable authors. Originally published in 2004 The Transparency Edge recommends nine behaviors to help you become a better leader. Authors Barbara Pagano and Elizabeth Pagano use examples from their years of experience working with large and small organizations to help their leaders improve.
Throughout my career I have, on occasion, worked for different government agencies. Training budgets were generally nonexistent, but oddly enough it was during one of my tenures at an agency that I had the opportunity to attend a workshop series on leadership development.
We were lucky in that we had a human resources office that was able to create and offer these types of workshops. These were done using internal resources and leaders. The “bible” used in this series was written by John C. Maxwell. Aptly subtitled “Becoming the Person Others Will Want to follow,” The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader outlines the qualities and provides supporting examples.