Happy 204th Birthday Mr President

Time to Read – After last week, who knows!

Happy 204th Birthday Mr President Lincoln

Prompted by my typo last week (it’s a tough one to spot ), many of you were kind, some less so, and a few of you wondered what he would be like as President today? And what lessons can modern day leaders learn from one of the most revered presidents in history?

Absolute persistence aside, three from me – one on communication, a second that will save you a lot of money and a third on how to be very, very popular:

1.         Communication – Lincoln would get to the point, with carefully chosen words that have an impact, and speak with a passion sadly rare in modern day politicians. Compare these 2 minutes that made the man immortal, with most PowerPoint presentations that have their audiences wishing they weren’t. Lesson – less is more, always.

2.         Save money – He really wouldn’t like the way state laws have taken precedent over federal laws on so many issues, and wouldn’t have allowed many of them to happen. After all, he won a war to unite the states. Likewise, leaders in organisations the world over argue for or against more local/central power. Lesson – Stop spending money looking for a perfect solution to this local v global balance – there isn’t one. Find the ideal balance between local customer service and central cost control, publicise the advantages, and be aware of the down-sides, then focus on other things that are more important.

3.         Be very, very popular – To do this, you need to make sure you die at exactly the right moment. At the time of his death Lincoln was just starting to be very unpopular with both the right (“Marxist”) and left (“dictator”). However, one must never speak ill of the dead. Lesson – if you think someone is out to get you, avoid theatres.

With my love and best wishes


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