Abraham Lincoln raised himself from an obscure beginning in a log cabin and a youth of subsistence farming through ambition and persistence into visionary leadership. With an acute desire to learn, Abraham learned to read and taught himself law. With politics as Lincoln’s great love, he won state and national elections with persistent campaigning. Abraham was a raconteur who loved talking to common people and practicing his persuasive oratory on political issues of the day. Abe’s integrity, reliability, predictability, fairness, faith, and devotion to honesty earned him a reputation that attracted followers. In severe national emergency, with the United States divided between North and South, President Lincoln tenaciously lead the country and saved democracy and freedom. Though an established leader, Abraham always relied on morals and values to bolster his persuasion and to do the right thing.
Leadership: Abraham Lincoln, His Vision and Values
Abraham Lincoln is an example. For those who are born poor with little or nothing in circumstance to elevate them from the simple state of existence, Lincoln is the transcending model of persistence. As a human, Abraham Lincoln is not without foibles and infallibilities. Yet, in the milieu of leadership, Lincoln leaves a legacy of surmounting Sisyphus-like struggles confronting not only leading himself, but also leading a country, and perhaps the world. Lincoln’s vision spans the forsaken, the common, and the universal man as revealed to Congress in July, 1861:
This is essentially a People’s contest. On the side of the Union, it is a struggle for maintaining in the world, that form, and substance of government, whose leading object is, to elevate the condition of men—to lift artificial weights from all shoulders—to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all—to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life. It presents to the whole family of man, the question, whether…a democracy…can, or cannot, maintain its territorial integrity, against its own domestic foes. (Gienapp, 2002, p. 84)
This purpose of this paper is to capture the attributes and the vision of Abraham Lincoln. First, I will discuss the childhood and environment that Abe was raised in. Second, I will show Abe educated himself in furtherance of his goals. Lastly, I will present the leadership of Abraham Lincoln in the pinnacle of his life, the Presidency.
© Neal Huffman 2014 all rights reserved