Lincoln: Aspiring to Greatness

daniel_chester_french_sculpture_of_abraham_lincoln_inside_the_lincoln_memorial_1280x960  Before the statues and the memorials are built, attesting to an individual’s greatness, there must first be accomplishments.  Most would agree that Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s 16th president, was a great and transformational president. His legacy, holding the union together between 1861-1865 during the nation’s great civil war and proclaiming the emancipation proclamation in 1863, was acknowledged and memorialized with the Lincoln Memorial  which anchors the west end of the National Mall.   Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln , recently in the news for Daniel Day-Lewis’ award winning performance, revived interest in Lincoln’s presidency and his attributes.

Michael Maslanka recently published an article on Law.com,  reviewing Lincoln’s behavior and extracting lessons for general counsel that are also applicable for everyone.   According to Maslanka, Lincoln’s behavior from 1861-1865 personified the attributes of a great leader.  Maslanka then extracts six lessons from Lincoln’s behavior.  They are:

*  Mission over ego;

* Salvage if possible; fire when necessary;

* Acknowledge mistakes;

* Demonstrate moral leadership;

* Manage anger; and

* Accept advice.

To read more about Lincoln, check out the library’s online catalog, the Gavel, to locate biographies, memoirs, and speeches of Lincoln.

Hat Tip:  Michael Maslanka, President Lincoln’s Lessons for General Counsel, Law.com

About Lisa Smith-Butler

Lisa is the Associate Dean for Information Services at the Charleston School of Law, Sol Blatt Jr. Law Library. She teaches Advanced Legal Research & Children & the Law.
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